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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 2020

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

Linus Blomqvist 
Land use, conservation, agricultural economics

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

Will Burke 
Hydrology, water resources, climate change impacts, spatial-temporal variability of fire dynamics

Sam Collie 
Agriculture and natural-resource economics; wilderness management

Jessica Couture 
Aquaculture/mariculture, fisheries interactions, feeds, data science

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

Violaine Desgens-Martin
Marine biology; aquatic toxicology; fate, transport, and effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in marine environments

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

Patricia Faundez
Marine conservation and planning

Marina Feraud
Stormwater pollution, green infrastructure, heavy metals, nitrogen cycling 

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

Qian Gao
Application of magnetic material and nanotechnology for water quality improvement

Albert Garcia
Environmental and natural resource economics; land-use; wilderness conservation

Jacob Gellman
Environmental and natural resource economics, urban economics

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

Speaker at podium making a presentation

Niklas Griessbaum
Environmental informatics

Nathan Grimes
Ocean conservation, sustainable fisheries

Christopher Heckman
Climate change, eco-hydrology, water resource management, computer modeling

Annette Hilton
Groundwater quantity, groundwater quality, water resource management

Patrick Hunnicutt
Political science and sustainable hydroelectric resources development models

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

Timnit Kefela
Micropollution, microfiber pollution, plastic pollution, nanomaterial impacts on the environment

Seonghoon Kim
Corporate environmental strategy, business sustainability, and organizations and the natural environment

Julia Lawson
Data-poor fisheries; multilateral environmental agreements

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

Alice Lépissier
Tropical deforestation, illicit financial flows, climate change policies, market-driven environmental governance, quantitative methods

Cori Lopazanski
Marine ecology, fisheries, resource management

Jason Maier
Industrial ecology, life-cycle assessment, environmental economics, consumer behavior

Flavio Malagutti
Environmental economics, development economics, and field experiments

Casey O'Hara
Marine biodiversity conservation, equity and cooperation in marine resource management

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

Woman smiling in front of research poster

Yang Qui
Development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, application of LCA in material recycling and bio-energy systems

Phoebe Racine
Aquaculture sustainability, mariculture, marine spatial planning

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

Jade Sainz
Marine aquaculture, marine spatial planning, climate variability, climate change, sustainable seafood

Karnamadakala Rahul Sharma
Organization studies and public management; knowledge networks and capacity building; local governance; energy; waste management; sustainable development in developing countries

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

Sandy Sum
Agriculture systems, natural resources, applied econometrics

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

Vincent Thivierge
Environmental and natural resource economics, energy economics and applied econometrics

Rachel Torres
Environmental modeling, hydrology, climate change

Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez
Marine ecology, marine reserve science, ecological modeling, and marine data science

Stephen Whitaker
Marine ecology, restoration ecology, and climate change

Molly Wilson
Small-scale fisheries, coral reef ecology, social-ecological systems

Erin Winslow
Restoration ecology and understanding drivers of coral reef resilience in French Polynesia

Haozhe Yang
Air pollution, climate change and life cycle assessment

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

Jiajia Zheng
Industrial ecology, life cycle assessment, climate change mitigation

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