People

Graduate Students

The graduate students of the department are listed alphabetically below, along with the degree program they are in and their major advisor. For some, the graduate student name is also a link to a detailed description of the research in which that individual is engaged.

Babic, Nevio  · Ph.D. (DeWekker) · Atmospheric Sciences

Nevio earned a BS in Physics-Geophysics from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, as well as an MS in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography. He studied microscale properties of the bora downslope windstorm at the eastern Adriatic coast, by investigating vertical momentum and heat flux divergences. For his PhD, Nevio will look at the characteristics of the […]

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Barry, Laura  · Ph.D. (Pusede) · Atmospheric Sciences
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Berger, Amelie Cecile  · Ph.D. (Berg) · Ecology

Amelie earned a BS degree in environmental geoscience from Texas A&M University. Her dissertation research now focuses on the ecology of seagrass meadows in the shallow coastal bays of the VCR-LTER. She is using the eddy covariance technique to quantify whole-system metabolism in a seagrass meadow during its recovery from a die-off event that occurred […]

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Besterman, Alice  · Ph.D. (Pace) · Ecology

Alice completed her B.S. in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is broadly interested in community and ecosystem ecology, particularly in coastal habitats. Alice works out of the VCR LTER studying various impacts of the non-native macroalgae, Gracilaria vermiculophylla. She is interested in how non-trophic interactions between Gracilaria and other organisms on intertidal mudflats lead to ecosystem level […]

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Buelo, Cal  · Ph.D. (Pace) · Ecology

Cal received a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Biology and Mathematics. After graduating, he worked for Dr. Michael Pace as a research technician studying early warnings of ecological regime shifts in freshwater systems in Virginia and Michigan. Cal is pursuing a PhD in the Pace Lab and is interested in topics related […]

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Burruss, Ben  · M.A. (Herman) · Geosciences
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Cook, Brynn  · Ph.D. (Roulston) · Ecology

Brynn Cook earned a BS degree in environmental sciences at the University of California Berkeley, before continuing her education as a PhD student at the University of Virginia in 2013.  Brynn’s research  focuses on native bee populations’ nesting and foraging dynamics in agricultural settings. Brynn conducts her fieldwork at Blandy Experimental Farm, Boyce VA.

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Coughlin, Katherine  · M.S. (Scanlon) · Hydrology

Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., Katherine graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.S. in Geoscience and minor in Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate she conducted research on field-forest microclimates in addition to research on water quality problems in the seven easternmost Finger Lakes. In 2016 she joined the University of Virginia’s Shenandoah Watershed […]

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Cronin, Emma  · Ph.D. · Hydrology
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Demetillo, Angelique  · Ph.D. (Pusede) · Atmospheric Chemistry

Angelique earned her B.S in physics and chemistry from Seton Hall University. Her research interests include utilization of data science and big data for environmental justice from an atmospheric perspective, trace gas chemistry, lower atmosphere and ocean interactions, and air pollution trends. Her research currently focuses on evaluating air pollution exposure and environmental justice by […]

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Devine, Charlotte  · M.A. · Ecology
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Eng, Lauren  · M.S. (Scanlon) · Hydrology
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Fantasia, Christina  · Ph.D. (Macko) · Ecology

Christina Fantasia earned a BS in Biology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where she concentrated in Environmental Science. She is now working toward obtaining her PhD in Environmental Sciences (Ecology) with Dr. Steve Macko, studying ocean acidification and its effects on bivalves and crustaceans.

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Fitzsimmons, Ian  · Ph.D. (Macko) · Geosciences
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Flester, Jessica  · M.S. (Blum) · Ecology

Jessica earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences as well as a B.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Global Environments and Sustainability from the University of Virginia. During her undergraduate career, Jessica’s research was focused broadly on the response of coastal wetlands and coastal communities to rising sea-levels. As a graduate student pursuing her […]

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Grady, Amy  · Ph.D. (Reidenbach/Moore) · Geosciences

Research Project: Predicting long-term impacts of climate change on coral reef degradation and coastal erosion

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Havens, Zane  · Ph.D. (Macko) · Ecology

