Dr. Kate Tully is an Associate Professor of Agroecology at the University of Maryland in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. She received her MS and PhD in Ecology from the University of Virginia. Broadly, her research explores the intersection of agriculture and ecology, with the over-arching goal of improving our agricultural systems to sustainably provide food along with other ecosystem services. She examines how to manage farming systems so they both adapt to and mitigate climate change. Her previous research focused on the agroecology coffee agroforests of Costa Rica and mixed maize farms in both Kenya and Tanzania. Currently, Kate’s research focuses on how to manage agricultural systems for both food production and soil health. She works on issues related to sea level rise and saltwater intrusion in coastal Maryland farmlands as well as a national program to manage cover crops for improved agronomic and environmental outcomes. Kate is also the Farm Manager and Community Coordinator of the Columbia Heights Green, a 1/4 acre urban farm located in northwest Washington, DC.
Resham is a PhD student in the Agroecology Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. He grew up in a rural farm in Nepal helping his parents. With his fascination towards agriculture, he joined Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 2013. During his bachelor’s degree, he received the prestigious Dr. Karnam Lokanadhan Award (Gold Medal) and ACCOSA Award for Academic Excellence (Silver Medal). Resham earned his master’s degree in Soil Science in 2016 from North Dakota State University. During his master’s degree, he was involved in multiple projects focused on soil fertility and salinity issues in North Dakota. He has received the most prestigious International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) scholar award, Environmental Quality Outstanding Graduate Student Award, and Roy A. Erickson scholarship in 2015. As a doctoral student, he will study the impacts of various cover crops on soil water and nitrogen dynamics on a research farm at USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). Resham will be co-advised by Dr. Kate Tully at UMD and Dr. Steven Mirsky at BARC-USDA.
Cara Peterson is a Masters student in the Agroecology Lab at the University of Maryland, and conducts her research with the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab (SASL) at the USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. She is co-advised by Dr. Kate Tully at UMD and Dr. Steven Mirsky at the USDA. Her interest in agriculture stemmed from studying agricultural development and community environmental management projects in sub-Saharan Africa while an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill and working on diversified vegetable farms in the U.S. In her graduate work, she is interested in the scaling of pieces of small-scale sustainable farming methods to large-scale, mechanized cropping systems in the U.S. Her work at UMD will explore the potential of interseeding cover crops into short-season soybeans preceding a corn rotation.
Morgan Gallagher is a Masters student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Agroecology Lab at the University of Maryland. She received her BS in Environmental Sciences and BA in French from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) in 2019 where she studied methane and carbon dioxide in freshwaters. Upon graduating she spent time in Lyon, France as a Fulbright grantee investigating greenhouse gas dynamics in intermittent streams. She is broadly interested in global change ecology and is excited to work on saltwater intrusion in Maryland. When she is not science-ing, you can find her on her road bike or out hiking in the Appalachian Mountains.
Helen received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Lynchburg in 2017. Part of her undergraduate career was spent studying freshwater streams in Costa Rica, assisting Dr. Tom Shahady develop a simple, low-cost water quality index for community use in that region. Helen's upbringing in rural northern Maryland combined with her research experience in Costa Rica inspired her to pursue a career in agroecology. She will be contributing to the research of Dr. Kate Tully of UMD and Dr. Steven Mirsky of the USDA in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab (SASL) at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. She will be monitoring cover crop systems to assess their long- and short-term benefits for overall crop production.
Alison Schulenburg is a Masters student in Dr. Kate Tully’s Agroecology Lab at the University of Maryland. She earned her B.S. in Genetics and Genomics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she researched potato physiology with Paul Bethke. She studied Potato Virus Y, plant breeding for haploid production, and the effects of heat on sugar concentrations of Wisconsin potatoes. Her interest in agriculture and environmental science grew as she interned with Wisconsin Environment, studying microplastics in Madison waterways for the Wildlife Over Waste campaign. In her graduate work at UMD, she will explore saltwater intrusion in coastal ecosystems by studying the nutrient concentrations and plant behaviors of affected crops.
