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Postdocs and Students

Postdoctoral Fellows

Javier Antonanzas

Postdoctoral Fellow,
Mechanical Engineering Department
Javier Antonanzas is a postdoctoral researcher focused on sustainability studies of energy production systems. His Ph.D. work was focused on optimization models for design and operation of photovoltaic power plants. Javier did three research stays during his Ph.D. in different international centers focused on solar energy: Fraunhofer Institute in Santiago (Chile), University of Jaen (Spain) and NREL (Golden, CO). Outside of work, he spends his free time climbing and running in the mountains.

Carrie Chennault

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Statistics
Carrie is a postdoctoral fellow and School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) Sustainability Leadership Fellow working with Dr. Joshua Sbicca in the Department of Sociology and Dr. Melissa McHale in the Department of Ecosystem Science & Sustainability. Carrie has her PhD in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University, where she worked as a graduate researcher with ISU Extension’s Local Foods and SNAP-Education programs. In her research, Carrie is passionate about issues of food justice, anti-racism, and community engagement. Her postdoctoral food systems research includes a nationwide study of food and agriculture programs in US state prisons.

James Hale

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences
Former postdoc at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago
Ph.D. Sociology, Colorado State University
M.S.S. Society and the Environment, University of Colorado at Denver
B.A. Psychology, University of Colorado
Hello, I am a sociologist who specializes in studying the socio-cultural, community, and governance dimensions of food, agriculture, and environment improvement efforts. I have spent time in both practitioner and research settings including working as a Peace Corps agroforestry agent in Malawi, helping spearhead alternative food projects in Colorado, and leading related research projects at Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health. More recently, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago in New Zealand. To learn more about my background and experience please visit www.jameswthale.com.

Francesco Serafin

Postdoctoral fellow
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Francesco is a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University. He has his PhD in Environmental Engineering from University of Trento. His work is focused on extending cloud computing platforms with surrogate modeling capabilities, and complex networks for hydrological modeling. He is currently carrying on this research at OMSLab. During his free time he enjoys all that the Colorado outdoors have to offer and spending time catching up with his friends.

Lindsey Sloat

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Lindsey is a postdoc with Nathan Mueller at Colorado State University. Lindsey has her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Her post-graduate work has focused primarily on climate impacts to global agriculture. She is interested in understanding how increasing temperatures and changing precipitation regimes impact both crop and grazing systems. Her work examines climate trends and large-scale geographic patterns in agriculture, leveraging agricultural census data, climate and soil records, hydrological modeling output, and new remote sensing data. Some of her current interests include climate adaptation through crop migration, the use of remotely sensed Solar Induced Fluorescence in crop productivity forecasting, and how changes in snowmelt runoff have impacted crop irrigation.

Graduate Students

Stefanie Berganini

PhD Student, Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Anthropology
MA Anthropology, Colorado State University
BA Anthropology, Portland State University
BS Psychology, Colorado State University
BFA Graphic Design, Colorado State University
Broadly speaking, I’m a political economist and mixed-methods social scientist with a particular interest in data visualization, GIS, and agent-based modeling. My Master’s thesis focuses on homelessness in Fort Collins, examining the intersection of stigma, public policy, and homeless services. Though I’ve yet to finalize my dissertation topic, my PhD research will focus on the political economy of local food systems, likely as it relates to sustainability and/or barriers to food access.

Becca Clark-Hargreaves

Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology
Becca is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at CSU. She also got her M.A. at CSU in Sociology. During her undergraduate degree, Becca worked at a non-profit farm in Seattle, WA that partnered with the county to provide horticulture training as an alternative to incarceration. Following this experience, Becca’s work has focused on food systems and carceral systems, as well as discourse and social movements. Through these foci, she has studied migrant farmworker labor organizing and hunger strikes in immigrant detention. Currently she is a part of a research lab conducting a nation-wide study on horticulture and agriculture programs in prisons. She is also collaborating with Dr. Josh Sbicca in the Department of Sociology on a study of news coverage of hunger strikes in prisons.

