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Who We Are

Sections: Faculty - Postdoctoral Fellows - Collaborators - Graduate Students - Research Assistants - Former Students


whiteboard photoVIEE faculty come from a number of Vanderbilt's schools and departments, bringing the collective skills and expertise necessary to address today's tough energy and environmental problems, while simultaneously educating tomorrow's leaders.

  • Mark Abkowitz , Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • John Ayers , Professor & Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Jack Barkenbus, Visiting Scholar in VIEE and Climate Change Research Network
  • Hiba Baroud , Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Corey Brady , Assistant Professor, College of Education and Human Development
  • Janey Camp , Research Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Mark Cohen , Professor of American Competitive Enterprise & Professor of Law
  • Douglas Fisher , Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering
  • David Furbish , Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Jonathan Gilligan , Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Steven Goodbred , Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Bradley Hawkins , Practicum Director, Vanderbilt MPH Program, Health Policy
  • David Hess , Associate Director of VIEE & Professor of Sociology 
  • George Hornberger , Director of VIEE & Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Kejia Hu , Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Owens Graduate School of Management
  • Bruce Jennings , Adjunct Associate Professor in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and the Department of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • David Kosson , Co-Director of CRESP & Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Euguene LeBoeuf , Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Michelle Marcus , Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Yolanda McDonald , Assistant Professor, VU Department of Human and Organizational Development
  • David Owens , Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation
  • Craig Philip , Research Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Director, Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resilience (VECTOR)
  • Jim Rossi , Professor of Law and Director, Program in Law & Government
  • JB Ruhl , Director, Program on Law and Innovation and Professor of Law
  • Ryan Trahan Research Associate Professor of Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Zdravka Tzankova , Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Michael Vandenbergh , Director of Climate Change Research Network & Professor of Law
  • W. Kip Viscusi , Professor of Law, Economics and Management
  • Matthew Zaragoza-Watkins , Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Carol Ziegler , Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Community and University Collaborators

Postdoctoral Fellows

VIEE postdoctoral fellows have a unique blend of expertise in the social and natural sciences. The postdoctoral fellows work closely with each other and with VIEE faculty and students to conduct cutting-edge research on energy and environmental issues.


Josh Bazuin
Research Focus
Post-conflict transitions, international community development efforts (especially around housing, poverty alleviation, and the environment), and the role of religion in peace-building and development.

Amanda Carrico
Research Focus: The psychology of environmentally significant behavior; common pool resource management; behavioral dimensions of climate mitigation and adaptation policy

Thushara Gunda
Research Focus:
Analyzing natural and social drivers (including climate and governance) on water security. Evaluating the complex interactions between water, food, energy, and waste resources.

Alexander Maki
Research Focus:  When and how individuals spread their proenvironmental behaviors to others (the “spread of behavior”), the factors that make it more likely people will engage in a range of proenvironmental behaviors across contexts (the “spillover of behavior”), and why some people successfully engage in proenvironmental behaviors over time (the “maintenance of behavior”).

Debra Perrone
Research Focus: Water, energy, and food in a changing climate

Kate Pride-Brown
Research Focus: Power relationships and their impact on the natural world

Kaitlin Toner Raimi
Research Focus:
How people explain away harmful behaviors, how people compare their own beliefs and behaviors to those of other people, and how people’s desire to make a good impression can influence them to adopt climate mitigation behaviors.

Sharon Shewmake
Research Focus: Environmental economics, energy economics, resource economics, transportation, and economic development

Lanka Thabrew
Research Focus: Life cycle assessment, multi-stakeholder environmental decision making, and international sustainable development research

Heather Barnes Truelove
Research Focus: Psychological underpinnings of individual behavior to reduce climate change, and attitudes toward nuclear energy and nuclear facilities

Graduate Students

Our students are pursuing graduate degrees in environmental engineering, management, policy, science, and other related areas. Each student is taking a customized curriculum and is engaged in research initiatives in his or her area of study.

