Current Students

The following individuals are graduate students in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

Note: Every attempt is made to keep this list current. The list is generally updated at least once each year, during the summer. Please bear in mind that in between the fall and spring semesters some students listed here may have graduated the program.

If you are a current ESP graduate student and you do not see your name listed here or your listing is incomplete/has errors, please email the ESP Webmaster with the necessary edits.


Graduate Student Annual Report

As a reminder, all students are required to submit this online form which will be sent to the ESP Graduate Programs Manager and your Primary Advisor. Please tell us about your previous academic year: https://esp.gmu.edu/annual-graduate-student-report/


MS
PhD


MS Students

Adams, Cynthia
Email: adamcr8@gmail.com
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Robert Jonas

Ahmed, Mohamed
Email: mahmed8@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Augustine, Lauren
E-mail: laugust44@hotmail.com
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Alonso Aguirre

Beetle, Nicole
Email: beetlenicole@gmail.com
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Chris Kennedy

Boakye, Gloria
E-mail: gboakye@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Cannon, Brian
E-mail: bcannon2@gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: E.C.M. Parsons

Combs, Zachary
E-mail: zcombs@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVBC
Advisor: Albert Torzilli

Cooper, William
Email: wcooper2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: David Luther

Dale, Erin
Email: edale2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Alonso Aguirre
Research Interest: Determining the role of and novel approaches to use decision management tools and modeling to support policy decisions, especially in a technical enterprise, such as Earth observations.

Dechanupong, Juthapathra
Email: jdechanu@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Elizabeth Freeman
Research Interest: Maternal behavior and interaction between red panda dam and cubs.

Feinstein, Ben
Email: bfeinsil@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Tom Lovejoy

Fu, Jinlin
Email: jfu4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG INTO

Gagnon, Sean
Email: sgagnon@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Gary, Ashley
E-mail: adunlap2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVBC
Advisor: E. C. M. Parsons

Gray, Chelsea
E-mail: sgray21@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: E. C. M. Parsons

Gronan, Andrew
E-mail: agronan@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Harper, William
E-mail: wharper5@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Dann Sklarew

Havens, Jessica
E-mail: jhavens@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Esther Peters

Isdell, Larin
E-mail: lisdell@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Chris Jones

Kordell, Jessica
E-mail: jkordell@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Elizabeth Freeman

Krcmarik, Matt
E-mail: mkrcmari@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Larry Rockwood

LeBlanc, Bryan
E-mail: bleblanc2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Lemmon, Lorien
E-mail: llemmon@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Larry Rockwood

Makineni, Krishna
Email: cmakinen@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Esther Peter

Malpeli, Katherine
E-mail: kmalpeli@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Larry Rockwood
Research interests: I am interested in understanding human-wildlife interactions, particularly how negative interactions can be predicted and prevented. My research is focused on identifying spatial trends in human-black bear conflict in Virginia, and identifying which environmental and anthropogenic variables influence the location of conflicts.

Maloney, Joseph
E-mail: jmalone4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS ESEG
Advisor: Julia Nord

McAndrew, Brendan
E-mail: bmcandr2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Changwoo Ahn

Melton, Jessamine
E-mail: jmelton4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS AQEC
Advisor: Kim de Mutsert
Research Interest: I am interested in looking into non-invasive sampling methods for river herring, in particular looking to determine whether non-invasive and more cost-friendly methods show viable data based on current sampling methods.

Michalski, Peter
E-mail: pmicha12@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Miller, Theresa
E-mail: tmille22@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: E. C. M. Parsons

Min, Jie
E-mail: jmin11@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG INTO

Molloy, Meadhbh
Email:  mmalloy2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS COSP
Advisor: Alonso Aguirre

Nelson, Margot
Email:  mnelson20@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Mark Uhen

Opiela, Carol
E-mail: copiela@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS AQEC
Advisor: Chris Jon

Orndorff, Adam
E-mail: aorndor2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Osman, Mohamoud
E-mail: mosman2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVBC
Advisor: Andrea Weeks

Pehrson, Casey
EmailCpehrson@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Kim de Mutsert

Palmer, Ashley
E-mail: apalmer9@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Cynthia Smith

Pedicord, Lenore
Email: seldridg@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS ESCM
Advisor: Lorelei Crerar
Research Interest: Evaluating which factors influence dangerous behavior in visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Information will be gathered via surveys of park visitors which ask them to state where they are from, city size, what social media they use, and how they would rank common animals in the park in terms of danger presented. Better methods of communication with park visitors can be used to reduce the risk of visitor injury and stress to wildlife while boosting public perception of these animals.

