Group members


Chai’s graduation dinner at Sam Cafe, 2015
Hirst group holiday dinner, 2014
The Hirst group in 2012 – from left, Zach Nuno, Nathan Melton, Andrea Rodarte, Linda HIrst, Chai Lor and Ron Pandolfi

Current graduate students

Nathan Melton

Nathan is a physics graduate student working on lipid vesicle and liquid crystal droplet mechanics using optical trapping and pickering eumulsions.

Makiko Quint

Makiko is a physics graduate students  working on liquid crystal/nanoparticle composites in a collaborative project with Profs. Sayantani Ghosh at UC Merced.

Joe Lopes

Joe is a physics graduate student looking at the role of membrane fluidity on kinesin based transport. He is currently collaborating with Prof Jing Xu at UC Merced.

Tayebeh Riahinasab

Tayebeh is a physics graduate student working on liquid crystal/nanoparticle composites.

Amanda Tan

Amanda  is a physics graduate student working jointly with the Xu lab. She is currently working with Joe on the role of membrane fluidity in kinesin based transport.

Ahmed El-Baradei

Ahmed is a physics graduate student working on liquid crystal/nanoparticle composite materials.

Current undergraduate students

Devon Zerbe

Devon is a senior in the UC Merced physics program, he will be completing his senior thesis project with the Hirst lab on liquid crystal nanocomposites.

Kyle Kabasares

Kyle first joined the lab as a summer student in the UC Merced CAMP program. He is continuing to work on liquid crystal nanocomposites for his junior year in the physics program.

Abigail Rentaria

Abigail is collaborating with Amanda Tan on the microtubule project, investigating active materials.


Soft Matter and biophysics at the University of California, Merced