Cohort 2017

Meet the 2017 cohort of IGERT fellows and associate fellows

Fellows

Courtney Humphries

Courtney Humphries

Courtney Humphries is a science journalist who has written for numerous publications, including the Boston Globe, Wired, Science, Nature, Politico, Nautilus, Architect Magazine, Harvard Magazine,and Technology Review. She has a Master’s degree in Science Writing from MIT and was previously a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Courtney has written about a range of topics including neuroscience, genetics, medicine, environmental science, sustainable architecture, and urban ecology and planning. She is particularly interested in urban environmental issues and the relationships between human and natural systems. She hopes to pursue research on the integration of ecology and resilience into urban planning.

Jack Whitacre

  Jack Whitacre

Jack Whitacre: A book worm and ocean enthusiast, Jack grew up in Freeport, Maine building rafts and racing horseshoe crabs along a tidal river. Jack has captained boats and is currently working with a start-up team to turn fishing vessels in data collectors. He spent two years working a DARPA de-escalation project and volunteered as a community mediator. At The Fletcher School Jack concentrated in maritime studies and security studies to learn about globalization, the environment, and diplomacy. He has traveled to Iceland several times for the annual Arctic Circle Conference and lived in Reykjavik for a month with the Institute for Global Leadership to learn about Iceland's Ocean Cluster Model. Jack aspires to be a writer, teacher, and community leader. He wrote an environmental chapter on the Law of the Sea for the U.S. Congress, several articles related to fisheries and blue tech, and received the Sarah Scaife Frank Rockwell Barnett Memorial Grant in International Security Studies in 2016.

 

 Brianna Shaughnessey

Brianna Shaughnessy

Brianna Shaughnessy is a PhD student in Environmental Biology with Dr. Jarrett Byrnes' Lab. Prior to joining the 2017 IGERT cohort she completed a Master's of Professional Science through Northeastern University's Three Seas Program. Her past research has included resource utilization by primary consumers in Northeast Atlantic eelgrass beds, marine predator-prey interactions, and investigating the effects of ecotourism in the San Juan Islands. Most recently, through the Kelp Ecosystem Ecology Network (KEEN), she has been surveying kelp forests with the purpose of assessing the impacts of global change on such critical ecosystems. As a native to Cape Cod, MA an integral part of Brianna's upbringing involved constantly questioning and developing a deep respect for coastal communities. She looks forward to incorporating her future research into the development of sustainable fisheries practices in hopes of acting as liaison between the community that raised her and the scientists aiming to understand and protect it.

 Elaine Montes

Elaine Montes

Elaine Montes is a PhD student in the Environmental Biology Program. She graduated in May 2016 from Binghamton University in New York and earned her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. In her time at Binghamton, she worked in an Ornithology lab investigating the influence of urbanization, fragmentation, and deer population increases on local community species. She also volunteered as a sea turtle research assistant in Costa Rica, collecting data on mass-laying events (arribadas). Elaine spent the last year in Washington, D.C. working with the National Park Service to connect local and visiting park enthusiasts with greenspace service projects. Her interests lie in evaluating the effects of anthropological disturbances on animal behavior and ecology. Elaine is an avid camper and traveler, and loves to cook.

   Anders Corbett

Anders Corbett

Anders Corbett  is a PhD student in the Marine Science and Technology program at UMass Boston. Before NSF - IGERT Anders was a fellow in Genetics at Harvard Medical School under Dr. George Church.  In Dr. Church’s lab he studied the microbiome of elite athletes and how their probiotics responded to stressful events. He also did research on increasing the efficiency of editing human IPSC using CRISPR guide RNA’s. Anders has worked a number of jobs in Boston while studying and advancing his knowledge in the field of synthetic biology, including suit salesmen at Brooks Brothers, Bio Safety Officer, and volunteer advisor to the MIT IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) team. Anders graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2010 with a degree in History and was a Varsity Letter Winner for the sport of rowing. Anders also competed at the World Rowing Championships in 2012 representing the United States. Anders wants to further develop his knowledge as a PhD student at UMass Boston.

   

Candace Famiglietti

Candace Famiglietti

Candace Famiglietti is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at UMass Boston. She is also co-founder of EbenGroup, a social enterprise whose mission is to promote sustainable social and economic development in war-torn countries through peace-based education. She earned her MS in International Studies with a focus in International Human Development, Society, and Education graduating with honors at Oklahoma State University, as well as her BS in Finance with a minor in International Business. With an objective to assuage the effects of climate change, ethnic conflict and promote peace for future generations, Candace’s interests lie in the relationship between human identities and the environment, as well as the underlying psychological mechanisms within sociocultural systems that lead to economic exclusion, ethnic conflict, and environmental degradation. Candace’s interests also include grassroots conflict resolution systems design, intergenerational transmission of ethnic-based trauma and behavioral patterns, ecofeminism, and indigenous politics, specifically relating to sustainable development and ecosystem resilience.

