Leadership Team

Headshot of Nathan Morehouse

Nathan Morehouse

Biological Sciences, Director


Dr. Morehouse's research group studies how animals see the world and make decisions based on what they can see about who to mate with, what to eat, and where to go. He is also interested in biomimicry and collaborations between science and the arts.

Headshot of Elke Buschbeck

Elke Buschbeck

Biological Sciences, External Partnerships Lead


Dr. Buschbeck’s research focuses on the development and evolution of arthropod visual systems. Insights from her work have inspired engineers to design micro-cameras and night-vision gear that are fundamentally different from conventional models.

Headshot of Peter Langland-Hassan

Peter Langland-Hassan

Philosophy, Working Groups Lead


Dr. Langland's work focuses on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, and experimental psychology. He is interested in questions such as: “What is imagination?” and “What is the relationship between sensing and thinking?”

Headshot of Tamara Lorenz

Tamara Lorenz

Psychology, Interdisciplinary Research Lead


Dr. Lorenz’s research focuses on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) with an emphasis on interaction between physical robots with human bodies (embodiment), emergent and intuitive motor coordination, and implications for health and safety.

Headshot of Michelle McGowan

Michelle McGowan

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Community-Engaged Research Lead


Dr. McGowan conducts research on the ethical and social implications of novel technologies, with a particular focus on how users of reproductive and genomic technologies conceptualize the risks and benefits of these technologies.

Headshot of Sunnie Rucker-Chang

Sunnie Rucker-Chang

European Studies, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead


Dr. Rucker-Chang works, writes, and teaches primarily on racial and cultural formations, minority-majority, & minority-minority relations in Central and Southeast Europe. She is finishing a book on the politics of Blackness in former Yugoslav states.

Headshot of Cynthia Treacy

Cynthia Treacy

A&S Grants Office, Grant Programs Lead


Treacy leads college-wide efforts for administering pre-award services for all 26 A&S departments, and has deep expertise in managing grant portfolios, program coordination, and proposal development support systems.

Headshot of Ryan White

Ryan White

Chemistry, Graduate Programs Lead


Dr. White's research lies at the intersection of nanoscience, electrochemistry & the biological interface. His research group develops (bio)analytical methods to probe chemical & biological systems with unprecedented spatial & temporal resolutions.

Headshot of Neşe Devenot

Neşe Devenot

Postdoctoral Associate & Program Manager

Dr. Devenot studies bioethical perspectives on the nascent field of psychedelic medicine. Additionally, her research explores the function of metaphor and other literary devices in narrative accounts of psychedelic experiences.

Vision Statement

The Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS) unites disciplines at UC and beyond to design, create, and integrate the sensors of tomorrow, while deepening our fundamental understanding of how the many sensors—natural and engineered— shape life.  In broadening the sphere of what can be sensed, and thereby known, IRiS is also guided by questions of what ought to be known, and how such information should be used.

Mission Statement

The Institute for Research in Sensing (IRiS) will move beyond traditional boundaries by 1) fostering interdisciplinary crosstalk on sensing research through innovative intellectual exchanges and social events, 2) transforming education on sensing across all career stages by cultivating transdisciplinary coursework and immersive training fellowships, 3) incubating avant-garde research teams to solve challenging problems in sensing via purposeful integration of science, engineering, the humanities, and the arts, and 4) enhancing public understanding of the science of sensing and the impact of sensors in daily life through community engagement and outreach.

First Year Initiatives

During its first year of operation, IRiS will launch the following activities:

  • An interdisciplinary, public-facing conversation series called the IRiS Alloy Discussion Series.
  • An interdisciplinary graduate training program called the IRiS Graduate Fellowship, which will cross-train 16 graduate fellows in the science, art, design, and societal implications of sensing and sensor technologies, including through collaborations with public and private sector partners.
  • An annual event to showcase UC researchers and scholars working at the bleeding edge of sensing and stimulate new connections with both university-based as well as public and private sector partners.

IRiS Partner Organizations