Ruedy, Daniel
Emaildruedy@masonlive.gmu.edudruedy@gmail.com
Program: MS EVMG

Saad, Merna
Email: msaad2@masonlive.gmu.edumerna.a.saad@gmail.com
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Alonso Aguirre

Sachs, Andrew
E-mail: asachs3@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS AQEC
Advisor: Changwoo Ahn

Scully, Shannon
E-mail: sscully2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: E. C. M. Parsons

Shamenek, Brittany
E-mail: bshamene@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVBC
Advisor: Esther Peters
Research Interest: My research interest involves the investigation of coral disease. Specifically, my focus is on the interactions between potential pathogens and corals at a cellular level, and how these interactions ultimately affect the health of corals on a larger scale.

Sharma, Sumedha
E-mail: ssharm31@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Sherwood, Daniel
E-mail: dsherwoo@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Tedder, Elizabeth
Emailetedder@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS ESEG
Advisor: Randolph McBride

Toher, Drew
E-mail: dtoher@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG

Vuocolo, Celia
Emailcvuocola@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVSP
Advisor: Rebecca Forkner

Williams, Elizabeth O.
Emailewilli11@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: MS EVMG
Advisor: Albert Torzilli

Wishnuff, Aaron
Emailaaronwishnuff@yahoo.com
Program: MS EVMG

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PhD Students

Adebola, Tunde (candidacy)
E-mail: tadebola@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: K. de Mutsert (Chair), E. Peters, C. Kennedy, H.Townsend (NOAA)
Research Interest: Fisheries Science; environmental and conservation; ocean color radiometry to fish larval recruitment and ecosystem management.

Al-Rawahi, Ziyana
Email: zalrawah@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science Track
Committee: P. Houser (Chair)
Research Interests: Water Sustainability, water management, desertification

Allen, Laurie (candidacy)
E-mail: lallen12@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. Jonas (Chair), G. Foster, P. Gillevet, P. Sandifer
Research Interest: Proposal: “Bacterioplankton Diversity and Community Structure in Relation to Environmental Variables in Four Mid-Atlantic Estuaries (Delaware, Potomac, Neuse, & Chowan).”

Bair, Ross
E-mail: rossbair@gmail.com
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: D. Sklarew (Chair), E. Peters-Burton, E.C.M. Parsons
Research Interest: I have 11 years experience teaching Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Biology to high-school students. I am interested in assessing the ability of the current Virginia SOL to affect environmental Literacy. Furthermore, I am interested in the baseline knowledge necessary for citizens to make environmental decisions and the role of public education in assuring that level of environmental competence is achieved. “Relating Environmental Literacy to Standards of Learning Biology and Earth Science.”

Balajapalli, Sudha
Email: sbalaja2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: T. Lovejoy (Chair), L. Talbot (Co-Chair)
Research Interest: My research focus is on tiger conservation. The objectives of my research are to 1) mitigate wildlife crime through the use of wildlife forensics and science; 2) bring social conservation awareness to local communities in tiger conservation landscapes; and 3) change policy governing wildlife for better tiger conservation.

Blackwell, Caitlin
E-mail: cblackw4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: L. Hamdan (Chair), J. Salerno, E. Peters
Research Interest: The population ecology and genetics of an isolated cetacean population in order to establish baseline information for the population, which will be used to make recommendations regarding its conservation status and actions to take in order to preserve/maintain the population.

Bolen, Layne
E-mail: lpankrat@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: A. Aguirre (Chair), K. de Mutsert, T. Lovejoy, J. Kenworthy
Research Interest: endangered species, estuarine systems, climate change including species shifts and adaptations; species/habitat health; examining the role of endemism in climate change and ecosystem persistence.

Boules, Caroline (candidacy)
E-mail: cboules@gmail.comcboules@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: S. Crate (Chair), T. La Porte, A. Falconer, L. Harris
Research Interest: I am interested in climate change adaptation by agricultural communities in North Africa, and how government policies shape communities’ perceptions of environmental risk, and shape their adaptation behaviors. Proposal: “Climate Change Adaptation and Crop Export Policies in the Tunisian Cap Bon Peninsula.”

Briceno-Huerta, Fiorella
Email: fbriceno@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: M. Gilmore (Chair)
Research Interest: Critically endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey Lagothrix flavicauda, conduct scientific inventories of mammals for the creation of new conservation areas managed by communities, teaching environmental education, and sowing conservation awareness to communities; primate conservation.

