Dr. Erika Marín-Spiotta  is a 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, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring from the American Geophysical Union, the President’s Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists, a Vilas Associate Research Award, a Romnes Faculty Fellowship, and a Feminist Scholars Fellowship from UW-Madison. Marín-Spiotta is currently leading an NSF 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 marginalized communities in science and serves on the leadership council of the non-profit organization, the Earth Science Women’s Network. Download CV.


Laura Szymanski, PhD Geography
Ricardo Rivera, PhD Forestry
Elliot Vaughan, PhD Geography
Emily Diaz Vallejo, MS Geography
Chase Kasmerchak, PhD Geography
Olivia Lopez, Holstrom Environmental Fellow Scholar
Lily Weglarek, Undergraduate Researcher
Alex Roman, Undergraduate Researcher
Chastin Harlow, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Bio 152
Milan Stolpman, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Bio 152
Clarissa Perez Gomez, Undergraduate Researcher



Ann Olsson, Lab manager (2016-2018). Ann has a MSc in Agricultural Science and a MSc in Land Management and is a PhD student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

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.

IMG_0499bc.jpgLaura 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.


Sanober MirzaIMG_20170928_132248741_HDR
Liam Patton
Craig Kunkel
Diana Tapia
Megan Seeley
Chris Morgan
Lea Daly
Sandra Kinzer
Nawaf Alghamdi
Kelsi Wallander
Zachary Stewart IMAG1726 copy
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 RaatzIMG_0460b
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

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