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PhD Research

Students in the Bren School PhD in Environmental Science and Management program develop broad and specialized knowledge, analytical powers, technical skills, and creative thinking to become leaders in environmental science and management. 

The Bren School's interdisciplinary foundation also bolsters the PhD program, reflecting the fact that environmental problem solving frequently requires collaboration and innovation across multiple disciplines. Whether focused on natural sciences, economics, policy, digital data and modeling, communication, or some combination, the work of Bren PhD students is a balance of research and application. With the knowledge and skills acquired here, Bren PhD graduates pursue careers in academia, research, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and business.

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Current PhD Research

Updated in 2023

Gabriela Alberola 
Impacts of corruption on environmental management in Latin America; watershed management and policy; environmental politics in Latin America

Bonnie Basnett
Small-scale fisheries, fisheries management, marine ecology, conservation

Linus Blomqvist 
Land use, conservation, agricultural economics

Kaili Brande 
Landscape ecology, plant ecology, population dynamics, climate change

James Cunningham
Ecosystem services, land use, climate change, data science, environmental policy

Sadie Cwikiel
Climate change, marine ecology, oceanography, fisheries

Gemma Del Rossi 
Ecosystem services, food-energy-water systems, environmental and agricultural economics

Sean Denny 
Wildlife ecology and conservation; human-wildlife conflict; illegal wildlife trade; livelihoods; sustainable use

Nakoa Farrant
Food security in island communities, integrated agriculture and aquaculture systems, and bioculture resource management

Patricia Faundez
Marine conservation and planning

Lesley Figueroa
Marine Ecology; Marine Conservation; Resilience

Elliott Finn
Investigating interactions between legislators and grassroots ecosystem management organizations through environmental politics, public policy and collaborative management

Kelly Garvey 
Groundwater, data science, water law and policy

Louis Graup
Climate change, ecohydrology, environmental modeling, wildfire impacts, water resources

Speaker at podium making a presentation

Nathan Grimes
Ocean conservation, sustainable fisheries

Annette Hilton
Groundwater quantity, groundwater quality, water resource management

Liviu Iancu
Biogeochemistry, soil microbial ecology, nutrient cycles, climate change, climate change policy

Polycarp Komakech
Citizen involvement, coproduction of public service delivery, public administration and democratization in the context of emerging democracies dealing with environmental challenges.

Julia Lawson
Data-poor fisheries; multilateral environmental agreements

Brian Lee
Spatial ecology, remote sensing, land-use change, deforestation

Cori Lopazanski
Marine ecology, fisheries, resource management

Shay Magahey
Climate modeling, El Nino/Southern Oscillation, climate change, physical oceanography

Flavio Malagutti
Environmental economics, development economics, and field experiments

Trace Martin
Microbiological water quality, microbial source tracking, water and wastewater treatment, water resources

Jamie Miller
Coastal dune and beach ecology, restoration, wildlife conservation

Michelle Mohr
forest ecology, dendrochronology, climate change

Nicol Parker
Nanomaterials, pesticides, fate and transport, risk, contaminant release

Sophie Pesek
Environmental economics, remote sensing, machine learning, climate impacts and adaptation

Woman smiling in front of research poster

Phoebe Racine
Aquaculture sustainability, mariculture, marine spatial planning

Maria Ignacia Rivera
Cooperation in common-pool resources; small-scale fisheries management

Ojas Sarup
Eco-hydrology, watersheds, riparian ecosystems, socio-ecological systems

Zoe Sims
Agriculture, nutrient cycling, tropical ecology, environmental policy

Liliana Sierra Castillo
Small-scale fisheries, fisheries stock assessment, fish ecology, ecological data analysis

Grace (Sloane) Stephenson
data science, fire ecology, wildfire resiliency, climate change

Sandy Sum
Agriculture systems, natural resources, applied econometrics

Sebastian Tapia
Small-scale fisheries management; adaptive capacity; resilience

Rachel Torres
Environmental modeling, hydrology, climate change

Wen Tien Wang 
Energy policy, energy transition, air quality

Jaenna Wessling
Industrial ecology, sustainability of apparel, life-cycle assessment

Stephen Whitaker
Marine ecology, restoration ecology, and climate change

Haozhe Yang
Air pollution, climate change and life cycle assessment

José Zenteno
Coastal aquaculture, marine ecology, vulnerability, marine spatial planning

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