Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellows

2015-2016 Fellows

Portrait: Abhirup DattaAbhirup Datta
Abhirup is developing scalable statistical models for creating global maps of plant traits like leaf area, nitrogen content etc. at individual plants, canopy and ecosystem level. These multi-resolution maps will be constructed based on the spatial dependence between plant traits and environmental variables like weather and soil characteristics and will lead to better understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems are adapting in the face of biodiversity loss and global change.

Portrait: Jon CzubaJon Czuba
Jon’s research aims to integrate the complex interactions between physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring on a river network by simplifying the underlying processes to time delays and transformations on a network. Thus far, Jon has primarily focused on sediment but is in the process of extending his work to nutrients. The result is a first-order, watershed-scale framework capable of identifying emergent hotspots of change for guiding sustainable landscape management.

2014-2015 Fellows

Portrait: John BeriniJohn Berini
John’s current research focuses on the effects of climate change on the nutritional ecology, habitat-use behavior, and demographics of moose in northeastern Minnesota. Specifically, he is investigating the phytochemical response of important forage species to increasing temperatures, and how these changes may be impacting animal movement, individual body condition, and ultimately, population-wide demographic trends.

Portrait: Majory SilisyeneMajory Silisyene
Majory’s dissertation focuses on understanding informed decision making on natural resources management. Specifically, her research is testing the impacts of two innovative environmental education strategies in rural areas of Tanzania – the use of text messaging and satellite imagery as environmental education tools.

2013-2014 Fellows

Portrait: Amanda StemigAmanda Stemig
Stemig is researching the role of nanoparticle accessible surface area in the degradation of environmental pollutants, with an emphasis on pesticides, in simulated groundwater systems.


Portrait: Suhyun JungSuhyun Jung
Jung’s research investigates the role of agricultural multinationals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help mitigate deforestation and improve provisioning of ecosystem services in the Brazilian Amazon.


Portrait: Mohamed YakubMohamed Yakub
Yakub is focusing on understanding plant evolutionary responses to environmental change, to identify whether adaptation to complex environments is ongoing or are other evolutionary forces stronger.


2012-2013 Fellows

Bridget Henning
Henning is combining economics, geography, cultural anthropology and ecosystem science to investigate the socioeconomic impact of scientific research on tribal landowners who face choices between preservation and logging royalties.

2011-2012 Fellows

William Eddy
Eddy’s research will examine how much CO2 boreal forests will release to the atmoshpere under different scenarios of warming, disturbance and management and provide this information to stakeholders in a relevant form.

Moana Mcclellan
McClellan is intrigued by the links between society and environment, which serve as the umbrella under which she guides her research questions. More specifically, she is interested in how forest ecology and forest ecosystem services are affected by human decisions.

Josh Quinnell
Quinnell’s interests include distributed solar energy, building efficiency, energy conservation and sustainable development. He is currently working on compact, long-term thermochemical energy storage for residential solar thermal applications. Previously, Josh helped design and model the University of Minnesota’s 2009 Solar Decathlon ICON house.

2010-2011 Fellows

Brandon Jay Hathaway
Hathaway’s research aims to develop and advance technology for the sustainable production of synthesis gas via solar thermochemical gasification of cellulosic biomass and carbonaceous waste materials.

Bonnie Keeler
Bonnie Keeler studied the assessment and valuation of ecosystem services, with a focus on water quality in agricultural landscapes.

Joey Reid
Joey Reid experimentally manipulated rainfall and mycorrhizal fungi to determine how changing rainfall patterns affect nitrogen runoff. He also analyzed long-term precipitation and stream nitrogen records to identify the relationship between precipitation variability and nitrogen fluxes.

2009-2010 Fellows

David Bael
Bael’s research straddles the disciplines of economics and ecology. For his Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship he will examine ecological regime shifts and restoration decisions to rehabilitate ecosystem services and will look at the dynamic reserve site selection problem to conserve biodiversity.

Vamsi Ganti
Ganti’s research is to challenge existing thinking by putting forward a new calss of tranport models able to account for the extreme heterogeneity of the involved processes over a large range of scales, consider the presence of extreme fluctuations due to flood and debris floes and the spatial heterogeneity of landscapes which affets sediment storage, release and delivery.

Julia Haltiwanger
Haltiwanger’s research will explore the technical, economic and political viability of the high temperature Zn/ZnO thermochemical water-splitting cycle, a new approch for the efficient harvest and storage of solar energy.