Our Students

Carlie Dario

Ateneo De Manila University, B.S., Environmental Science

University of Miami, M.P.S., Marine Affairs and Policy

Abess Fellow


A. J. Hudson

Columbia University, A.B., Psychology

Yale University, M.S., Environmental Science

Abess Fellow


Steven Koller

Pennsylvania State University, B.S., Sociology

University of California-San Diego, MASDG, International Affairs

Abess Fellow


Jesse Schneider

Pennsylvania State University, B.X., Biology and Classics

University of Exeter, M.S.I., Applied Ecology

Abess Fellow


Carolien Kraan

Utrecht University, B.S., Mathematics and Physics

University of Edinburgh, M.S., Environmental Science and Policy

UM Fellow

Abess Fellow


Lynee Turek-Hankins

Stanford University, B.S.M.E., Mechanical Engineering

Abess Fellow


Deva Taylor

Boston University, B.S., Health Sciences

Abess Fellow


Eddie Wintergalen

Washington University, B.S., Environmental Science

Dean's Fellow

Abess Fellow


Kristen Ranges

University of Delaware, B.S., Marine Science Biology

University of Miami School of Law, Expected Graduation May 2020

Abess Fellow

Doyle Fellow


Julius Dewald

Michigan Technical University, B.S., Wildlife / Wildland Management

University of Miami, M.A., Geography 

Abess Fellow


Lisa Johns

University of Miami, B.A., Ecosystem Science and Policy

New York University, M.A., Sociology

UM Fellow

Abess Fellow


Shireen Rahimi

Columbia University, B.S., Environmental Science

UM Fellow

Abess Fellow


Christine Pardo

Florida International University, B.S., Biology

Abess Fellow


Mariam Abazeri

University of Georgia, A.B., International Studies

Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, M.X., Environmental Science and Policy

Abess Fellow


Dishane Hewavithana

University of Colombo, B.S., Zoology

University of Peradeniya, M.S., Wildlife / Wildland Management

Abess Fellow


Carol Kaplan

University of Washington, A.B., Psychology

Brandeis University, M.A., Conflict Resolution

Abess Fellow


Rachel Schueller

University of Miami, B.S., Marine Science / Biology

Abess Fellow


Andrea Sullivan

University of Central Florida, A.B., International and Comparative Studies

Abess Fellow


Alize Carrere

McGill University, A.B., Environmental Science

McGill University, M.S., Integrated Water Resource Management

Abess Fellow


Benjamin Ghansah

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, B.S., Geography

University of Leicester, M.S., Geography 

Abess Fellow


Liza Khmara

University of Miami, B.A., Geography

University of Miami, M.A., Geography

Abess Fellow


Laura McDonnell

McGill University, B.S., Biology

McGill University, M.S., Biology

UM Fellow

NSERC Fellow

Abess Fellow


Rumya Sundaram

Indiana University, B.A., Studio Art

Indiana University - South Bend, B.S., Biology

University of Miami, M.P.S., Marine Science

Abess Fellow


Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth is interested in the connection between watersheds and human health, particularly including relationships between water quality, soil quality, the presence of microorganisms, and infectious disease. She is working with Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele on the evaluation of the relationships between beach water quality and corresponding sediment characteristics, beach geometry, and beach management. Elizabeth is a scientific/technical writer and previously worked at the Miller School of Medicine and has volunteered at Everglades National Park, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and Deering Estate. She will continue to work with Dr. Solo-Gabriele.

Rachel Skubel

Rachel hails from Ontario, Canada, where, as a Master's student, she investigated the impacts of climate change on temperate pine plantation forests, particularly their management with respect to water use during and following drought events. She is working at the Abess Center with Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and is interested in addressing the conectivity of climate change and marine ecosystems with human societies. Prior to being admitted into the Ph.D. program, she joined Dr. Hammerschlag's Shark Research and Conservation group, where she collaborated as a research intern with him on several projects concerning shark physiology and behavior.

Jillian Drabik

Jillian is interested in the influence of academic research and government policy decisions on water resource management in South Florida. A graduate of the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William & Mary, she has worked on a variety of projects focused on environmental policy including tidal wetlands management in Virginia’s Coastal Zone and water management in northern New Jersey. At the Abess Center, Jillian works with Dr. David Letson on the South Florida Water, Sustainability and Climate Project. Her research on the project is focused on examining the application of agricultural stakeholders’ water use practices and experiences in South Florida water management decisions. 

