Dr. Erika Marín-Spiotta  is an Associate Professor of Geography and an affiliate of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Departments of Soil Science and Forest and Wildlife Ecology, and the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies program at UW-Madison. She studies biogeochemical and ecological effects of landscape disturbance and shifts in biodiversity due to changes in land use and climate, with a focus on terrestrial carbon cycling. She has served in several leadership positions at the American Geophysical Union, including Secretary of the Biogeosciences section and member of the Ethics Task Force and the Meetings Committee. Dr. Marín-Spiotta is a recipient of a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring from the American Geophysical Union, the President’s Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists, and a Vilas Associate Research Award from UW-Madison. Marín-Spiotta is past co-principal investigator on a NSF ADVANCE PAID award to support the advancement of early-career women in the geosciences and lead PI of a new ADVANCE Partnership award to develop bystander intervention and ethics training to address harassment in the geosciences. Dr. Marín-Spiotta is committed to increasing the participation of historically underrepresented groups in science and serves on the leadership board of the non-profit organization, the Earth Science Women’s Network. Download CV.


Ann Olsson has a MSc in Agricultural Science and a MSc in Land Management and is a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Laura Szymanski, PhD Geography
Ricardo Rivera, PhD Forestry
Elliot Vaughan, PhD Geography

Sanober Mirza, Geography & Environmental Science major        Liam Patton, B.A. Geography & Environmental Studies
Craig Kunkel, Environmental Science major                               Diana Tapia, Geography major  
Olivia Lopez, Conservation Biology & Environmental Studies and
Afro-American Studies major


Adam von Haden, Ph.D. 2017 Environment and Resources. Mechanisms of ecosystem carbon storage and stability in temperate bioenergy cropping systems.

Tim Whitby, Lab Manager (2014-2016). Tim has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Virginia, with a concentration in Environmental and Biological Conservation and a M.S. in Biology from Appalachian State University with a graduate certificate in GIS. Before joining our lab, Tim worked for Prof. Monica Turner over in Zoology, where he gained great field experience in Yellowstone and developed new lab protocols.

Elliot Vaughan, M.S. 2016. Geography. Factors controlling soil carbon and nitrogen storage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Laura Szymanski, M.S. 2015 Geography. Soil microbial respiration and carbon turnover under perennial and annual biofuel crops in two agricultural soils.

Emily Atkinson, Ph.D. 2014 Geography. Land use legacies in tropical dry forests: Linking above- and belowground dynamics. Emily is now Undergraduate Program Director for the School of Earth, Energy & Environment at Stanford.

John Souther, M.S. 2014. Geography. Investigating successional dynamics in naturally-regenerated tropical forests of Puerto Rico: Testing and learning from a chronosequence approach.

A. Peyton Smith, Ph.D. 2013. Soil Science. Linking microbial community structure and function with tropical forest recovery. Peyton completed a postdoc at Pacific Northwest National Lab and is starting a new job as Assistant Professor of Soil Carbon Dynamics in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M in Summer 2018.

AlumniNina T. Chaopricha, Ph.D. 2013. Environment and Resources. The Importance, origin, composition and stability of deeply buried
soil organic matter.
Nina is now a program coordinator at
Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

Emily Eggleston, M.S. 2012. Geography. How Japanese American gardeners shaped internment camp landscapes: A soil chemistry and archival analysis. Emily is now an urban agriculture Extension Educator at Purdue University.

Marc Mayes, M.S. 2011. Environment and Resources. A landscape-scale study of relationships between agricultural land cover/use, soil parent materials and soil biogeochemistry in the Konya Basin, Turkey. Marc received his PhD from Brown University and is now a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara.

Megan Seeley
Chris MorganIMAG1726 copy
Lea Daly

Sandra Kinzer
Nawaf Alghamdi
Kelsi Wallander
Zachary Stewart
Diana Macias
Sam Jensen        
Jessica Rippe-Martinez         
Ross Edel                      
Breana Nehls           
Jack Travis            
Amanda Janczak                 
Jenny Renzas
Tommy Gorak         
Dylan S. Hill              
Erin Mellenthin                 
Grace Moran                  
Ravin Raatz             
Gabrielle Hinahara
Lays Fernanda de Oliveira, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Brazil, Summer 2015
Ashley Avilés, Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico, Summer 2015
Doreen Cabrera, California State University Long Beach, Summer 2014
Ada Vilches Ortega, Universidad de Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, Summer 2013
Adriana Muñiz, Universidad de Puerto Rico-Arecibo, Summer 2012
Edison Caraballo, Universidad de Turabo, Summer 2012

lab lunch Dec 2014