PhD Student Profiles

Our students come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds, yet they all share an interest in using critical and engaged research to assess the relationship between communities and the built and natural environment. We train students with both academic and non-academic aspirations to become the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers, scientists, analysts and decision-makers.

Current Student Profiles


Amanda Rees

Amanda Rees

Education:
BA Anthropology, University of Colorado Denver
MA Geography and Spatial Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research interest:
Landscape equity, transportation infrastructure, highway redevelopment design and planning

Primary advisor(s)
Peter Anthamatten/Brian Page

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Amy DePierre Headshot

Amy DePierre

Education:
BA Bio-Psychology, University of Nebraska Lincoln
MS Environmental Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Food systems, community development, urban ecology, human geography, small-scale agriculture

Primary advisor
Bryan Wee

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Anna Bierbrauer

Anna Bierbrauer

Education:
BA Performance Theory and Political Systems, George Washington University
MLA, University of Minnesota

Research Interests: 
Cultural landscape history, urban ecology, political ecology, critical physical geography, landscape design

Primary advisor
Gregory Simon

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Dani Slabaugh head shot

Dani Slabaugh

Education:
BA Hampshire College
MLA, California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Research Interests:
Community land trusts, climate change resilience, grassroots community-driven design, racial equity and disaster resilience/public health

Primary advisor
Jeremy Németh

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Darcy Kitching headshot

Darcy Kitching

Education:
BA English, University of Colorado Denver
M.Ed., Loyola University Maryland
MURP, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Youth and family transportation, community development, regional mobility, community engagement, active transportation

Primary advisor
Carrie Makarewicz

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Erin Nobler

Erin Nobler

Education:
BA Business Administration, Marquette University
MBA, University of Colorado Boulder

Research Interests:
Transportation planning, mobility, equity, energy, advanced transportation technologies

Primary advisor
Manish Shirgaokar

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Gretel Follingstad

Gretel Follingstad

Education:
BA International Business, University of New Mexico
MS Natural Resource Planning, University of New Mexico

Research Interests:
Environmental planning, climate change and disasters planning, resilience planning

Primary advisor
Austin Troy

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Hillary Quarles headshot

Hillary Quarles

Education:
BA English, Yale University
MLA Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Research Interests:
Urban agriculture, food systems, food justice, public spaces

Primary advisor
Gregory Simon

Jade-Orr

Jade Orr

Education:
BA Humanities and Fine Arts, Concordia University Irvine
MLA at University of Southern California

Research interest:
Equitable development, gentrification, participatory spaces, social justice

Primary advisor
Jeremy Németh

Jenna McKnight

Jenna McKnight

Education:
BS Journalism, Northern Arizona University
MA Arts Journalism, Syracuse University

Research Interests:
Architecture, digital media, photography

Primary advisor
Michael Jenson

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Jennifer Newcomer Headshot

Jennifer Newcomer

Education:
BA Environmental Design, University of New Mexico
MURP, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Child-friendly environments, neighborhood evolution, community resilience, housing affordability, household choice behavior

Primary advisor
Bryan Wee

LinkedIn Profile

Jonathan Burton Headshot

Jonathan Burton

Education:
BA Geology, Brigham Young University
MIS Integrated Sciences, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Climate change, disaster mitigation, glaciology, hydrology, glacial lake outburst floods

Primary advisor
Frederick Chambers

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Laura Granja

Laura Granja

Education:
BArch, Federal University of Juiz de Fora
MURP, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Research interest:
Housing policy, housing affordability, gentrification resistance, low-income settlements, community planning

Primary advisor(s)
Carrie Makarewicz/Jeremy Németh

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Mahshid Gorjian

Mahshid Gorjian

Education:
BFA, University of Art Tehran
MFA, Virginia Tech
  
Research interest:
Machine learning applications, computational geometry, digital fabrication, 3D modeling/sculpting/animation

Primary advisor(s)
Amir Ameri/Michael Jenson

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Majd Albaiz

Education:
BArch, Dar Al Uloom University
MArch, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Architecture, architectural education, professional practice, design process, visualization

Primary advisor
Phillip Gallegos

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Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

Education:
BA Journalism & Telecommunications, University of Georgia
MS Environmental Science, University of Colorado Denver

Research Interests:
Remote sensing, geospatial science, urban ecological systems, land use, ecosystem services

Primary advisor
Austin Troy

Personal Website | LinkedIn Profile

Ryanne Hilbert Headshot

Ryanne Hilbert

Education:
BE Civil Engineering, Vanderbilt University
MCP City Planning, University of Pennsylvania 

Research Interests:
Transportation planning and design, youth and family mobility, equitable transportation

Primary advisor
Carrie Makarewicz

LinkedIn Profile

Shelley McMullen headshot

Shelley McMullen

Education:
BS Civil Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
MPA, University of Colorado Denver
MURP, University of Colorado Denver 

Research Interests:
Disaster recovery planning, climate change adaption, community resilience, international development

Primary advisor
Andrew Rumbach

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