Brown, Danielle
E-mail: dbrown38@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: E. C. M. Parsons (Chair), L. Rockwood, L. Crerar
Research Interest: I am interested in the ecology of marine mammals in urban environments and how they interact with anthropogenic activities. Currently, my research focuses on the increasing presence of humpback whales in the New York metropolitan area including their distribution, behavior, and the vessel activity that they are exposed to.

Bryant, Karen (candidacy)
E-mail: kbryant@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: E. C. M. Parsons (Chair), L. Rockwood, A. Fuentes, C. Chen
Research Interest: Law-on-the-books versus law-in-action gaps impairing protection of environmental defenders from rights abuses related to industrial-scale activities and mega-development projects in Guatemala.

Carpenter, Adam (candidacy)
E-mail: acarpen8@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: Robert Jonas (Chair), S. deMonsabert, B. Liner, D. Sklarew, P. Schopf
Research Interest: Proposal: “Developing a framework for community driven sea level rise planning.”

Castelly, Harry (candidacy)
E-mail: hcastell@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: G. Mushrush (Chair), G. Weatherspoon (Co-Chair), V. Chandhoke, H. Willauer
Research Interest: Proposal: “Biofuels to hydrocarbons: Characterization of the Suitability of Peanuts and Soybeans Methyl Esthers for Traditional Petroleum Refinement Process.”

Clay, Anne
E-mail: aclay4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: T. Lovejoy (Chair)
Research Interest: Global issues, biodiversity, and extinction

Collins, Elizabeth (Betsy)
E-mail: ecolli11@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: A. Weeks (Chair), Patrick Gillevet, James Lawrey
Research Interest: My research interests center on phylogenetic systematics of flowering plants. I aim to develop tools to more accurately define species limits, particularly for morphologically cryptic or variable species, and to understand the processes driving speciation. My research also explores the phylogenetic relationships of recently diverged species and how these relationships can aid in testing historical biogeographical hypotheses. My dissertation research focuses on defining species boundaries and studying the population genetics of the tropical tree, Bursera graveolens (palo santo), to better understand the evolutionary processes driving the formation of the dry forest biome in the Americas.

Contesso, Carlos
E-mail: 
ccontess@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: 
PhD Science track
Committee: 
T. Lovejoy (Chair), L. Talbot, D. Luther, C. Dove
Research Interest:
Connection between bushmeat and migratory birds.

Crandall, George (candidacy)
E-mail: gcranda1@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. C. Jones (Chair), R. Jonas, G. Manca, E. Zolnik, S. Lyle
Research Interest: Proposal: “Quantifying spatial data to assess flood events within the Ten Mile Watershed in Southeastern New York.”

Dahood-Fritz, Adrian (candidacy)
E-mail: adahoodf@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: K. de Mutsert (Chair), T. Lovejoy, L. Talbot,  G. Watters (NOAA)
Research Interest: I am interested in marine protected area (MPA) design and implementation in the Antarctic. Proposal: “Conserving Marine Biodiversity in the Antarctic Peninsula Region: Marine Protected Area Design and Policy Implications.”

Dee, Suzanne
E-mail: 
sdee@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: 
PhD Science track
Committee: 
C. Ahn (Chair)
Research Interest: 
Wetlands research that takes variation in climate into consideration and charts the actual development of selected mitigation banks, thus solidifying a working functional model using the minted mesocasm compound. “Development of Plant Community and Soil Properties in Mitigation Wetlands Created in VA Piedmont.

Dougan, Nathan (candidacy)
E-mail: ndougan@gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Patrick Gillevet (Chair), Chris Kennedy, Michael Slimak (EPA), Denise Akob (USGS)
Research Interest: Examining consumers’ perceptions of risk associated with the use of sub-therapeutic (grow-promoting) antibiotics in livestock agriculture and the factors that influence that perception.

Dudik, Catherine (candidacy)
E-mail: cmcdonab@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: K. Rowan (Chair), L. Talbot, S. Muir, F. Manheim
Research Interest: Natural resources management and environmental policies. Proposal: “Integrating the Technology Acceptance Model and Diffusion of Innovation: Factors Promoting Interest in Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy Technologies at Domestic Military Installations.”

Farinelli, Sarah
E-mail: sfarine1@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: L. Crerar (Chair)
Research Interest: Relevance and importance of implemented conservation actions for the Florida manatee.