Stacy Aguilera ~ Graduated, Summer 2017

Stacy is studying small-scale fisheries in California, with a focus on Monterey Bay wetfish (Pacific sardine, northern anchovy, and market squid). Small-scale fisheries are significant to many economies, community identities, and ecosystems. As of 2011, small-scale fisheries contributed to more than 120 million direct and indirect jobs and supported more than 500 million people. To better understand how these fisheries work, she is using Elinor Ostrom's Social-Ecological System framework to structure her methods and analyses. Stacy is especially interested in how fisheries work during varying conditions and what drives different outcomes. Stacy is very interested in science communication, striving to create solutions through interdisciplinary thinking. She is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Temitope Alimi ~ Graduated, Spring 2016

Temitope has a special interest in using GIS and Remote Sensing to study how anthropogenic and environmental factors affect the health of populations, with particular reference to infectious diseases in tropical countries, especially malaria in Africa.  She is investigating the interplay between land use, socio-demographic and environmental factors with a view to developing epidemiological models with local relevance. Temitope received a prestigious University of Miami Fellowshp and works with Dr. Douglas Fuller.

Caitlin Augustin ~ Graduated, Summer 2017

Caitlin’s research is focused on deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies under regulatory uncertainty. Her dissertation is comprised of three unique, but fundamentally linked projects. Her first project is the development of an integrated model for predicting surface leak size using MCMC simulations and Gaussian plume modeling to anticipate the leak impact. Her second project is on crafting effective risk communication for CCS projects through surveys and interviews with both the lay public and CCS-expert public. Her final project links the results from these two pieces into a set of recommendations creating an unbiased regulatory framework for CCS. Caitlin has been an active participant in the CCS community since 2011, attending and presenting at the IEAGHG CCS Summer School, RECS, AMS Summer Policy Colloquium, CCS-Oman, AGU and Goldschmidt. She holds a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Miami. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running, and cheering on the Miami Hurricanes. Caitlin is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Johnny Bartz

John's undergraduate research focused on the conservation of several Brazilian macaw species and promoting environmental literacy and sustainable development in local populations through ecotourism. As a master’s student, John worked with Professor Robert Dunbar to study in situ versus satellite remote-sensed temperature data at the Palmyra Atoll to better understand the limitations of coral bleaching predictions from satellite data. After graduating, John received a Fulbright Scholarship for research in Brazil, where he constructed Brazil’s first in situ coral nursery and started a long-term ecosystem restoration project in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro. At the University of Miami, John works with Professor Kenneth Broad and Professor Andrew Baker in the Coral Reef Conservation Research Laboratory to study assisted coral migration as a climate change adaptation strategy. His research uses regional climate modeling to assess future temperature conditions, molecular techniques to study coral and symbiont physiology, as well as policy and legal analysis to predict future conservation strategies. John is a joint J.D./Ph.D. student at the Abess Center and UM School of Law, supported by a University of Miami Fellowship and Dean's Merit Scholarship. John is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Annie Brett ~ Graduated, Spring 2018

Annie Brett received a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Harvard University and has a background in sailing and marine conservation. She has done work as a Gardner Fellow researching climate change impacts in the Pacific islands and as the program director for the international non-profit Sailors for the Sea. She has extensive sailing experience, at one point captaining a 120-foot expedition vessel over 40,000 blue water miles. Building on both her sailing and professional background, Annie is interested in exploration science and marine conservation, particularly how citizen science projects can be used to fill data gaps and inform conservation decisions on the high seas. Annie is working with Dr. Kenny Broad and is a UM Fellow. She is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Karlisa Callwood ~ Graduated, Fall 2016

Karlisa focuses on integrated marine management with the aim of optimizing the design and implementation of marine protected area networks. In her M.S. work, she examined bio-physical modeling of larval connectivity as a way to determine areas for inclusion in such networks. She works with Dr. David Letson and has received support under the NOAA Educational Partnership Program for Minority Serving Institutions (NOAA/EPP) grant program. Karlisa is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Andrew Carter ~ Graduated, Summer 2017

Andrew Carter, a native of New York City, first became interested in human dimensions of environmental change and sustainability while at Hunter College. He went on to receive a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, and practiced law in Florida and New York, and simultaneously obtained an M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy from Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He returned to South Florida and UM as a Ph.D. student at the Abess Center. He remains licensed to practice law in Florida, New York, and before the Federal District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and both the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. Andrew studies the development of both mercury policy and mercury science, and how policymakers, scientists, and the general public perceive and act upon risk and uncertainty concerning mercury. He approaches these issues through a framework that uses mental models theory informed by science and technology studies, decision science, and cultural anthropology. During the summer he teaches rising middle school students science writing as part of the Research in Ecology program at the University of Miami. Andrew is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.


