Laney Van

Ph.D. Student
Department of Ecology
Laney is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology program at CSU. Laney obtained a BA in Environmental Sustainability and Studies and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. Her previous research focused on plant-based school lunch programs throughout the U.S. and how systematic changes can help reduce the barriers to provide plant-based and plant-forward meal options to all school districts. She is very passionate about food systems, sustainability, plant-based lifestyles, and systems change. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, climbing, kayaking, hammocking, and practicing yoga. She also hopes to visit all the national parks one day. Laney hopes to become a professor in the future and help educate people about environmental issues and various solutions.

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.

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.

Anders Van Sandt

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming

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

Caroline Norris

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

Ellie Naasz

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

Abby Long

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

Lauren Kaplan

M.A., Political Science, Colorado State University

Cynthia Kallenbach

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

Kevin Jablonski

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

Armen Ghazaryan

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

Nicole Didero

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

Libby Christensen

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

Allie Bauman

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Mary Snow

Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Science
Jefferson County