Gentry, Katherine (candidacy)
E-mail: kgentry3@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: D. Luther, M. McKenne, L. Rockwood
Research Interest: Investigating how vehicular noise mitigation impacts acoustic communication in avifauna; conservation biology through wildlife and natural resource management.

Gleason, Christine (candidacy)
E-mail: cgleaso2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program:
PhD Science track
Committee: 
E. C. M. Parsons (Chair), C. Carlson, C. Kennedy, M. Park
Research Interest:
My research interest include marine mammal conservation and bridging the gap between education and research. I am particularly interested in the conservation awareness and attitudes of local stakeholders and whale watching tourists and how information collected from these groups can improve both land and boat based education programs. Proposal: “A Socio-economic and Management Evaluation of Whale-watching in Samana, Dominican Republic.”

Golden Kroner, Rachel E. (candidacy)
E-mail: rgolden6@gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: Thomas Lovejoy (Chair), Chris Kennedy, David Luther, Michael Mascia (Conservation International)
Research Interest: My research is concerned with the effectiveness of protected areas and other area-based conservation interventions in terms of their ability to conserve forest habitats and biodiversity. I am documenting patterns, trends, causes, and impacts of protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD) and oil development in the western Amazon rainforest ecosystem. With this work I aim to provide management and policy recommendations to inform conservation practice.

Graves, Sonya (candidacy)
E-mail: sgraves3@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: P. Gillevet (Chair), L. Rockwood, A. Laemmerzahl, D. Enorris
Research Interest: Marine contaminants and parasites found in marine mammals. Proposal: “Variation of Borrellia Birgdprferi Infections in the White-Footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) in Fairfax County, Virginia.”

Grayson, Treda 
E-mail: tgrayson@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Kim de Mutsert (Chair), Greg Foster, Chris Parsons, Brandon Jones (NSF)
Research Interest: My dissertation examines the response patterns of benthic macroinvertebrates to stressors in the Chesapeake Bay. Benthic macroinvertebrates are widely used and accepted as reliable indicators of the estuarine biological environment, as they are integrators of biological and physical events in the sediments and the overlying water column. I am utilizing a multitude of physical, chemical and biological data from the Chesapeake Bay to determine general and specific stressor-response patterns and environmental tolerance groups that can be used to provide resource managers with useful information to better manage, protect, and restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Griffiths, Brian
E-mail: bgriffi7@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Michael Gilmore (Chair), Susan Crate, Mark Bowler (San Diego Zoo)
Research Interest: Conservation biology and ecosystem management; analysis of the sustainability of subsistence hunting of mammals by indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon.

Groover, Richard (candidacy)
E-mail: rgroover@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. C. Jones (Chair), R. Forkner, L. Rockwood, N. Waters
Research Interest: My research interests primarially focus on dragonflies, mostly their natural history and behavior. Additonally I am researching their dispersal to new or re-constructed lentic habitats. Proposal: “Temporal and Spatial Aspects of Colonization and Re-Colonization of Lentic habitats by Anisoptera.”

Hall, Natalie
E-mail:
nhall5@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: 
PhD Science track
Committee: 
R. C. Jones (Chair), R. Jonas, P. Gillevet, D. Hogan
Research Interest: 
Natural resources management – effectiveness of methodologies with the aim of exporting their successful methods to the private sector while finding ways to improve upon these elements that have been less successful.

Hoffman, Sara (candidacy)
E-mail: shoffma2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: T. Conlan (Chair), L. Rockwood, G. Birchard, P. Posner
Research Interest: Evaluation of EPA’s compliance monitoring program by analyzing additional inspection data, media-specific program data, and EPA budget information pertaining to the Government Performance and Results Act. Compliance monitoring programs and procedures. Government Performance and Results Act. Proposal: “Understanding Performance Management: Evaluating the Environmental Protection Agency’s Compliance Monitoring Program.”

Howard, Susan 
E-mail: showar16@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: A. Aguirre (Chair)
Research Interest: “Wildlife veterinary and conservation medicine:  interested in increasing communication and collaboration across human, animal and environmental disciplines through a OneHealth approach.”

Jacobs, Peter
Email: pjacobs4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: K. deMutsert (Chair)
Research Interest: “Effects of Climate Change on Nekton Distribution in North Atlantic Using Ecosystem Models: Climate Model and Paleoclimate-derived Temperature Simulations Compared.”

