Accomplished professor wins University’s Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award

Mae Gustin sets example for prioritizing student safety in labs with chemicals

President Sandoval and Mae Gustin holding Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award plaque

University President Brian Sandoval presents the Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award to Mae Gustin.

Accomplished professor wins University’s Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award

Mae Gustin sets example for prioritizing student safety in labs with chemicals

University President Brian Sandoval presents the Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award to Mae Gustin.

President Sandoval and Mae Gustin holding Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award plaque

University President Brian Sandoval presents the Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award to Mae Gustin.

Mae Gustin, foundation professor of environmental geochemistry in the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, received the Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award at the 2022 Honor the Best ceremony, adding to the major awards she has received from the University and the Nevada System of Higher Education. The Honor the Best ceremony recognizes the outstanding achievements of faculty, staff and students.

The Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award recognizes Gustin’s leadership in implementing and evolving laboratory safety protocols that deal with chemicals and acids.

“Dr. Gustin has demonstrated excellence in laboratory safety over many years. She displays leadership for her research group’s safety program by ensuring that all members of her group are fully trained in safe lab practices and that training records are maintained,” said Luis Barthel-Rosa, chemical management services manager of Environmental Health & Safety, part of Research & Innovation.

“I have always run a tight ship, and carefully follow UNR safety protocols,” said Gustin. “This is important for we have many toxic chemicals in my lab and clean with acids. I have had many students work for me and it is my job to guarantee their safety.”

Gustin received the Researcher of the Year award from the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources in 2001 and 2015. Fast forward to 2018, when she was recognized by the Nevada System of Higher Education as the Nevada Regents’ Researcher of the Year for her work studying and contributing a new scientific understanding of atmospheric pollutants. Gustin continues to break new ground and innovate while conducting research at the University.

Gustin’s past accolades include the University’s Outstanding Researcher award in 2016, Excellent Reviewer Award for Environmental Science and Technology 2013, Nevada Women’s Fund Women of Achievement Award 2010 and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Faculty Award of Excellence 2009. She was named a University of Nevada Foundation Professor in 2009. She has 200 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and has served as PI/Co-PI on $9.5 million in competitive grants and $2.4 million in non-competitive grants.