Get to know a little more about the ESE Faculty Associates
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Buyung "Datu" Agusdinata
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Research Summary: Dr. Agusdinata’s research focuses on dealing with the sustainability impacts resulting from human and industrial activities and natural events. He has been working on developing system model and simulation to inform policies to improve sustainability performance. Dr. Agusdinata is interested in answering the following questions: (1) given the decision options and technological choices, how best to predict impact of individual actor decision to the overall system sustainability performance and (2) from policymaking point of view, how to inform design of policies to minimize undesirable system behaviors.
Research Summary: Dr. Ashley is an atmospheric scientist and physical geographer with interests in natural hazards and societal interactions, severe storms, and GIS applications in meteorology. His research focuses on the climatology of weather hazards, how human exposure and vulnerability factors contribute to weather-related disasters, the geographies of weather hazard mortality, the storm morphology of hazardous thunderstorm events, and weather impacts on transportation systems.
Research Summary: His research explores how environmental and biotic factors influence plant traits that affect the outcomes of trophic interactions. Using manipulative field and greenhouse experiments, his lab explores the direct and indirect interactions between plants, plant mutualists, insect herbivores, and predators. He is particularly interested in understanding the outcomes of these interactions in ecosystems managed or restored by people.
Research Summary: Dr. Bennardo investigated linguistic and mental representation of spatial relationships in Tonga (Polynesia); he also discovered a foundational cultural model that from space contributes to the construction of other domains such as possession, traditional navigation, traditional religious beliefs, kinship, and social relationships. Dr. Bennardo is currently investigating the cultural model of nature of primary food producers in a world-wide research project.
Research Summary: Professor Bishop studies the role of the environment in American Politics, with a focus on public opinion, political behavior, and campaigns and elections. His research uses experiments, surveys, and analysis of observational data to assess the way ordinary people think about environmental policy issues.
Research Summary: Dr. Bruno examines the environment history of Russia. He wants to better understand the status of the natural world under communism and historic patterns of interacting with climate and environment in the Arctic. He is dedicated to interweaving assessments of social experience, physical environments, and cultural perceptions of nature in his work.
Research Summary: His research interests are focused in applied climatology, climate variations and extremes, and climate impacts, with major expertise rests in developing climatological information and models for use by weather-sensitive decision makers in agriculture, utilities, insurance, and transportation. He has developed an innovative new “education-to-career” program to train students and simultaneously solve climatological problems facing government and private industry.
Research Summary: Dr. Cordes is interested in the intersection of property rights and environmental land use protections. He teaches the basic environmental law course that covers the spectrum of major environmental laws and teaches how to think about solving environmental issues in the legal arena.
Research Summary: He quantifies and studies the impact of people on plant communities.
Research Summary: Dr. Hanna does work in moral theory and applied ethics, including bioethics and environmental ethics.
Research Summary: Dr. Hogan is currently conducting research by evaluating environmental and occupational exposures to chemicals, particularly combustion-related nanoparticles, as well as, exposure guidelines for chemical exposures.
Research Summary: Dr. Irwin's research integrates observational techniques and lab analyses to assess how primate health responds to seasonality and habitat degradation. In other words, he writes down what primates do and analyzes things like feces and foods in the lab. The goal of all of this is twofold - to understand ecological adaptations in the wild (especially adaptations to seasonality), and to understand how the threat of habitat degradation affects primate health - hopefully leaving us able to do something proactive about it.
Research Summary: Dr. Jones is a restoration ecologist and work at the intersections of ecological theory, community ecology, invasive species biology, and ecosystem ecology. Her research interests include using ecosystem resilience theory and ecosystem service theory to prioritize restoration, and using geospatial information to prioritize climate change adaptation strategies. The unifying theme of Dr. Holly’s research is applying basic ecological theory to answer fundamental applied questions.
Research Summary: Dr. King works to provide biological data to state and federal agencies charged with protecting biodiversity.
Research Summary: Dr. Konen’s research program focuses on human impacts on soils and surficial processes. Current projects are examining soil carbon dynamics in agricultural systems and restored and remnant prairie and savanna. He also has been quantifying post-settlement erosion-sedimentation rates. Other research projects are focusing on soil-landscape relationships in glacial, periglacial, and eolian environments.