Johnson, Amy (candidacy)
E-mail: ajohns17@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: David Luther (Chair), Thomas Lovejoy, Elizabeth Freeman, William McShea (SCBI), Scott Sillett (SCBI)
Research Interest: Grassland bird community ecology in working agricultural landscapes; full annual cycle research; citizen science; biodiversity monitoring; occupancy modeling; native warm season grass restoration; impacts of land management on grassland ecosystems.

Jukar, Advait  (candidacy)
E-mail: ajukar@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Mark D. Uhen (Chair), Thomas E. Lovejoy, Stacey Verardo, S. Kathleen Lyons (University of Nebraska)
Research Interest: The dynamics of mammal communities during intervals of climate change. I am investigating how mammal communities in North America, and South Asia have changed in response to late Neogene and Quaternary climate change.

Karamat, Ayesha 
E-mail: akaramat@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: M. Houck (Chair)
Research Interest: Effect of hydrogel on various textures of soil and plants.

Kearns, Cynthia (candidacy)
E-mail: ckearns2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: J. Nord (Chair), G. Foster, J. Singleton, M. Wise
Research Interest: Proposal: “The Mineralogy, Petrology, Structure, and Origin of the Henryton Pegmatite, Patapsco Valley State Park, Carroll County, Maryland.”

Kester, Marieke (candidacy)
E-mail:
mkester2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Larry Rockwood (Chair), Nucharin Songsasen (SCBI), Elizabeth Freeman, Tom Huff
Research Interest: In general, I am interested in how mammals communicate about reproduction and how to study wildlife using non-invasive techniques. For my dissertation, I am studying chemical communication in the maned wolf, a canid endemic to South America. This species is thought to be an induced ovulator meaning that the presence of a male is required for the female to ovulate. Through chemical, behavioral, and hormonal studies I am assessing whether the mechanism of ovulation induction is via chemical cues contained in the male urine. Proposal: “Reproductive Semiochemicals in the Maned Wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus.” In my spare time, I assist with statistical analyses on various faculty and graduate student projects.

Klocke, Blake
E-mail: bklocke@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: A. Aguirre (Chair), L. Rockwood, B. Gratwicke, S. Nix, A. Laemmerzahl
Research Interest: Conserving amphibian biodiversity, particularly species affected by the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).

Korol, Alicia (candidacy)
E-mail:
akorol@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: C. Ahn (Chair), K. de Mutsert, Y. Kim, G. Noe (USGS)
Research Interest: Nitrogen biogeochemistry in wetland and floodplain ecosystems, with a focus on large-scale controls of the microbial process of denitrification at large scales across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

LaCivita, Lisa (candidacy)
E-mail: llacivit@gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: Thomas E. Lovejoy (Chair), Lee Merriam Talbot, R. Christian Jones & K. Bruce Jones (U.S.G.S. & D.R.I., retired)
Research Interest: Water resources, aquatic ecosystems, sustainable development, ecosystem services and citizen science. My dissertation research involves county-wide amphibian monitoring as a proxy for water quality, watershed condition and ecosystem services.

LaDue, Chase
E-mail: cladue@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: E. Freeman (Chair)
Research Interest: Conservation behavior and endocrinology. I am interested in using complementary studies of wild and captive elephants to promote in-situ and ex-situ sustainability. Additionally, I enjoy working with captive elephant managers to conduct projects that inform welfare-based management decisions.

Lewis, Jennifer
E-mail: jlewis33@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Alonso Aguirre (Chair)
Research Interest: Use of storytelling through film for conservation messaging.

Livermore, Mike
E-mail: mlivermo@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: A. Crooks (Chair)
Research Interest: Modeling and sustainability, including its economic ecological and social strands; modeling of different facets of sustainability encapsulating the state of the earth’s ecosystems, as well as social complexities of human development and management.

Madari, Usha
E-mail: ushakiranmadari@yahoo.com
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: S. Crate (Chair)
Research Interest: Water management; sustainability living philosophy and climate change research.

Madeo, Bronwyn
E-mail: bmadeo1@gmail.com
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: C. Kennedy (Chair)
Research Interest: Biotic modeling; applying socioeconomic questions; summer flounder distribution change and how it affects recreational fishery.

Mangukiya, Rupal
E-mail: rupalmangukiya@gmail.com
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: D. Sklarew (Chair)
Research Interest: Sustainability science, watershed, climate change; finding sustainable ways to harness energy and store water; mitigate climate change issues at the watershed level; sustainable development for local communities; watershed management; finding fresh and clean drinking water availability throughout the world. 