Graduating from Albion College in Albion, MI with a BA in Earth Science, a minor in GIS, and an Environmental Science concentration, Zane has continued his education at the University of Virginia, where he is now pursuing a PhD in Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Ecology. His research interests include surface water hydrology, marine […]

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Hey, Melissa  · Ph.D. (Haynes) · Ecology

Melissa received her B.S. from the College of William & Mary in Virginia in 2015. As an undergraduate, her thesis focused on how intraspecific competition and herbivory affected growth and secondary chemical defenses in common milkweed. Common milkweed serves as a significant food source for the monarch butterfly, and her research sought to delve into […]

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Hogan, Sara  · M.S. (Reidenbach) · Ecology

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BS in Environmental Science, Sara is now pursuing a Masters degree focusing on oyster restoration. She is using LiDAR data to map reefs in the intertidal region of the Virginia Coast Reserve to understand reefs’ location, elevation, and correlations with the physical environment. She is […]

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Huelsman, Kelsey  · M.S. (Epstein) · Ecology

I study supporting ecosystem services in three land-use types under different levels of human management at Blandy Experimental Farm. The purpose of my research is to analyze properties, processes, and functions of these land-use types to evaluate the relative levels of supporting services they provide. By then considering the cost of human management in each […]

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Illgner, Tara  · M.A. Atmospheric Chemistry (Macko) · Atmospheric Science
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Jablonski, Andrew  · Ph.D. (Yang and Lerdau) · Ecology

Plant physiology, solar-induced fluorescence, imaging spectroscopy, carbon modeling

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Johnson, Rowan  · Ph.D. (Herman and Mills)
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Kelleher, Mitchell  · M.S. (Grise) · Atmospheric Sciences
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Kent, Kelcy  · Ph.D. (Epstein) · Ecology

Kelcy double-majored in Biology with a concentration in conservation and Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and went on to complete a masters in coastal marine ecology and mangrove genetics with Jay Zieman and Howard Epstein at UVA. Her work focused on assessing genetic diversity in mangroves along the Gulf Coast, particularly noting range-expansion […]

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LeCroy, Kathryn  · Ph.D. (Roulston) · Ecology

Kate LeCroy received her B.S. in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL) in 2012. While at Birmingham-Southern, she studied nocturnal moth pollination networks in the ketona dolomite glades of Bibb County, Alabama under the mentorship of Dr. Pete Van Zandt. She also participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the […]

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Long, Emily Victoria Scott  · Ph.D. (Blum)

Victoria received a BS in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia in 2015. A native of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Victoria’s research focuses on the impacts of sea level rise, the salinization of farmland and the potential solutions that may be found in coastal wetlands.

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Malcomb, Jacob  · PH.D. (Epstein And Scanlon) · Ecology

Jacob earned a BS in Biology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where he also minored in African Studies. His PhD research will examine the impacts of climate change and acid deposition on forest water use efficiency in the eastern US. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Jacob managed the Nature Up North Project, […]

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Michaelis, Brenden  · Ph.D. (Reidenbach) · Hydrology
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Mitchell, Kayla  · M.S. (Doney) · Geosciences
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Munyan, Jessica  · Ph.D. (Scanlon, Pusede) · Atmospheric Sciences

Jessica earned a BS in Environmental Science from Rider University in New Jersey. She is now pursuing a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry studying the interaction of plants and the atmosphere through instrumentation on a tower at the Virginia Forest Lab located at the Pace Site in Fluvanna County, VA.

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Murphy, Elizabeth  · Ph.D. (Reidenbach) · Hydrology

Burrowing marine organisms irrigate their burrows by drawing in oxygenated overlying water. This process alters the chemistry of the surrounding sediment. I study patterns of irrigation in these burrows.           Recent Publications:

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Palomaki, Ross  · M.S. (De Wekker) · Atmospheric Science

Ross is a Utah native with a BS in Mathematics from the University of North Texas. Now at the University of Virginia, he is pursuing an MS in the De Wekker lab group. His research focuses on boundary layer meteorology over complex terrain, including using small multi-rotor copters for atmospheric profiling.