Geology & Environmental Geosciences
Research Summary: She studies organic pollution, polluted groundwater, and the changes in microorganisms associated with the pollution. Her main research investigates the impacts of tourist activities on groundwater in Yucatan, Mexico. Dr. Lenczewski also studies the microorganisms associated with the steel slag pollution (high pH values up to 13.3) in Calumet, Illinois. Joint projects with other ESE faculty include: microbial communities and climate change in Canada (Goldblum); antibiotics in runoff from concentrated animal farming operations (Thu); and impacts of drilling fluids in deep sub-surface environments in Antarctica (Scherer).
Research Summary: Dr. Martin's primary research interests include renewable energy systems, industrial energy efficiency, hydrogen economy development designs, and hybrid electric vehicles. Dr. Martin served as the team leader for the Missouri S&T EcoCAR team which researched, designed, developed, and tested a full size fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. He has been involved in research projects sponsored by U.S. FTA, U.S. DOE, U.S. DLA, U.S. DOT-RITA, AFRL, and Missouri DNR.
Research Summary: Dr. McKee specializes in environmental and Middle East anthropology. Past research examined land conflict and socio-environmental movements in the Negev/Naqab region of Israel. Current research focuses on cross-border water use among Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli water conservationists, as well as the reactions of local residents to water scarcity, resource competition, and conservation campaigns. Prof. McKee also anticipates conducting future ethnographic research in the United States to learn about environmental justice campaigns. Across these field sites, she is interested in the drawing and policing of group boundaries; experiences of agriculture, urbanization, and environmental change; and environmental sustainability activism.
Research Summary: Dr. Mirman is involved with several projects with the Department or Energy that research methods to increase energy conservation in transportation. Specifically, his team is working on ways of reducing dependence on fossil fuels in the railroad industry: biodiesel to replace petroleum; regenerative braking; fuel cells; and types of mechanical lubrication. He is also interested in green materials design and how products can be made more efficiently.
Research Summary: Dr. Mogren looks at the ways in which people’s actions and ideas change the world around them, and the ways in which the world around them influences their ideas and actions.
Nicholas A. Pohlman
Research Summary: Dr. Pohlman seeks to find efficiency in operation as a means of conserving energy. His research is to understand the fundamental principles of granular transfers (i.e. agriculture corn, coal, stone, biomass, etc) which will then help improve the efficiency in transportation and utilization.
Karen E. Samonds
Research Summary: Karen’s research integrates comparative anatomy, systematics, and biogeography with field paleontology to address topics in vertebrate evolution. Her paleontological field research aims to shed light on the origin and evolutionary history of Madagascar’s modern fauna, one of the most unique and endemic on the planet.
Geology & Environmental Geosciences
Research Summary: Dr. Scherer studies climate change as it relates to sea level rise, which is linked to accelerated warming in the polar regions and the melting of the ice sheets. He is trying to narrow down the uncertainty of the stability of the ice sheets, which are seen to be changing rapidly.
Research Summary: Do toxic heavy metals and pathogenic microorganisms have any human health impact? He works to understand how the environment affects human health and then tries to minimize the risk of adverse health effects.
Research Summary: Dr Smalley’s current research focuses on indigenous animals and their influences on English colonizing in North America. Specifically, she examines how animals' mobility complicated colonizers' possession claims. Previously, Dr. Smalley has published articles on sport hunting and gender in the 19th and 20th centuries.
English & Women's Studies
Research Summary: Dr. Swanson’s goal in her research and teaching is to demonstrate the relevance of ecology for feminism, and vice versa, using literary text analysis, feminist science studies, and feminist theory.
Research Summary: His overall interest is the relationship between political culture and environmental views or constructs of nature.
Research Summary: Dr. Thu educates people about how their food decisions influence the world around them.
Carl von Ende
Research Summary: Dr. von Ende is an aquatic ecologist who concentrates on invertebrate communities. He studies the processes determining the dynamics and distribution of species, such as predation, competition, and dispersal, and incorporates computer modeling of these systems into his research. Currently he and his students are studying the dynamics of the adult and larval stages of particular dragonfly species, especially in the context of wetland habitat restoration. Dr. von Ende has also been exploring the interface of ecology and ecological economics as it applies to modeling system solutions and the role of ecosystem services.
His research interests include public and environmental health, medical geography, and hazards. Currently he has been focusing on geographic information systems (GIS) applications and geographical approaches in environmental health (air pollution and water quality) and hazards (radiation and populations vulnerable to storm surges). He is also interested in agricultural systems. He currently teaches courses in maps and mapping, which is a foundational course for the GIS certificate, medical/health geography (GIS focus), and environment and society.