Tabitha Covey

M.S. Student
Graduate Research Assistant
Advisor: Dr. Mark Uchanski
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
B.S. in Soil and Crop Sciences
Tabitha is passionate about resilient food systems and ecosystems and is working on an irrigated cropping systems resource that links the two. Her project includes the creation of an inventory of the most recent crops and crop rotations grown throughout the different regions of Colorado, a quantification of the water footprint of the most water intensive crops, and then the integration of the inventory and crop water footprints with existing databased towards the development of a predictive modeling tool to visualize water consumption changes with changes in crop choices in the different regions. Tabitha has worked in food systems in various respects over the years, from berry picker, goat herder, compost manager, and farmer’s market vendor, to catalog manager at a food distribution company, and now creator of Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule education and outreach materials. Her extracurricular interests include spending time with her family, cooking, gardening, traveling, and community building. She plans to find her place amongst the web of possibilities within food system or natural resource management when she graduates.

Chelsea Didinger

Ph.D. Student
Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Chelsea has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in Biology from Seoul National University. She is adopting a translational, interdisciplinary approach for her PhD research on beans, using laboratory work to answer key questions that will inform the development of outreach materials. She thinks it is critical to integrate dissemination into research plans, and she is preparing for a career with Extension. Chelsea also helps coordinate the Food Systems webinars.

Hailey Edmondson

M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Food and agriculture systems have been my primary point of interest along each step of my professional path. After completing my degree in plant genetics at Purdue University, I explored a different side of food and agriculture while working at a food access nonprofit in the D.C. metro area, supporting community kitchen and farmers market programming. I am excited to be continuing my exploration at CSU, and contributing to a growing body of knowledge that strengthens food systems. In my spare time I enjoy music, cooking, spending time in the company of friends and family, and enjoying all there is to do in Colorado.

Mackenzie Gill

Ph.D. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Mackenzie Gill’s primary research focuses are in agricultural marketing and consumer choice. At the University of Tennessee, her M.S. thesis investigated consumer preferences for eco-friendly attributes in single-use disposables. Going forward, she is interested in exploring the intersection of consumer choice and regional food system growth. Her long-term career objective is to investigate economic opportunities from which struggling communities and firms in developing industries can benefit. She’s so grateful to be a part of the CSU Food Systems team!

Regan Gilmore

M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Regan’s research interests lie in the broad scope of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Within this area, she enjoys studying local and organic markets, consumer behavior, food access and security, and sustainable consumption and production. As an undergraduate, she researched the U.S. market implications of a CO2-equivalent tax on meat consumption and statistically analyzed producer adoption of conservation practices in conventional Nebraska and Iowa agriculture. Regan also served as president of UNL’s Student Organic Farm and has worked with Nebraska Extension and local farms. She’s thrilled to be a part of this team working to improve our food systems for all.

Azmal Hossan

Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology
Azmal’s research interest is the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and its climate change implications. As a national research trainee of InTERFEWS at CSU, he is particularly interested in how climate change affects food security amidst the growing scarcity of irrigation water in the Global South. His interest in food security comes from his MA thesis where he examined how the underlying connections between climate change and household characteristics influence women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh. Currently Azmal is engaged with different multidisciplinary research groups covering food justice in the US prison system, implications of the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) for Colorado’s food system, the COVID-19 pandemic and food security, climate change resilience of indigenous, rural and vulnerable communities in the South-central region of the USA, and climate gentrification and socio-environmental justice.

Azmal Hossan

PhD Student in Sociology at Colorado State University
National Research Trainee at Interdisciplinary Teaching, Education and Research in Food-
Energy-Water Systems (InTERFEWS), Colorado State University
Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Malin
MA in Sociology (Major) and Public Administrator (Minor), Texas Tech University
MSS in Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
BSS in Sociology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
My research interests are food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and its climate change implication with special focus on Bangladesh. My interest in food system comes from my MA thesis where I examined how the underlying connection between climate change and household characteristics influence women’s nutritional status in Bangladesh. Whenever we talk about human nutrition,
we need to talk about food. This is because we eat food, not nutrition. This interest grew up in the last summer when I worked with Dr. Joshua Sbicca in his “Food Justice Frontiers and the Greening of Prisons with Horticultural Initiatives” project. The project is funded by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability Residential Fellowship at Colorado State University. Along with my PhD study in sociology, I am also enrolled in National Research Training program at Interdisciplinary Teaching, Education and Research in Food-Energy-Water Systems
(InTERFEWS), Colorado State University. It is NSF funded four years long interdisciplinary
training program for graduate students from different discipline where I will have rigorous
training on Food-Energy-Water nexus. For my PhD, I am looking forward to doing research on
climate change implications (availability of water and energy) of food production in Bangladesh.