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Parisien, Alexandra  · M.S. (Epstein) · Ecology

Allie, a Blandy Research Fellow, graduated in 2016 from Duke University with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Biology. Her past university lab research has explored positive marine species interactions, fish behavior in the changing habitats of Queensland, Australia, and the interplay between carbon sequestration and land use. Allie also served as […]

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Rodenberg, Clare  · Ph.D. (Haynes) · Ecology

MS in Geospatial Analysis from the University of Mary Washington. Research interests include studying the environmental factors that drive the spatial characteristics of plants and animals across a landscape.

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Roe, Stephanie Anna  · Ph.D. (Lawrence) · Ecology

Stephanie received a BA from San Diego State University and a MEM in ecosystem science from Duke University. She is interested in biosphere-atmosphere dynamics, and shifting the current forest-food-fuel land use paradigm to a more sustainable system. Her doctoral research under advisor, Deborah Lawrence, explores the terrestrial carbon sink’s response and feedback to climate change. […]

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Rose, Nathan Tyler  · M.S. (Herman and Mills)

Nathan Rose earned a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia. For his undergraduate research, he worked with a team of engineering students to developing a multi-rotor UAV outfitted with research grade meteorological and air quality sensors. Additionally, he helped to develop low-cost methane sensors for use around hydraulic fracturing sites. Nathan worked […]

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Scaife, Charles  · PH.D. (Band) · Hydrology

Charles received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences and M.A. in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research focused on streamflow variation as a result of long-term vegetation-climate interactions at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory and LTER. His dissertation combines empirical analyses from his masters with hydrologic modeling to explore how land-use/landcover […]

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Schmidt, Daniel Flint  · M.S. (Grise) · Atmospheric Science

I earned my undergraduate degree in mathematics at Liberty University, and later completed a graduate program in mathematics at Virginia Tech.  This will be my second iteration through graduate school, and I am planning to specialize in climate modeling.

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Schweitzer, Cyrene  · M.S. (Carr and Macko) · Ecology
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Shelby, Morgan  · M.A. (Epstein) · Ecology
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Slatosky, Amber  · Ph.D. (Roulston) · Ecology

Amber earned her BS in Biology at Idaho State University in 2014. She has joined the Environmental Sciences department at UVA, pursuing her interests in insect ecology.  More information may be found at her website amber.slatosky.com .

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Smith, Jodi Jones  · Ph.D. (Wiberg) · Geosciences
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So, Christopher  · Ph.D. (Yang & Pusede) · Ecology

Chris earned a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where he also minored in Art and Visual Technology. As a PhD student he is broadly interested in using Eddy Covariance and remote sensing techniques to study salt marsh ecosystems. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Chris held a variety of field […]

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Tatham, Elizabeth  · M.S. (Scanlon) · Atmospheric Sciences
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Tedford, Kinsey  · Ph.D. (Castorani) · Ecology

Kinsey earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2015, as well as a M.S. degree in Biology in 2018. As an undergraduate, she studied the macroinvertebrate community structure of wetlands, specifically quaking bogs, in southeastern Oklahoma. For her master’s, she conducted research on Grand Cayman Island studying the ecology and […]

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Vincent, Catherine  · Ph.D. (Lerdau) · Ecology

Allisa received her B.S. and M.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama.  She is now seeking a PhD in Environmental Sciences (Ecology) in Dr. Manuel Lerdau’s lab studying coastal wetland plant ecology.

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Volaric, Martin  · Ph.D. (Berg & Reidenbach) · Ecology

Martin earned his BS in Environmental Sciences and Economics from the University of Virginia. He is currently studying oyster metabolism using the eddy correlation technique at the VCR-LTER on the Eastern shore.

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Zhang, Ruoyu  · Ph.D. (Band) · Hydrology

Integrating with spatial applications of remote sensing and GIS, my Ph.D. research focuses on advancing the ecohydrological modeling as a powerful tool to support the future decision-making pertaining to the water resources within ecosystems. I received B.A. and M.S. degrees in Geography from Virginia Tech.

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Zhu, Qingguang (Bright)  · Ph.D. (Wiberg) · Hydrology

Bright received a B.S. in Marine Science from Nanjing University, China, as well as an M.S. in Marine Geology. He is broadly interested in tidal dynamics, coastal sediment transport, and estuarine and coastal morphodynamics, with a focus on human disturbance (reclamation, sluice gate operation, harbor construction, etc) to the coastal system. He used a combination […]

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