Dr. Dani Weissman finished her PhD with Dr. Kate Tully in May 2020. She is staying on as a postdoc in the Agroecology Lab to work on conservation strategies for saltwater-intruded agricultural fields. Her dissertation research addressed the relationship between legacy nutrient release and salt water intrusion in coastal salt marshes. She combines a data synthesis approach with field and laboratory studies in order to develop a better picture of water quality trends in this human-altered system and to tease apart the biogeochemical mechanisms of nutrient release. The overall goal of her research is to provide relevant information to policy-makers for the revision of best management practices.
Victoria Ackroyd is a post-doctoral mentee of Dr. Kate Tully in the Agroecology Lab. She is also a Visiting Scientist and Post-doctoral Researcher in Dr. Steven Mirsky’s lab at USDA-ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Victoria majored in Environmental Horticulture and minored in Business Administration at the University of Florida, where she earned her B.S. in 2008. She shifted focus from ornamental horticulture to the use of cover crops in fruit and vegetable production and earned an M.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 2010. Victoria recently completed her PhD at Michigan State University, where she evaluated cover crop use in agronomic systems. Victoria has maintained an interest in sustainable agriculture throughout her collegiate career, and is currently working to promote cover crop adoption in the Northeast.
Zhuangji ("Z") Wang is a post-doc of Dr. Kate Tully in the Agroecology Lab at University of Maryland, College Park and a visiting scientist in the Adaptive Cropping System Laboratory at USDA-ARS, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. Z grew up from a metropolitan area in China, but somehow fell in love with agriculture in his twenties. Z earned his B.S. in 2012 at China Agricultural University, majored in resource and environmental science. After that, he travelled across the world and obtained his M.S. and PhD in 2015 and 2017 at Iowa State University, with major in soil science (soil physics) and minors in applied mathematics (PhD) and statistics (M.S.). Z’s research interests including soil moisture sensor development and data interpretation, numerical simulations of water and energy movements across the soil-plant-atmosphere system, and digital image restoration with adaptive filters. Z is currently working on the developments of soil surface runoff, diffusive root growth and surface coupled water and heat movements modules within MIAZSIM-2DSOIL software, and the developments of piecewise inverse analysis of measured TDR waveforms.
Field and Lab Manager
Aubrey Wiechecki is the research technician on the saltwater intrusion project in the Agroecology lab. A recent UMD graduate, she worked in the Agroecology lab as an undergraduate intern since 2017. She majored in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Soil, Water, and Land Resources. She is from Wilmington, DE and is active on campus as a member of the Maryland Shakespeare Players. She was on UMD’s Soil Judging team, which won the National Championship in the Fall of 2019!
Anna Raffeld is currently a Master of Environmental Management student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and has a bachelors degree in Environmental Science from Brown University. Her studies at Yale focus on the intersection of agriculture, restoration, and climate change mitigation. She will be studying saltwater intrusion with Dr. Tully this summer. Anna is originally from Maryland and was introduced to Dr. Tully's work after watching her on Maryland Farm and Harvest!
Silver Alford began their internship at the Agroecology lab in the winter of 2019. They majored in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Politics and Policy. They are interested in global food systems, food justice, and sea level rise. Silver assists in lab work that evaluates the relationship between nutrient releases from coastal agricultural lands and saltwater intrusion. Silver grew up around Lake Watts Bar in East Tennessee. This sparked their curiosity about the environment and subsequently their research in agroecology and agronomy
Alumni (Faculty Assistant)
Rob received his BA in Biology from Boston University and his PhD in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University. For his doctoral research, Rob analyzed data from thousands of articles on invasive species impacts to identify the taxa, ecosystems, and spatiotemporal scales that received the most and least published research. The goal of Rob’s work is to use evidence synthesis methods like systematic review and meta-analysis to identify broad field-wide trends in the publication record that would be otherwise undetectable in single case studies.
Alumni (graduate students)
Elizabeth de la Reguera completed her masters degree in Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science in the Agroecology Lab and a Graduate Research Assistant at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, MD. She was co-advised by both Dr. Kate Tully and Dr. Margaret Palmer. She has a B.S. from Dickinson College where she studied Environmental Science and then went on to work as a Research Assistant to Dr. Jim Tang at the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. Elizabeth’s work focused on saltwater intrusion on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Specifically, the germination, survival and productivity of various crop species as well as how saltwater chemically changes the storage of carbon on agricultural fields.
Anna Kottkamp completed her masters degree in Marine Estuarine and Environmental Science in the Agroecology lab in December of 2019. While at UMD, she also held a Graduate Research Assistant with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). Anna received her BS from the University of Notre Dame where she studied Environmental Science with a minor in International Development Studies. Her previous research experience with the Tank Lab at Notre Dame addressed the impacts of cover crops and floodplain restoration on water quality in Indiana. Anna was co-advised by Dr. Margaret Palmer. Her graduate research focused on the carbon dynamics in soils of geographically isolated wetlands on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Josh Gaimaro completed his masters degree in Plant Science in the Agroecology Lab in the fall of 2019. He has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology and a minor in Geographic Information Systems also from UMD. After graduation, he worked in Dr. Stephanie Yarwood’s Soil Microbial Ecology Laboratory. In Dr. Yarwood’s lab he participated in many projects related to soil biogeochemistry. Shortly after, he adopted his own research project focusing on the metagenomics of soils in Crete, Greece through Lynn Schriml and the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC). His research focused on the movement of nitrate-N through the soil profile and into cover crops. The goal of his research is to inform farmers and the state of best management practices to reduce the amount of nitrate-N leaving our agricultural systems and entering our watersheds. Josh is currently employed by the Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore, Maryland.
Briana Otte completed her masters degree in the Agroecology Lab in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture in 2018. She received her BS from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied environmental science and policy and minored in Spanish. Her work examined the release of allelochemicals (phenolic acids) from cereal rye (see publication here) and nitrogen in agricultural soils (see publication here). Her research will be held at the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), where she has been working for 3 years before pursuing a master’s degree. Briana was co-advised by Dr. Steven Mirsky at USDA-BARC. Briana is currently employed in the office of Pesticide Programs at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.
Lab Alumni (undergraduates)
Avi Goldsmith worked in the Agroecology lab from the spring of 2018 to the fall of 2019. Avi graduated from UMD in December 2019 with a BS in Environmental Science and a minor in GIS. During his time at Maryland he developed a passion for soil science and agricultural science particularly in studying sustainable management practices. He developed this passion through his internship in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center under Dr. Steven Mirsky and Kate Tully. Avi plans to continue exploring his passion for sustainable agriculture through going to graduate school in the near future.
Michael Malcolm worked in the Agroecology lab from May to December 2019. He graduated with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in December 2019 under Dr. Tully's mentorship. Michael’s interest in agroecology stems from his desire to better understand the effects of agriculture production on food access and nutrition in the urban environment. When Michael's not in the lab, you can find him playing outside, rock climbing, trail running, or backpacking. Michael is currently running a microgreens farm in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Emma Eklund worked in the Agroecology lab in the spring and summer of 2019. She is an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science in the Environmental Health concentration. Her interest in environmental science began growing up in the nature of the Finnish archipelago. This sparked her interest to conserve nature and to mitigate the effects caused by climate change. During her free time, she likes to play volleyball, mountain bike, and paint. Emma is currently working with Elizabeth de la Reguera on the saltwater intrusion project. She began working in the Agroecology lab in the Spring of 2019 and continued to work over the summer of 2019.
Tia Ouyang worked in the Agroecology lab for all of 2019. She is an undergraduate student double majoring chemistry and secondary science education specializing in the environmental chemistry research. The chance of involving in Wastewater Treatment Projects inspired her interests in human activities effects on global chemical cycles and on environmental sustainability. During her time in the Agroecology lab, she hopes to further investigate chemicals loading and interrelationship in different ecosystems from agricultural perspectives in a professional laboratory. She will carrying on this learning to her graduate school. Tia is currently working with Dani Weissmann to study the effects of saltwater intrusion on nutrient release. She began working in the Agroecology lab in the Spring of 2019 and continued to work over the summer of 2019.
Liz Nguyen worked in the Agroecology lab in the summer and fall of 2019. She is an undergraduate Environmental Science and Technology major with a minor in GIS. She has been interested in environmental science and sustainability topics since high school and hopes to help others understand the impacts of climate change. While working with the Agroecology lab, she is excited to help the public understand the impact of salt water intrusion on agriculture and their food resources though remote sensing and GIS. Outside of the lab she is involved with Alpha Phi Omega and is a Peer Mentor for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UMD.
Skylar Petrik worked in the Agroecology lab in the fall semester of 2019. She is an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration on Land Use. She worked closely with Aubrey Weichecki on research related to saltwater intrusion in coastal farmlands.
Taylor Brinks was an undergraduate student in the Agroecology Lab in the fall of 2018 and Spring of 2019. She was an Environmental Science and Technology with a minor in Sustainability Studies. She has always been passionate about food; what started as a love for cooking has evolved into an obsession about how food is grown and the impacts it has on the environment. This summer, Taylor worked with CONSERVE to monitor the biological safety of alternative irrigation water sources for local agriculture in the face of climate change. Taylor hopes to continue learning about agriculture through these lenses of environmental science and sustainability, which is why she got involved with the Agroecology lab. Between working in the Agroecology lab and taking the Agroecology course, Taylor plans to combine her experiences with agroecology to better understand agricultural systems when pursuing a career in urban agriculture in the future.
Natalie Ceresnak was a research technician in the Agroecology Lab at the University of Maryland (UMD) from 2018-2019. She received her MS in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences with a minor in Wetland Science and Management from Louisiana State University in 2017 where she studied wetland soil biogeochemistry, and then went on to work as a research technician at the University of Vermont to maintain high-frequency soil and water sensors for Vermont EPSCoR's Basin Resilience to Extreme Events project. Currently, in the Agroecology Lab, she manages the biogeochemistry aspect of a project investigating the effects of saltwater intrusion on coastal agroecosystems on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Zach Johnson worked in the Agroecology lab from 2018-2019. He is studying Environmental Science and Technology in the Ecological Technology Design concentration. Zach’s interest in Environmental Science stems from the constantly increasing importance of environmental health along with recent technological advancements in renewable energy systems. Zach spends a lot of his outdoor time running, playing sports, or hiking back home with his friends. During his time in the Agroecology lab he hopes to learn environmental sustainability from an agricultural perspective in a professional laboratory setting. Zach worked with Elizabeth de la Reguera to investigate the impacts of saltwater intrusion on agricultural land.
Kenny Polk worked in the Agroecology lab in the Spring of 2019. He is studying Environmental Science and Technology with a focus on Natural Resource Management. He spends the majority of his days in the outdoors either playing sports, hiking, or adventuring to new places. His primary focus in the environmental field is evaluating nutrient loads within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Kenny ha worked for the Chesapeake Bay Program Office where he analyzed the levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment in various counties along the Chesapeake Bay. He is also a member of the Army National Guard where I serve as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist. Kenny is currently working with Dani Weissman to measure the effects of rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion along the Delmarva peninsula.
Cullen McAskill worked in the AgroEcoLab as a lab technician from 2017-2019. He graduated in the spring of 2017 with a bachelor’s in Environmental Health and achieved Departmental Honors in Entomology at University of Maryland. He is the AgroEcoLab field and lab manager and works on a variety of projects looking at the effect of agriculture on nutrient cycling.
Bianca Noveno worked in the Agroecology lab from the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2019. She is an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration on Ecological Technology Design and a minor in GIS. During my free time, she sometimes volunteers for the Anacostia Watershed Society's wetland workdays or their Saturday Environmental Academy. Since she loves working in the field (except for all the bug bites), after graduation, she hopes to work on ecosystem restoration, specifically wetlands. She worked with Anna Kottkamp to study the carbon sequestration mechanisms in geographically isolated wetlands at the Delmarva Peninsula.