 

  Michael J Cole

Michael Cole

Michael J. Cole is a PhD student in the Global Governance and Human Security program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Michael worked as a graduate assistant as he completed his MA in Political Science with a concentration in comparative politics. In 2013, Michael defended his master degree thesis on the distributional impacts of sanctions on the Iranian political and social landscape: arguing when economic sanctions are used as an instrument to influence the calculations of regime elites, they often create unintended consequences that disproportionately impact marginalized and vulnerable groups. Common themes of Michael’s research interests include the impact of asymmetrical power dynamics; state-society relations under authoritarian regimes; inequality and occupation in places like the West Bank and Egypt; and forms of social mobilization during the Green Movement in Iran and the Arab Spring. He has worked as a teaching fellow at the Harvard University Summer School in courses on international relations and the global politics of resources. As a research assistant at the University of New Hampshire, he researched riparian conflicts along the Nile River, human rights issues in extractive industries, and the water-energy-resource nexus.  As a PhD student and IGERT Coasts and Communities Fellow, Michael is eager to explore the linkages between population, health and the environment in the dynamic and complex geopolitical and governance contexts in which today’s challenges arise and from which tomorrow’s solutions can be discovered. 

Associate Fellows

Hannah Stroud

Hannah Stroud

Hannah Stroud is a Masters Student with the School for the Environment. She is working with Paul Kirshen investigating the food-water-energy nexus with a focus on the use of centralized and decentralized systems of water management in urban settings. She graduated from University of California San Diego with a BS in Earth Sciences and a minor in political science in the summer of 2016. Hannah is interested in the connection between scientific research, its communication with non-scientists and its implementation through policy. She has worked in Washington DC and Madrid as a public policy intern, and as a lab technician for California Department of Food and Agriculture. Her passions are centered on enjoying the outdoors, whether it be kayaking, hiking or rock climbing.

Meagan Riley, IGERT Associate Fellow

Meagan Riley

Meagan Riley is a Masters Student with the School for the Environment. She is an explorer and nature lover. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts in Boston in 2012. She is a certified and experienced English as a second language teacher and has worked with adults and children in both the US and Brazil. She has assisted with conservation projects in MIT's Sea Grant Lab and also led many sustainability initiatives in collaboration with MIT's Office of Sustainability including: MIT's Reuse and Repair Fair with Patagonia to teach people how to repair their gently used clothing, Choose to Reuse to encourage reusing instead of a throw-away culture, and the Sustainability Booth at MIT's Open House to teach over 2,000 attendees about composting. Currently, Meagan is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Marine Science and Technology and hoping to research how coastal communities interact with, and understand, their natural environment to find solutions to the effects of climate change.

Delilah Bethel, Cohort 2017

Delilah Bethel

Delilah Bethel a Master’s student in the School for the Environment program at UMass Boston. She graduated in December of 2015 as a Student-Athlete from Norfolk State University in Norfolk VA and earned her B.S in Biology. With a love to travel and explore new things, after graduation she moved to Boston to work with Dr. Alan Christian as research assistant through the Crest REU program at UMass Boston. She investigated how the Freshwater Macroinvertebrate community responded to the release from an agricultural press disturbance within a retired cranberry bog. Now as a graduate student in Dr. Christian’s lab, she is studying how the impacts of urbanization and the removal of long-standing dams affects the biological, physical and chemical state of the system. Delilah’s interests lie in uncovering the reasons as to how human activates are affecting our environment and finding sensible solutions. She is also passionate about environmental justice and hopes to someday help establish an equal balance between humans and their environment. Delilah has a deep appreciation for the arts, nature, and a good book.
Konstantina Ploumi, IGERT Associate FellowKonstantina Ploumi  Konstantina Ploumi is a PhD Student with the School for the Environment. She graduated from the University of the Aegean (Greece) gaining a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science and the University of Edinburgh (UK) gaining an MSc in Ecosystem services, being one of the first three people to achieve this award. She has an active interest in transdisciplinary projects and she attended Academic courses and seminars related to Environmental management and Economics, neuroeconomics and social psychology. Her professional experience includes working for the University of Crete (Ecosystem services project manager), ESS Ecology (ecological project management officer) and National Trust for Scotland (data management officer). She was recently awarded on a Greek National competition for green startup ideas for the “marine BI matters” project which was later one of the few EU startup projects invited to attend the COMPET meeting (2016), organized for the EU ministers responsible for competitiveness. She gained scholarships for her BSc and MSc studies as well as for the for the First World Forum on Natural Capital Conference (wbcsd, UNEP & SNH) in Scotland. Her interests focus in understanding the interactions between society and natural environment, in Ecosystem services valuation and the socio-psychological benefits human have from the coastal ecosystems.

Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

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