Nicholas School of the Environment

17 posts

John Poulsen

Nicholas School of the Environment              

I work on forest community ecologist and conservation biology, and  primarily study how human disturbances modify the abundance and composition of vertebrate communities and the knock-on effects on forest composition and structure and ecosystem services.

Tropical forest carbon stocks and dynamics; citizen science (paraecology); effects of defaunation (loss of biodiversity) on ecological processes and human livelihoods; biodiversity modeling; movement ecology

Nishad Jayasundara          

Nicholas School of the Environment              

Broadly our research is focused on health outcomes of drinking water contaminants. On going studies are specifically focused on renal health outcomes in agricultural communities and links to chemical and heat exposure.

Heat stress characterization in farming communities in South Asia; ground water contamination and health outcomes; fish models to characterize molecular initiation and progression of heat and chemical induced biological outcomes.                 

Dana Hunt

Nicholas School of the Environment

The Hunt lab’s research focus is on understanding the ecology of microbes through examination of their genes and lifestyles. Bacteria are the most diverse organisms on earth and play a pivotal role in planetary cycling of nutrients and energy. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the factors that drive their diversity and dynamics in the environment. We are specifically studying bacterial interactions with the environment at the appropriate temporal and spatial scale including the effect of temperature changes on bacterial populations and bacterial interactions with other organisms. Another area of active research is the response and adaptation of bacteria to emerging pollutants such as antibiotics and nanomaterials.

Microbial responses to environmental change (including temperature, pH) and interactions between organisms           

Peter Harrell 

Nicholas School of the Environment 

My research focuses on geospatial analysis of landscape level change and recently, spatial analysis of human health issues, particularly cardiac arrest .  Most of my previous work has used remote sensing to look at change and the potential impacts and mitigation of climate change. 

I have taught GIS and remote sensing in the Nicholas School for 30 years.  My research experience has focused on landscape change using remote sensing.  The most applicable was a 10 year long DCERP grant at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune.  This involved a large team of researchers examining every aspect of Camp Lejeune’s ecosystem to help the base develop a better, long term ecosystem based management methodology to help the base adjust to climate change.  My role was developing a history of change at the base using satellite data.  More recently, I have been involved in spatial analysis of human health issues, in particular cardiac arrest.  The grant I am working with now is to help develop the spatial data to examine the feasibility of drone deployed AED’s for cardiac arrest following a 911 call. 

John Fay

Nicholas School of the Environment

Environmental applications of geospatial analysis & data analytics: Conservation, resource management, environmental health, environmental accounting, ecosystem services, environmental justice

Organized and managed local, regional, and global datasets of physical, environmental, and demographic variables. Expert in geospatial and data analytical software and coding platforms (ArcGIS, R, Python, Git/GitHub). Experience working across and integrating ideas from multiple disciplines

Ranaivo Rasolofoson


Nicholas School of the Environment

I am interested in planetary health, i.e., how human alteration of natural systems affects human health. I am a postdoctoral researcher. I have investigated the impacts of nature conservation programs and environmental change on environmental, human well-being, health, and nutritional outcomes. I have used different methods such as participatory research, rigorous causal inference designs, structural equation modeling, and geospatial analysis. I have done multi-country, national (Madagascar, Haiti, Honduras), and case study analyses. I am interested in designing, testing, and evaluating the impacts of nature-based climate mitigation solutions, such as forest conservation, to ensure that they deliver climate, environmental, and human health and nutrition co-benefits.

Causal Inference, Environmental Change, Food Security, Human Wellbeing, Impact evaluation, Nature-Based Solution, Nature Conservation, Nutrition, Planetary Health, Low and Middle-Income Countries

Jennifer Swenson

Nicholas School of the Environment

tracking changes in terrestrial Earth’s living surface at the landscape to region scale with remote sensing and geospatial analysis: drought, deforestation & degradation, species distributions

Spatial analysis of climate, landcover, human demographics, remotely-sensed data (vegetation, temperature time series)

Wenhong Li        

Nicholas School of the Environment             

my current research is to understand how the hydrological cycle changes in the current and future climate and their impacts on the ecosystems, subtropical high variability and change, unforced global temperature variability, and climate and health issues.

Impact of extreme events such as heatwave analysis on health, Machine learning techniques