Pratyoosh Kashyap

Ph.D. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Following his Master’s in Development Economics and work experience in rural agricultural development in India, Pratyoosh is motivated to work towards small-farm and rural agricultural development, supporting policies and programs, and in understanding the regional economics of the same. His Ph.D. work will focus on the impact of Farm to School legislation on farmers, supply chain businesses, rural communities, and the economics of the policy changes. Prior to starting his Ph.D. at CSU, Pratyoosh focused on the development of community-based livestock farming and marketing with small, marginal, and landless women farmers in India, agricultural extension, and value chain development. He is looking to substantiate his learning from a developing country context with a developed country context in rural development. In Pratyoosh’s free time he is also a photographer and he feels that visuals can strongly complement research findings.

Beth Krehbiel

Ph.D. Student
Department of Animal Sciences
Beth is a PhD candidate in Animal Science – Beef Systems Management where her research has focused on mitigating financial stress for beef operators in Colorado using benchmarking tactics and Systems Dynamics methodology that investigate various drought strategies. Beth obtained an MS in Animal Science – Breeding and Genetics at Colorado State University while working at the USDA-National Animal Germplasm Program. She is very passionate about the beef industry and the people working in it – a reflection of her upbringing on a registered Angus and commercial cattle operation in Kansas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and toddler, and visiting the farm back home when time allows.

India Luxton

Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology
India Luxton is currently a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University. India graduated from Western New England University in 2015 with her bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She received her Master’s degree from Colorado State University in 2017. Broadly, India is interested in community-based research with an emphasis on social change, the environment, and industrialized animal agriculture. India’s dissertation will examine COVID-19’s impact on industrialized animal agriculture, with a focus on emergent policies, regulatory decisions, and outcomes. India’s published works include “Collaborative Concession in Food Movement Networks: The Uneven Relations of Resource Mobilization,” an article that examines how organizations navigate differences in power and influence through resource exchange, and “Mapping Movements: A Call for Qualitative Social Network Analysis,” a methodological article that highlights the advantages of qualitative social network analysis in food system and social movement research.

Shelby McClelland

Ph.D. Student
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Prior to arriving at CSU, Shelby worked as a research associate with the University of California Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center in Northern California studying the invasive annual grass Taeniatherum caput-medusae in Californian range lands. For the last two years she has researched enteric methane and agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the Environmental Defense Fund. Shelby is currently researching soil carbon and GHG emissions in organic agriculture production systems. She is particularly focused on three key organic-oriented practices: cover crops, manure and organic amendments, and plant-soil impacts of management intensive grazing. Results of this work will be integrated into the COMET-Farm and Cool Farm Tool to improve GHG decision-support for farmers.

Nora Jean Nealon

DVM/PhD dual degree candidate
Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Ryan
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
B.S., Triple major in Veterinary Science; Biology; Nutrition; Double minor in Endocrinology and Companion Animal Studies
Nora Jean is pursuing dual degrees in veterinary medicine and cell and molecular biology. Here, she integrates her interests in animal science and nutrition, where she studies study health-promoting probiotic bacteria and the prebiotic nutrients they consume. Specifically, Nora Jean is investigating how prebiotics from rice bran, the covering of the brown rice grain, can enhance the disease-fighting ability of gut-native probiotics in humans and animals. Nora Jean has determined that rice bran makes probiotics produce a broad array of small, bioactive compounds that have antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, immune-boosting, and intestinal health-protective properties against Salmonella, E. coli, and Human Rotavirus. In her free time, Nora Jean enjoys listening to music, baking, and spending time with the many animals in her life, including her west highland white terrier, Sir Winston.

Agustin Nunez

Ph.D. Student
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Advisor: Meagan Schipanski
M.S. Soil Science, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
My current research focus on soil quality changes during the transition from irrigated to dryland cropping systems in the Ogallala Aquifer Region. Due to declining levels of available water, conversion from irrigated to dryland cropping systems is increasing in some areas of the Ogallala Aquifer Region, one of the most important aquifers in the world. In general, irrigated cropping systems yield more and have more soil organic carbon than dryland cropping systems. However, little is known about the evolution of soil quality after conversion from irrigation to dryland and the effect of soil quality on crop production during this transition. Results will help to understand the interaction between water management, soil health and crop production and help to identify the best cropping system management practices to improve water use efficiency.