Christina Bychkov worked in the Agroecology Lab over the summer of 2018. She majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Environmental Health. Her interest in this field originates from a childhood spent outdoors, which included frequent camping and hiking trips. Eventually these experiences progressed into a stronger passion towards the environment and lead to a desire to expand her knowledge on it further. She worked with Cullen McAskill and Josh Gaimaro on their research pertaining to agriculture and increasing sustainable practices!
Zihao (Howie) Chen worked in the Agroecology Lab in the Spring of 2018. He majored in Plant Science with a focus in Environmental Horticulture. He is a transfer student from China Agricultural University and love cooking, gaming as well as listening to music in his spare time. Howie worked in Dr. Jianhua Zhu’s lab previously on the genetic study of Arabidopsis. He became interested in agroecology during Dr. Kate Tully’s class, which makes him firmly believe that it is the right way for agricultural production. Howie is interested in sustainable production in horticultural crops and plans for further study in graduate school. He worked with Josh Gaimaro regarding the function and efficacy of cover crops.
Anna Collishaw worked in the Agroecology lab over the summer of 2018. She majored in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Environment and Agriculture at the University of Maryland. She is from Montgomery County and enjoys hiking, wrestling, gardening, and caring for her backyard hens. With experience working on many different farms--including a non-profit dairy focused on community development and empowerment--she holds a special place in her heart for Jersey cows and goats. Anna worked with Cullen McAskill to study the effects of saltwater intrusion on plant species diversity over time by analyzing raster data in a small plot study. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career related to food justice and environmentally and socially sustainable food systems.
John Dietrich worked in the Agroecology lab from 2016-2018. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology. He worked with Dani Weissman on the the effect of saltwater intrusion on nutrient release from farmland. John is Environmental Science and Technology major with a focus in Biology and Natural Resource Management. He grew up loving the outdoors and has a passion for hunting and fishing. In the winter, he’s in the tree stand or snowboarding. In the summer, he's exploring the Chesapeake in his kayak, or as of the last two years, tagging sharks off the coast of Maryland for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). John loves animals, especially reptiles, and never passes up an opportunity to be around them. He spent the majority of his childhood near the Susquehanna River and on the Eastern Shore, where he came to realize that he wanted to dedicate his education to learning about, and protecting nature for future generations. After graduation, he aspires to go onto post graduate work at UMD’s Horn Point Laboratory, or become involved with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Ethan Glaudemans worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2018. He is in the Dept of Environmental Science and Technology focusing on Natural Resource Management with a minor in Geospatial Information Systems. Ethan enjoys being in the outdoors, hiking, running, biking, and playing soccer. When not outdoors he enjoys playing his guitar, painting and drawing, and expanding his big spotify playlist, which currently sits at 2,600 songs. In high school he caught the environmental science bug and since then Ethan has worked various jobs in the field, sampling fish in Montgomery County streams with the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, analyzing Washington D.C.'s efforts towards sustainability, and writing blog posts on wetlands for Maryland's Board of Public Works. Ethan worked with Natalie Ceresnak to measure the impacts of saltwater intrusion on farms in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Drew Mandich worked in the Agroecology Lab over the summer of 2018. He majored in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. He is from Frederick, Maryland, and my passion for the environment first grew when I took a field trip in high school to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Headquarters for my AP Environmental Science class. Since then, he has been active at UMD as an intern for Dr. Alexa Bely's research lab (working on a project that focuses on environmental sensitivity of annelids in the Potomac River Basin) and also a member of ENSPire. On campus, you might also see him working as a staff member of the Eppley Recreation Center, or pumping up the crowd at basketball games as a leader of the Turgeonites (student friend group that dresses up as coach Mark Turgeon for MD basketball games). Over the summer, he worked with Elizabeth de la Reguera to study the effects of saltwater intrusion and how it changes carbon storage on agricultural fields. In the future, he hopes to obtain a graduate degree focusing on marine sciences.
Louisa Kimmell worked in the Agroecology lab over the summer of 2018. She is an undergraduate student at Tufts University, studying Geology and Environmental Science with a concentration in Food Systems and Sustainability. Her interest in agroecology stems from going on nature walks in the salt marshes of Cape Cod as a kid, and working on various organic farms in both New Hampshire and Arizona. In the fall Louisa studied abroad on Costa Rica as a part of a Sustainable Development Studies program and got to conduct research on carbon sequestration on shade-grown coffee farms! She worked in our Mid-Atlantic wetland ecosystems and contribute to some incredible research in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In her free time, Louisa enjoys hiking, going for bike rides, traveling, dancing, and baking.
Karla Rosales Lobos worked in the Agroecology lab from 2017-2018. She majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecological Technology Design as well as a minor in Sustainability. Karla worked with Dani Weissman to study the potential impact saltwater intrusion has on phosphorus and nitrogen loading on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Karla first got her passion for sustainability and nature with the work she did with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation of raising funds through 5Ks. As well as volunteer work she has done to restore environments and help control invasive species around the metropolitan area of Maryland.
Emma Weiss worked in the Agroecology lab in the Spring of 2018. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying Plant Biology and Agronomy. Emma is joining Resham Thapa in the Agroecology lab to study the efficacy of cover crops in nutrient sequestration. She loves the outdoors and spends her summers backpacking, traveling, growing vegetables, and getting her hands dirty! Emma has volunteered with the Baltimore Zoo, National Aquarium, Living Classrooms, and the Student Conservation Association, working on projects ranging from animal husbandry, public outreach, and working on a whale research boat to trail maintenance and organic farming. She has also been involved in service work abroad in Costa Rica and Ireland. Emma is so excited to be a part of the Agroecology lab this semester and hopes to pursue agroforestry in the future.
Natalie Agee worked in the Agroecology lab from 2016-2017. She majored in Environmental Science and Technology and concentrated in Soil Science and Watershed Management at UMD. With this background, Natalie is assisting in research regarding phosphorus release from soils impacted by sea-level rise. She is interested in studying and working towards a solution regarding food insecurity in urban settings. In addition to working on research, Natalie is earning a minor in Sustainability Studies, volunteers as a student representative for college of Agriculture and Natural Resources, teaches Group Fitness classes at Eppley Recreation Center, and is a member of the UMD Soil Judging Team. After graduation, Natalie aspires to join the Peace Corps and continue her education in the Masters International Program studying urban sustainable agriculture and agroforestry.
Alexis Boytim worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2017. She majored in Environmental Science & Technology with a minor in International Development & Conflict Management. She is from Pittsburgh, PA and has spent countless summer weekends with her family at Deep Creek Lake, MD where her passion for environmental stewardship first took root. Alexis loves being outdoors and especially enjoys backpacking, snow skiing, and rock climbing - she even works as an adventure trip leader for UMD's Adventure Program where she has the opportunity to provide enjoyable outdoor experiences for other students. Additionally, Alexis has been involved with wetland restoration service-learning projects in New Orleans, LA with UMD's Alternative Breaks program and spent part of this past summer in Costa Rica learning about the effects of climate change on tropical rainforest and agricultural ecosystems. During the semester Alexis worked with Dani Weissman to study the impacts of salt water intrusion on nutrient release throughout coastal farms on Maryland's Eastern Shore. In the future, she aspires to obtain graduate degrees, work in the sustainable development sector, and eventually become a professor.
Nicholas James Matthew Clark worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2017. He majored in Plant Science with a focus in Environmental Horticulture and a minor in Sustainability Studies. He is from the small town of Templeton, California, which is located in San Luis Obispo County. Nicholas worked alongside Dani Weissman on the effects of saltwater intrusion in farmlands that have been heavily fertilized along the Eastern Shore. When he is not engaged in lab activities, Nicholas enjoys all things nature from hiking to gardening and bee-keeping. Other interests include cooking (sometimes with meat, don’t tell Kate), art, music, and poetry. Nicholas looks forward to learning more about sustainable agriculture and the benefits of healthy soil.
Benjamin Crane worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2017. He majored in Plant Science in the Horticulture and Crop production track with a minor in Sustainability Studies at the University of Maryland. He is from Worcester County Maryland and is interested in understanding the environmental issues that affect this coastal area. Ben worked with Dani Weissman on the effects of saltwater intrusion and nutrient release from coastal agricultural land. Apart from academics, he enjoys traveling, soccer, cooking, and eating delicious food.
Kevin majored in Computer Engineering undergraduate at the University of Maryland College Park. His interests pertaining to his major include cybersecurity and creative algorithm design/analysis. Even though Kevin's background is mostly in Computer Science and Engineering, he feels that it is important to gain diverse knowledge and try various unique opportunities. Apart from his major, Kevin has interests in Business and Environmental Science. He assisted with modeling moisture and solute transport in different types of soil. This will be done by exploring the HYDRUS-1D modeling environment and using statistical programming languages such as R.
Gabe Moses worked in the Agroecology lab in the summer of 2017. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology at University of Maryland. He worked with Dani Weissman to study the effect of saltwater intrusion on phosphorous and nitrogen levels in costal agricultural waterways in Eastern Maryland. His work with Environmental Quality Resources construction company introduced him to storm water runoff mitigation. He recently returned from a trip to Costa Rica where he worked on a sustainable family farm. He aspires to use this experience, along with the new knowledge gained from working in the AgroEcoLab, to work as a consultant to help companies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed become more sustainable.
Jonathan Moy worked in the Agroecology lab in the summer of 2017 and the fall of 2017. He is originally from Owings Mills, MD. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in ecological technology design at the University of Maryland. He is a member of the Horticulture Club and Green Roots – UMD Hydroponics Club. Because of Jonathan’s passion for plants, soil, and ecology, he hopes to work on ecosystem restoration in the future. Outside of academics, he enjoys exploring parks, gardening, and doing parkour—anything to get him outside. In the summer of 2017, he worked as an environmental educator at the Howard County Conservancy to impart his enthusiasm about the environment to children. Jonathan also worked with Elizabeth de la Reguera to study the impacts of saltwater intrusion on plant germination, productivity of crops, and soil carbon on farms.
Tony Pham worked in the Agroecology lab over the summer of 2017. He received a dual BA/MA degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at Boston University. Tony worked with Dani Weissman and John Dietrich to study the effect saltwater intrusion has on legacy nutrient release within coastal farmland. He hopes to use this field experience to supplement his background in biotechnology and develop a novel approach to sustainability. He gained this passion for nature and sustainability through his work with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) building and repairing trails in National Parks, including nearby Greenbelt National Park. Through this work with SCA he saw the benefits nature can have on communities and is dedicated to conserving the environment for future generations.
Kelly Taylor worked in the Agroecology lab in the Spring of 2017. She majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecological Technology Design at the University of Maryland. She worked with Dani Weissman to study nutrient release from farmland along the lower eastern shore that has been caused by saltwater intrusion. Kelly hopes to channel her passion for nature into a career that will help improve the environment through sustainable actions.
Jesse Wyner worked in the Agroecology Lab from 2016-2017. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Soil and Watershed Science. He earned his A.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Montgomery College in 2015. Since 2013, Jesse has co-owned a small farm in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, where he has been experimenting with sustainable agricultural techniques such as polycultures, no-till farming, and cover cropping. Before attending University of Maryland, Jesse completed certificates in both Permaculture Design and Urban Sustainable Agriculture. He also completed the Natural History Field Studies certificate program through the National Audubon Society.
Edem Yevoo worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2017. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecological Technology Design and a minor in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS). Edem worked with Dani Weissman on the effects of saltwater intrusion and legacy nutrient release on coastal farmland. He was a member of University of Maryland chapter of the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) that helps promote sustainable ecological projects in and around the campus community. Edem aspires to pursue a graduate studies program in hydrology and sustainability and dedicate his career to solving environmental problems such as pollution.
Lindsey Connolly worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2016. She majored in Environmental Science and Technology. She is working with Kayla Griffith to examine the effect of cover crop mixtures on nitrogen movement in the soil profile. Lindsey was a member of College Park scholars in the Environment, Technology and Economy program, and for her practicum she educated elementary school student on the environment and how to practice sustainable living.
Vincent Liebermann worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2016. He majored in Environmental Horticulture: Greenhouse and Crop Production. During the fall of 2016, he matriculated to UMD from Anne Arundel Community College with an Associates in Science: Mathematics. He aspires to work in the newly emerging medical and recreational Cannabis industry, with a long-term goal of becoming a Master Grower. He assisted with research on campus and at the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (USDA-BARC).
James Lin worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2016. He majored in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Ecological Technology Design. James worked with Kayla Griffith to examine the effect of cover crop mixtures on nitrogen movement in the soil profile. James earned his College Park scholars citation from Environment, Technology, and Economy Scholars program. In the summer of 2016, James went to Hawaii for a three-month internship to learn about permaculture, tropical horticulture, sustainable organic agriculture, farm to table food practices, ecological design techniques, cover cropping, and environmental conservation. Back home at the University of Maryland, James and a few friends started a hydroponics club on campus to bring awareness to food scarcity and provide food to the community.
Amanda Mainello earned her undergraduate degree in both Biology and Public Policy from St. Mary's College of Maryland in May of 2016. She volunteered in the Agroecology Lab in the summer of 2016. Her fascination with agriculture inspired her senior research project on herbicide uptake in switchgrass, broadleaf cattails, and rice cutgrass. She is an intern in the Agroecology Lab, and working with Kayla Griffith on a project evaluating the benefits of cover crop mixtures in the Mid-Atlantic. Amanda hopes to go to graduate school in order to cultivate a strong background in agricultural science, which she can apply towards influencing policy decisions in the future.
Katie Mullen worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2016. She majored in Ecology and Evolution in the Biology Department and minored in Sustainability. Her previous research has examined the impact of rising sea levels on coastal wetland plants. She is currently working with Dani Weissman on the effects of saltwater intrusion on nutrient release from farmland on the lower eastern shore. Katie enjoys taking part in sustainable initiatives on campus and encouraging her peers to be more environmentally conscious. She hopes to continue her work in conservation through grad school and beyond.
Ben Swartz worked in the Argoecology lab in the summer of 2016. He studied Ecology and Evolution in the Biology Department. He has worked on research investigating the impacts of climate change on insect community composition in Florida, and is currently assembling a review to assess the status of the green salamander. Ben joined the lab to examine the link between saltwater intrusion and phosphate release in the Chesapeake Bay as part of an internship with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). He hopes to continue working in fields that conserve the world’s biodiversity and inform sustainable development.
Katrina Vaitkus worked in the Agroecology lab in the Fall of 2016. She majored in Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) with a concentration in the Environment and Agriculture. She is from Edgewater, Maryland and loves being outdoors! She is extremely interested in the sustainable farming and how scientists can further contribute to sustainable practices and encourage farmers to utilize them. Aside from assisting with research, she was the president of a club on campus that raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she takes part in many sustainability extra-curricular activities. She was also a member of ENSPire, a group that brings the concentrations of the ENSP major together through activities and volunteer opportunities, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Primmanum.
Moli Karsalia is an undergraduate student at University of Maryland majoring in Neurobiology and Physiology and minoring in Global Poverty. As a part of the Honors College's Gemstone Program, Moli is a member of Team VESSEL, which aims to electrospin a small diameter vascular graft from silk fibroin in order to address issues related to cardiovascular disease. In her free time, she is a Gemstone CONNECT Mentor and volunteers at the campus Health Center and Food Recovery Network.