Ke "Jack" Ding , Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Engineering
Research Focus:
the inter-relationships of the Water-Energy-Food nexus, and providing sustainable solutions to the WEF issues globally

Claire Evans , Ph.D. candidate, Political Science
Research Focus: Comparative Politics, Political Methodology

Ethan Gibbons , Ph.D. candidate, Sociology
Research Focus: medical sociology and environmental sociology

Megan Jordan , Ph.D. candidate, Sociology
Research Focus: environment, policy, labor and culture

Rachel McKane , Ph.D. candidate, Sociology
Research Focus: Environmental Justice, Environmental Sociology, Stratification and Health, and Quantitative Methods

Magdalena Sudibjo , Ph.D. candidate, Sociology
Research Focus: environmental sociology, economic sociology, science and technology, and immigration

Former Students

Laura Mahoney Benneyworth, Ph.D., Environmental Management
Research Focus: Evaluation of land use and drinking water quality in southwestern Bangladesh and implications for sustainability and community resilience.

Kate Pride Brown , Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Research Focus:  Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy

Emily Burchfield , Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Emory University
Research Focus: How water allocation decisions, and socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental factors, affect cropping patterns and the distribution of crop health

John Crane, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Research Focus:
The Thermo-climatic Cost of a Lush, Green Lawn: Characterizing N2O emissions from lawns

Alexandra Ewing , Ph.D., Assistant Director of Vanderbilt University's Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
Dissertation Research Focus: Life cycle analysis of alternative corporate sustainability strategies

Thushara De Silva , Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Research Focus:
developing decision supporting models for food and water resources and energy infrastructure planning & management of Sri Lanka

Elizabeth Stone Gerding, M.S., Earth and Environmental Science
Research Focus: Variations of climate, soil properties, and paddy cultivation practices in the Mahaweli River Watershed and the effects on rice yields, greenhouse gas emissions, and the percolation of nitrogen species into groundwater and canals
Current Position:  Vice President of Operations at Skopos labs.

Elise Hunter, Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Engineering
Research Focus:  Regional variations in freshwater supply in the US, urban drinking water management and planning, perceptions of water use and climate change

Yi Mei, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Research Focus: Hydrological regulation on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) transport from agricultural and forest soils to streams
Current Position: Natural Catastrophe at Munich Re
Job Description: Develop physically based and statistical models to evaluate the loss caused by flood, hurricane and surge for East Asia and the United States.
Ongoing Research: Hillslope control on DOC-concentration discharge relationships

John H. Jacobi, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Research Focus: Adaptive Actions to Climate Change
Current Position: Associate Director of Reinsurance Solutions at Aon Benfield
Job Description:  Analyze multiple perils (hurricanes, earthquakes, severe storms, terrorism risks, etc.) to determine insurance company exposure and potential losses from catastrophic events.
Ongoing Research:  Changing monsoon patterns over Sri Lanka and agent-based modeling of farmer behavior.

Leslie Lyons Duncan, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Current Position: Hydrologist with USGS in Nashville TN
Research Focus: Local and regional hydrological and subsurface conditions in regulation of the mechanical behavior of landslides and in relation to changing river flows

John Nay, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Research Focus: Modeling social-ecological system resilience to climate change impacts in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow at New York University and CEO of Skopos Labs, Inc.

Kate Nelson , Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Nature-Society Interactions in the Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences at Kansas State University.
Research Focus: Impacts of planning and policy on the sustainability of socio-environmental systems by examining the effects of policies on hazard impacts, evaluating adaptation strategies, and developing decision support tools to help reduce vulnerability and increase resilience

Deb Perrone, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
Dissertation Research Focus: Characterizing Water, Food, and Energy Interrelationships
Current Position: Assistant Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara

Chelsea Peters, Ph.D., Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Delaware
Research Focus:  Anthropological impacts on water quality

Scott Worland, Ph.D., Head of Data Science for FreightWaves.
Research Focus: Analyzing the complex interactions of political, demographic, economic, hydrologic, and climatological factors that affect decisions that either advance or retard the development of water conservation policies.