Peter Olayemi

Ph.D. Student
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Peter Olayemi is a PhD student in the Soil and Crop Sciences Department whose goal is to elucidate specific characteristics of the soil microbiome that support farmer-centric outcomes associated with soil health. Coming from Nigeria, he sees a big opportunity in utilizing research to help feed the world’s rapidly increasing population through sustainable agriculture. His current projects include exploring the soil health benefits of a novel soil amendment from cheese production and evaluating the long term impacts of no-tillage and residue retention on soil health indicators through agronomic trials on wheat and corn.

Renee Oppel

Research Associate
Advisor: Elizabeth Ryan, Ph.D
Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
B.S Food Science Human Nutrition and Health Exercise Science, Colorado State University
Renee Oppel graduated from Colorado State University with a BS in Food Science, Human Nutrition and Health Exercise Science. After graduation she began teaching hot yoga and traveling abroad. She became interested and involved in local sustainable food systems around the world which further developed her love for helping people live a healthier life through nutrition and exercise. She continued her education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition becoming a certified holistic health coach. In 2015, she moved back to Fort Collins and began working as a Research Associate in the Ryan Lab. Her passion and appreciation for environmental and health sciences continues to expand as she studies metabolomics and the nutritional benefits of whole grains and legumes. She hopes to contribute her time and energy to create a healthier planet and happier life for people in her local community and abroad.

Nathan Palardy

Ph.D. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Nathan Palardy is a PhD Student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. His research interests include food policy, producer decision making and applied industrial organization. Specific research topics include assessing the policy effects of expanding alcohol retail distribution on beer producers and spatial competition among firms within the alcohol retail sector.

Since moving to Colorado, Nathan has been engaged with the state’s robust brewing industry. He helped facilitate the Liquid Arts Research Forum, which brought together academics and industry personnel to promote collaborative research. Recently, he conducted a survey of Colorado breweries on how a recent law permitting the sale of full-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores was affecting their businesses.

Hailey Simpson

M.S. Student
Department of Animal Sciences
Currently, Hailey is researching worker perspectives in livestock operations in order to better working environments, training methods, and animal welfare. While she doesn’t have a farming background, she received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, where she engaged in community agriculture outreach and worked at 4-H events in the area. Previously, Hailey spent time teaching children about livestock handling and animal agriculture systems across the US. At CSU she is assisting on a variety of projects in the Department of Animal Sciences, ranging from equine behavior to animal handling. She is very excited to reach out to communities to help them grow fresh produce and raise livestock in order to attain a nutritious and balanced food supply.

Hailey Summers

PhD Candidate
Hailey Summers is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering and her research is focused on quantifying the sustainability of agriculture, bio-processing and food-related systems through life cycle and techno-economic assessments. She is interested in understanding environmental and economic trade-offs within individual systems, as well as improving the process efficiency of existing product pathways and supply chains

Eddie Welsh

M.S. Student
Department of Political Science
As a Masters of Political Science candidate, Eddie’s thesis tracks the coevolution of agri-food (large and small scale) with the diets, health, and overall lifestyles of not just consumers, but individuals in the production of food also. By focusing on the historic, political economy of food industries, insight into its relationship with our broader society can be drawn. He received a bachelor’s degree in history and in political science from Colorado State University in 2017 and is a Colorado native.

Shuiqin Yu

PhD student
Advisor: Marco Costanigro
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
M.S. Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware
I have been working on consumer demand and behavior since 2011. My previous research focused on consumers’ perceptions and willingness to pay on organic and conventional fruits under experimental auction setting in various food retail outlets. My current research interests includes consumer demand, implicit price dispersion, food safety, food consumption and nutrition.

Alumni

Allie Bauman

Research Scientist
Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Libby Christensen

Current position: Family Consumer Science Agent, CSU Extension, Routt County

Nicole Didero

Current Position: Contracted Economist at USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
M.S. Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Armen Ghazaryan

Current Position: PhD, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Kevin Jablonski

Current Position: Range Ecologist and Extension Research Coordinator at Colorado State University, PhD Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University

Cynthia Kallenbach

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University

Lauren Kaplan

M.A., Political Science, Colorado State University

Abby Long

Current Position: PhD student in Agricultural Policy, University of Arkansas

Erin Love

M.S. Student
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Ellie Naasz

Current Position: Project Manager at LoCo Think Tank, Fort Collins CO
M.S. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Caroline Norris

Current Position: Research Analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Claire Sheridan

Current Position: Economic Analyst at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Denver CO
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
BA — International Relations/Spanish, University of British Columbia

Anders Van Sandt

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming