MEET OUR IGC FELLOWS

The Interfaces of Global Change IGEP provides PhD students with a unique intellectual focus and training. Each IGC Fellow gains depth in their specific scientific area of expertise (e.g. biology or engineering), while simultaneously gaining breadth in the multifaceted realm of global change and the science-policy interface.

The IGC Graduate Student Association exists to benefit the IGC community as a whole through student contributions to infrastructural, educational, and social investments and activities.

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Ben Ahlswede

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Research Interests: Interactions of terrestrial ecosystems with climate; feedbacks of land-use and land-cover change to surface energy balance

Advisor: Dr. Quinn Thomas

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Camilo Alfonso

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Behavioral endocrinology, ecophysiology, tropical ecology, ornithology

Advisor: Dr. Ignacio Moore

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Gaëlle Blanvillain

Ph.D. Student

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: How rapid environmental changes affect the physiology, behavior and health of endemic populations of reptiles and amphibians, and the consequences at the population level of such changes over the long term.

Advisor: Dr. William Hopkins

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Brooke L. Bodensteiner

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Addressing climate change through physiological ecology, phylogenetics, and geospatial techniques

Advisor: Dr. Martha Muñoz

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Nicholas Bone

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Trait adaptation, phylogenetic comparative methods, and macroevolutionary dynamics

Advisor: Dr. Josef Uyeda

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Kristen Bretz

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Stream ecology, the effects of climate change on aquatic biogeochemistry

Advisor: Dr. Erin Hotchkiss

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Rachel K. Brooks

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Forest pests, invasive species, biocontrol

Advisor: Dr. Anton Baudoin and Dr. Scott Salom

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Jennifer Brousseau

Ph.D. Student

Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Research Interests: Human dimensions of wildlife; motivations behind environmental awareness and pro-environmental behavior; environmental education-specifically informal STEM learning; climate change adaptation

Advisor: Dr. Marc Stern

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Emma Bueren

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Disease ecology

Advisor: Dr. Lisa Belden

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Melissa Burt

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Species interactions, community ecology, climate change, habitat fragmentation, functional traits

Advisor: Dr. Susan Whitehead

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Henry Camarillo

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Evolutionary ecology, adaptation, functional morphology

Advisor: Dr. Martha Muñoz

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Felipe Carvalho

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Fisheries management; fish ecology; invasive species; climate change

Advisor: Dr. Leandro Castello

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Sara Cathey

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Community ecology; stream ecology; restoration ecology

Advisor: Dr. Bryan Brown

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Stephen DeVilbiss

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Aquatic microbial ecology and water quality in freshwater ecosystems

Advisor: Drs. Meredith Steele and Brian Badgley

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Angie Estrada

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Disease ecology and risk assessment, wildlife and captive population management, conservation biology, environmental policy in developing countries and community science.

Advisor: Dr. Lisa Belden

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Becky Fletcher

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Invasive Species, climate change impacts on Johnsongrass

Advisor: Dr. Jacob Barney

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Zach Gajewski

Ph.D. Student

Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Using statistical models to better understand the complex interactions between disease and host microbiota

Advisor: Dr. Leah Johnson

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Mariana Gelambi

Ph.D. Student

Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Evolutionary biology, zoology, chemical ecology, general bat biology.

Advisor: Dr. Susan Whitehead

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Kerry Gendreau

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biology

Research Interests: Genomics, evolutionary biology, coevolution, adaptation, conservation genetics

Advisor: Dr. Joel McGlothlin

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Bennett Grooms

Ph.D. Student

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Human dimensions of wildlife; citizen science; conservation sociology; wildlife education; animal behavior

Advisor: Dr. Ashley Dayer

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Ariel Heminger

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Plant-insect-microbe interactions, chemical ecology, genomics, micro biome, climate change

Advisor: Dr. David Haak

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Derek Hennen

Ph.D. Student

Department of Entomology

Research Interests: Entomology: systematics and ecology; Invasive species; Natural history; Climate change; Anthropogenic effects on the environment; science policy

Advisor: Dr. Paul Marek

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Jessica Hernandez

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Stress and reproductive physiology; behavioral endocrinology; urban ecology

Advisor: Dr. Ignacio Moore

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Sydney Hope

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Animal behavior and physiology, early developmental effects, maternal effects, effects of climate change, urbanization, and habitat loss

Advisor: Dr. William Hopkins

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Devin Hoffman

Ph.D. Student

Department of Geosciences

Research Interests: Macroevolutionary and diversity responses of vertebrates to rapid environmental changes, particularly those surrounding mass extinctions

Advisor: Dr. Sterling Nesbitt

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Korin Jones

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Microbial ecology

Advisor: Dr. Lisa Belden

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Meredith Keeley

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Behavioral endocrinology; examining how lemurs respond to ecological stress; dispersal behavior/fission-fusion dynamics in primates; the importance of habitat connectivity; and overall primate responses to anthropogenic disturbances

Advisor: Dr. Ignacio Moore

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Macy J. Kailing

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Infectious disease ecology, host-pathogen coevolution, wildlife and ecosystem health, heterogeneity in host susceptibility

Advisor: Dr. Kate Langwig

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Ben Kligman

Ph.D. Student

Department of Geosciences

Research Interests: Vertebrate evolution, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, paleoclimate, geochronology

Advisor: Dr. Michelle Stocker

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Sarah Kuchinsky

Ph.D./DVM Dual Degree Student

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology

Research Interests: One Health initiatives; zoonotic disease ecology and management; understanding factors that drive viral emergence

Advisor: Dr. Nisha Duggal

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Vasiliy Lakoba

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Invasion ecology, restoration ecology, land management policy

Advisor: Dr. Jacob Barney

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Sam Lane

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Behavioral ecology, endocrinology, neuroendocrinology, ecophysiology

Advisor: Dr. Kendra Sewall

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Abby Lewis

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Freshwater ecology, nutrient cycling, and science communication

Advisor: Dr. Cayelan Carey

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Mary Lofton

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Limnology; effects of climate change and land use change/degradation on plankton diversity and trophic webs in lakes and reservoirs and implications for water quality; best practices in scientific communication regarding policy, resource management, and education

Advisor: Dr. Cayelan Carey

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Cristina E. Marcillo

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Research InterestsSafe Drinking Water Act compliance, community water systems, urban and rural drinking water exposures, public health, mining impacted drinking water in Guatemala, environmental policy, diversity in engineering education

Advisor: Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis

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Zach Martin

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Stream habitat management, landscape ecology, reproductive biology of fishes, watershed modeling, spatial modeling

Advisor: Paul Angermeier

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Lauren Maynard

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Species interactions, trophic cascades, chemical ecology, tropical ecology, integrated pest management

Advisor: Dr. Susan Whitehead

Dr. Cayelan Carey, Assistant Professor of freshwater ecosystem ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Global Change Center, Science, research

Ryan McClure

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in reservoirs

Advisor: Dr. Cayelan Carey

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Noah McNeill

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Ornithology, animal behavior, ecology, conservation biology, anthropogenic land use

Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Walters

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David Millican

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Avian ecology and conservation, natural and sexual selection, game theory, and breeding ecology

Advisor: Dr. Jeff Walters

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Chloe Moore

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Landscape and population ecology, conservation genetics, landscape genetics

Advisor: Dr. Meryl Mims

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Leah Novak

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Impacts of habitat loss and climate change on avian species; the application of science to conservation, management, and public policy

Advisor: Dr. Jeff Walters

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Rebecca O’Brien

Ph.D. Student

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Behavioral ecology, wildlife biology, science communication, landowner relations, sensory ecology

Advisor: Dr. William Hopkins and Dr. Ashley Dayer

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Ernie Osburn

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Community and ecosystem ecology. Effects of land use and climate change on soil microbial communities and nutrient cycling.

Advisor: Dr. Jeb Barrett

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Amanda Pennino

Ph.D. Student

Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Research Interests: Soil biogeochemistry of forested ecosystems; geochemistry, watershed hydrology and forest ecology

Advisor: Drs. Brian Strahm and Kevin McGuire

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Stephen Plont

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Stream ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles in the face of environmental change

Advisor: Dr. Erin Hotchkiss

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Joshua Rady

Ph.D. Student

Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Research Interests: Ecological and eco-climate modeling, forest ecology and dynamics, systems ecology, decision analysis, land use change

Advisor: Dr. Quinn Thomas

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Max Ragozzino

Ph.D. Student

Department of Entomology

Research Interests: Invasive species, entomology, biological control

Advisor: Dr. Scott Salom

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Brandon Semel

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Research Interests: Primate ecology and conservation, habitat fragmentation, effects of past and present climate change on organismal distribution, behavioral plasticity, endangered species, land use in Madagascar, anthropogenic environmental disturbance, reforestation

Advisor: Dr. Sarah Karpanty

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Hye-jeong Seo

Ph.D. Candidate

School of Public and International Affairs

Research Interests: Environmental risk communication, environmental planning and policy, collaborative planning and decision-making, public participation, public dispute resolution

Advisor: Dr. Todd Schenk

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Samuel Silknetter

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Stream ecology and biodiversity, landscape genetics, traits-based approaches, species interactions

Advisor: Dr. Meryl Mims

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Daniel Smith

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Research Interests: Stream and wetland restoration, soil microbial ecology, soil erosion

Advisor: Dr. Tess Thompson

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Sara Teemer

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Disease ecology, behavioral ecology, and microbiology 

Advisor: Dr. Dana Hawley

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Isaac VanDiest

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Behavioral ecology, urbanization, ornithology, ecophysiology, and conservation biology

Advisor: Dr. Kendra Sewall

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Ben Vernasco

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Mechanisms of animal behavior, population dynamics, conservation biology, and ornithology

Advisor: Dr. Ignacio Moore

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Nicole K. Ward

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Freshwater ecology, hysteresis of lake water quality, human impacts on freshwater systems, policy and management

Advisor: Dr. Cayelan Carey

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Jennie Wagner

Ph.D. Student

School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Research Interests: Sustainable agriculture and agroecology

Advisor: Dr. Megan O’Rourke

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Heather Wander

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Limnology, plankton dynamics, food web interactions, climate change, water quality

Advisor: Dr. Cayelan Carey

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Suwei Wang

Ph.D. Student

Department of Population Health Sciences

Research Interests: Environment change impact on human health, urban versus rural population vulnerability to heat stress, personal heat exposure estimation

Advisor: Dr. Julia Gohlke

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Alaina Weinheimer

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Microbial ecology and evolution, marine microbiology, marine ecosystem management

Advisor: Dr. Frank Aylward

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Amber Wendler

Ph.D. Student

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Behavioral ecology, conservation biology, and ornithology

Advisor: Dr. Ignacio Moore

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Maya Wilson

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

Research Interests: Anthropogenic impacts on wildlife, conservation biology, ornithology

Advisor: Dr. Jeff Walters

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Lauren Wind

Ph.D. Candidate

Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Research Interests: Environmental dissemination of antibiotic resistance; Antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARBs) and genes (ARGs); soil ecology; Human health and risk assessment

Advisor: Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis and Dr. Cully Hession

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Brenen M. Wynd

Ph.D. Student

Department of Geosciences

Research Interests: Paleoecology, functional morphology, phylogenetics, conservation paleobiology, mass extinctions

Advisor: Dr. Sterling Nesbitt