Marshall McLean, Kim (candidacy)
E-mail: kimmarshall66@yahoo.comkmarsh10@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: E. C. M. Parsons (chair), M. Ginsberg, S. Haines, D. Sklarew
Research Interest: Proposal: “Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Environmental Education: A Model for Pre-K-5 Environmental Education in Public Schools.”

McBride, Sean
E-mail: smcbrid1@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: M. Houck (Chair)
Research Interest: Sustainable Energy

McCoskey, Dana
E-mail: dmccoske@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: P. Gillevet (Chair), R. Forkner
Research Interest: Proposal: “Investigating Tropic Linkages for a Neotropical Migratory Bird: Molecular Identification of Food Items and Validation of Protocol for Molecular Studies of Avian Diets”

Montano, Serenity
E-mail: smontan3@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Thomas Lovejoy (Chair), Alonso Aguirre, Larry Rockwood, W. John Kress (Smithsonian), Compton J. Tucker (NASA), Patricia C. Wright (Stony Brook University)
Research Interest: My conservation goal is to preserve Ivohibory Forest in Madagascar applying a uniquely complementary skill set, combining mastery of GIS and remote sensing with practical experience in genomics, genetics, botany, and taxonomy. My research goals are to study the ecosystem dynamics and diversity of Ivohibory Forest through biological census and DNA barcoding, to study the evolution of local mutualisms through genomics and genetics studies of Traveler’s Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis) and fecal genotyping of lemurs (Superfamily Lemuroidea), and to facilitate genomic conservation of forest biological diversity, as a demonstration of the effectiveness of this integrated approach to community-supported long-term conservation.

Moskey, Kristyn
E-mail: kmoskey@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. Chris Jones (Chair), Chris Parsons, Lee Talbot, David Allen
Research Interest: Freshwater ecology; limnology; impact of mixing depth, seasonal and secondary thermoclines of various spatiotemporal scales on phytoplankton growth in freshwater lakes.

Oester, Samantha (candidacy)
E-mail: soester@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: E.C.M. Parsons (Chair), C. Ahn, A. Fuertes, K. de Mutsert
Research Interest: Proposal: Marine conservation; coastal ecology; aquatic microbiology; food security; poverty and human health in relation to the environment; modeling. Studying these factors in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, to develop a model of treatments that can be applied to improve aquatic and coastal environments given available resources. Starting new aquatic science programs with Haitian Universities, mentoring university students, and introducing citizen science mangrove and freshwater projects. Also currently studying issues of diversity within science conferences, professional societies, and STEM careers.

Parker, Lillian (candidacy)
E-mail: lparke12@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: L. Rockwood (Chair), J. Maldonado, K. Helgen, A. Weeks, D. Luther
Research Interest: Mammalogy; molecular biology; develop and apply concepts, theories, tools, and models to contribute to halting biodiversity loss and managing species and habitats; using next generation sequencing techniques to develop a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism to inform conservation strategies for the endangered howler monkey.

Pelli, Marco
E-mail: mpelli@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: T. Lovejoy (Chair)
Research Interest: Climate Change and Deforestation on Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

Peredo, Carlos
Email:  cperedo@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program:  PhD Science track
Committee:  M. Uhen (Chair)
Research Interest:  Studying the evolutionary transitions surrounding the loss of teeth and the evolution of baleen in mysticete cetaceans. This work incorporates research spanning paleontology, genetics, molecular biology, histology, gross anatomy, and evolutionary development in order to place this pivotal transition point in the proper geological and evolutionary context as a means to better understand the biological diversity represented by mysticetes.

Peters, Doreen
E-mail: dpeter20@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: D. Sklarew (Chair)
Research Interest: Ecological impacts of marine debris.

Petru, Brad
Email:  bradleypetru@gmail.com
Program:  PhD Science track
Committee:  C. Ahn (chair)
Research Interest:  Proposal: “Impact of Construction Practices on Soil Properties and Water Budget Prediction in Created Mitigation Wetlands.” Wetland and stream regulatory policy (delineation, perennial flow determination, resource protection buffers, permitting), and the design and construction oversight of wetlands and stream mitigation and restoration projects.

Poudel, Sujata (Suzee)
E-mail: spoudel4@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R.C. Jones (Chair)
Research Interest: Performing research work relating to restoring and protecting the Potomac River and its tributaries.

Ransom, Joseph Neil
E-mail:
jransom@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: S. Crate (Chair)
Research Interest: Climate change adaptation, sustainable development, informal economies, fuel-efficient cookstoves, appropriate technology, local innovation.

Razafinjatovo, Paul Philippe (candidacy)
E-mail:
prazafin@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: E.C.M. Parsons (Chair), S. Troeng, T. Lovejoy, K. de Mutsert
Research Interest: My research interests extend across marine conservation, fisheries, marine spatial planning and other uses of the marine environment, including maritime transportation and ocean energy. I am particularly interested in the provision of effective management that ensures sustainable economic development and protection of the marine environment. Conflicts among ocean users, loss of economic opportunities and degradation of the marine environment result from lack of effective management ant policy. My research studies the needs of the different marine related activities and the search for harmonized cohabitation of such activities in a healthy marine environment. Proposal: “Establish Marine Spatial Planning in Madagascar, Drawing Lessons from Experience in the U.S. and Europe”

Reck, Kristen
E-mail:
kreck2@gmu.edu
Program:
PhD Science track
Committee:
R. Chris Jones (Chair), Patrick Gillevet, Albert Torzilli, Hong Yin (Alexandria Renew Enterprises)
Research Interest:
I study the microbial communities in the sediment of Hunting Creek, which is the receiving water for the Alexandria Renew wastewater treatment and reclamation plant. I seek to identify changes in microbial community in response to treatment changes within the plant.

Richards, Ryan Clark (candidacy)
E-mail: rricha10@gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: C.  Kennedy (Chair), F.  Dallmeier (SCBI), T.  Lovejoy, R. Petrie
Research Interest: How social and economic factors influence individual participation in payments for ecosystem services programs, and in the potential of experimental and quasi-experimental methods to inform design of conservation programs, with a current geographic focus on the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Proposal:  “Cost Effectiveness of Conservation Investments in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest:  Using Choice Experiments to Inform Incentive Design.”

Riggleman, Drew
E-mail: arigglem@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee:  E. Peters (Chair)
Research Interest:  Finding a link between potential microbial pathogens and the tissue damage reported with corals using histopathological microbiological techniques.

Roberts, Jessica
E-mail: jrober43@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee:  D. Luther (Chair)
Research Interest: I am researching the effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction of threatened and endangered species back into the wild. I am exploring the overall value of these programs in terms of restoring and increasing vertebrate population sizes. A major part of this research is looking into whether behavior-based management implemented during the rearing process is having a positive effect on individual survivorship. The second part of my research will focus on endangered avian species reintroduction and the impact of specific behavioral-based management techniques, such as anti-predator training and puppet-rearing, on survivorship.

Robillard, Alexander
E-mail: arobill@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Patrick Gillevet (Chair), Alonso Aguirre
Research Interest: My studies are focused on the genetic structure of sea turtle populations in the Baja California and Baja California Sur region of Mexico. I am also investigating methods of science communication utilizing virtual reality.

Rohring, Bill
E-mail:
 wrohring@masonlive.gmu.edu  or   br.eimg@gmail.com
Program:
PhD Policy track
Committee:
S. Crate (Chair)
Research Interest: 
Sustainable development of natural resources, protection of ecosystem functions and reduction of climate change impacts in the US Virgin Islands; study why governments in rural coastal counties in the Mid-Atlantic are not adequately planning for the impacts of climate change.

Roland, Adele (candidacy)
E-mail: aroland@gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: E. C. M. Parsons (Chair), B. Klinger, K. Wage, A. Wright
Research Interest: Impacts of soundscapes on minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) behavior and energetics.

Romano, Elizabeth Nohelty
E-mail:
enohelty@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: A. Baranova (Chair), A. Birerdinc, C. Frankenfeld, E. C. M. Parsons
Research Interest: C. elegans as a model to determine the molecular effects of plausible environmental determinants of breast cancer

Romulo, Chelsie (candidacy)
E-mail:
cromulo@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Michael Gilmore (co-Chair), Francisco Dallmeier (co-Chair; Smithsonian Institution), Christopher Kennedy, Barry Haack, Bryan Endress
Research Interest: Conservation, management, and economic analysis of the non-timber forest product Mauritia flexuosa (aguaje) fruit in the Peruvian Amazon.

Sandler, Kenneth (candidacy)
E-mail: ksandler@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. Jonas (Chair), S. deMonsabert, D. Hart, D. Kreis
Research Interest: Sustainability; defining the field of macro-sustainability interconnectedness.

Schmidt, Stephanie
E-mail: sschmi11@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee:  D. Sklarew (Chair)
Research Interest: Drawn to research in conservation that utilizes both molecular and ecological techniques to understand the dynamics of habitat loss, species extinction, and the potential for evolutionary rescue which is highly applicable to spatial analysis and mathematical modeling. Hopes to analyze the interactions between microbial communities and environmental systems by studying ecology from a microbial perspective.