Tanjim Hossain

Tanjim is interested in an integrated approach to vector management and plans to develop a program in conjunction with ‘griots’ to implement an environmentally sensitive malaria control program in Mali. Tanjim enjoys the outdoors and is always a phone call away from meeting up with you for an adventure in hiking, kayaking, triathlon, fishing, ultimate Frisbee, etc. Tanjim received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and is working with Dr. Larry Kalkstein.


Catherine Macdonald ~ Graduated, Fall 2017

Catherine is a Summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She was a 2007-2008 Thomas J. Watson Fellow, and her year-long independent research project, titled “Unsustainable Enmity: Sharks and shoreline communities,” explored the interactions of human communities with shark populations in the Bahamas, South Africa, Mozambique, Australia and Malaysia. She is presently the Intern Coordinator for UM's Marine Conservation Program  and the Executive Director of Field School, a hands-on scientific field training program. Her research interests include diverse aspects of human-environment interaction, with a particular emphasis on tropical marine systems and attendant human communities. Her dissertation is an interdisciplinary study of shark tourism that addresses the historical roots of modern human-shark interactions, analyzes the present impacts of the industry on human perceptions of sharks and shark attack risk, and proposes some limitations to the conservation value of shark tourism. She also seeks to better understand the mechanisms and impacts of behavioral conditioning and physiological arousal associated with provisioning tourism, and to contribute to the creation of management policies which maximize benefits and minimize risks for both humans and sharks. Catherine works with Dr. Kenny Broad and is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Deborah Roque ~ Graduated, Fall 2017

At Barry University, Deborah was awarded the Research Internships for Students in Environmental Ecology Scholarship and participated in field research focusing on the mating behaviors of the Florida dusky pipefish. In 2011 she began taking courses at UM in pursuit of an MS in Public Health before switching over to the Abess Center’s Ph.D. program. Deborah has been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her work focuses on addressing critical gaps in vector biology through student participation to improve the scope and quality of knowledge that can be provided to communities to enhance vector control and personal protection. Deborah works with Dr. Justin Stoler.

David Shiffman ~ Graduated, Fall 2016

David is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, and attended Duke University and the College of Charleston. He writes for for Southern Fried Science, one of the most widely read ocean science blogs on the internet, and tweets about sharks @WhySharksMatter. David is working with Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, and his research focuses on shark ecology, marine conservation, fisheries management, and social media. David has presented at eleven conferences (including three international conferences), has traveled to more than 25 countries.


Bradley K. Swain

Brad Swain received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Rhode Island, where he conducted research on the adoption of economic indicators designed to measure sustainable development. After graduation, he spent three years living and working in China and South America as a travel writer focusing on wilderness survival skills. Upon returning to the United States in 2012, Brad spent two years at Columbia University conducting research on moral psychology in The Higgins Lab and decision architecture at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. He is currently conducting research on how safety nets, disaster relief, and government bailouts influence financial decision-making. He is also interested in psychometrics and is currently focused on new tools for overcoming nieve diversification.

Galen Treuer ~ Graduated, Summer 2017

Galen Treuer received his BA in Economics (magna cum laude) from Oberlin College and spent two years conducting research into the psychology and economics of decision making with a focus on public policy and choice architecture at Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and Center for Decision Sciences. Between 2001 and 2010, Galen, a Minnesota native, had a distinguished career in dance and theater based in Minneapolis. At the Abess Center, he studies climate change and water management in South Florida.  He researches the impact of public policy on preferences and behavior with the goal of identifying interventions that can increase the usability of climate science for adaptation and mitigation planning. Galen was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2013 to work with Dr. Kenny Broad and collaborators from around the country on an multi-disciplinary analysis of sea level rise and other projected climate impacts on the resilience of South Florida's water system, economy, and environment. Galen is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.

Jill Ulrich ~ Graduated, Spring 2017

Jill's research focuses on the biology of disease vectors and their control, and she is particularly interested in malaria elimination efforts in Africa and Latin America. Her professional goals include research and applied work in tropical infectious disease control policy. Jill is currently carrying out her Ph.D. dissertation research in Australia at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Julia Wester ~ Graduated, Spring 2016

Julia applies social psychology and behavioral economics research findings to decisions about water recycling. She is specifically interested in the role of emotional disgust and its interaction with ideas of morality and normative behavior. To date she has completed a large national survey of attitudes toward water reuse on this topic and is currently working on a project focusing on moral framing of environmental problems using a multi-method approach of surveys, experimental framing, and eye-tracking. She is also working on a project employing ethnographic research methods, discourse and policy analysis to explore the connection between public attitudes, changing regulations and policy decision making in Texas, where direct potable reuse projects are just beginning to emerge. She works with Drs. Kenny Broad and Neil Hammerschlag and is a member of the Abess Center's Broad Lab.