Schreffler, Lisa (candidacy)
E-mail:
lschreff@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: D. Luther (Chair), C. Parsons, L. Rockwood, T. Wood
Research Interest: Conservation biology and avian behavioral ecology; interested in researching differences between Atlantic and Eastern subspecies of the song sparrow; focus on conservation threats to Atlantic subspecies.

Shaffer, Deborah (candidacy)
E-mail:
shaffer.debbie@gmail.com
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: L. Rockwood (Chair), P. Gillevet, A. Laemmerzahl, R. Eckerlin
Research Interest: Proposal: “Population Structure of the Red Spotted Newt (Notophtalmus Viridescens Viridescens) in VA”

Siegel, Danielle (Tovah)
E-mail: tsiegel2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: T. Lovejoy (Chair)
Research Interest: Conservation of biologically diverse hot spots in developing countries, which are integral to the health of the global environment. Focus in environmental science and conduct research on habitat fragmentation in the Amazon.

Smith, Elizabeth Striano
E-mail:
estriano@gmail.comesmith11@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: R. C. Jones (Chair), D. Sklarew, N. Rybacki, K. de Mutsert
Research Interest: Sustainability and water issues; carbon dioxide trading and deregulation; decentralized water treatment; effects of endocrine disrupting compounds on human and environmental health, nutrient removal from waste water, and impacts of storm water pollution.

Solovyeva, Vera (candidacy)
E-mail:
vsolovye@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: S. Crate (Chair), L. Rockwood, M. Goodale, T. LaPorte
Research Interest: Proposal:  “Understanding Climate-driven Pheonological Change – Observations, Adaptations, and Cultural Implications in Northeast Siberia and Labrader/Nunatsjavut, Sakha Diaspora”

Tay, Derric (candidacy)
E-mail:
dtay@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Policy track
Committee: T. Lovejoy (Chair), T. LaPorte, J. Qu, D. Sklarew
Research Interest: Climate change; carbon regulation and energy; interest in climate modeling and forecasting to wind and solar energy technology to carbon sequestration; implementation of policy; anthropogenic global warming.

Tracy, Sean (candidacy)
E-mail:
stracy1@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: E. C. M. Parsons (Chair), D. Sklarew, E. Peters-Burton, T. Coles
Research Interest: Proposal:  “Environmental Attitudes and Conservation Education:  The Role of Gender, nationality, Value Systems, and Group Dynamics.”

Tsuchiya, Mirian (candidacy)
Email: mtsuchiy@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: L. Rockwood (Chair), J. Maldonado, K. Helgen. A. Weeks, N. Waters
Research Interest: Proposal:  “Taxonomic Review and Evolutionary History of Procyonidae (Mammalia, Carnivora):  Integrating Morphology, Genomics, and Biogeography.”

Van Dexter, Kristina
Email:  kristinavandexter@gmail.com
Program:  PhD Policy track
Committee:  I. Visseren-Hamakers (Chair)
Research Interest:  Natural Resources Management; REDD; Landscape governance to provide a framework for analysis and scope to address complex multi-scale, multi-level problems related to natural resource management; improve the understanding of interconnected institutional and governance systems at multiple scales that contribute to land use change.

Walker, Nicholas
E-mail:
nwalker3@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: A. A. Aguirre (Chair)
Research Interest: Biology and conservation; molecular systematics; animal biology; interested in studying native freshwater fish populations using cytogenetics, mtDNA and morphology; Proposal: “Cytogenetic and molecular characterizations on two populations of minnows in Sao Bartolomeu Creek, Minas Gervais State, Brazil.”

Walsh-Thomas, Jenell
E-mail:
jwalshth@masonlive.gmu.edu
Program: PhD Science track
Committee: Ed Maibach (Chair), Chris Parsons, Kathy Rowan, Erin Peters-Burton
Research Interest: My research interests include a combination of science and policy, focused specifically on how scientists can better disseminate research on anthropogenic climate change to improve the public’s understanding and the application of the science by decision makers. Towards developing these interests my dissertation research is focused on the usage of metaphors in climate change communication as an explanatory tool. During my doctoral studies I coordinated the Center for Climate Change Communication with the National Park Service Partnership, where I mentored undergraduates and graduate student interns. Currently I am a graduate research assistant in the Office of the Provost.

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