Affiliated Faculty

    Shiva Abbaszadeh

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    Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Dr. Abbaszadeh's laboratory work on Instrumentation and development of different imaging modalities for application in medicine and agriculture to understand human biology and plant biology. She teaches two courses in imaging instrumentation (ECE293) and innovation in medicine and science (ECE80B). Website>>

  • Lawrence Andrews

  • Professor, Film and Digital Media

    Research interests include Film and Digital Media, Sound Race and Justice. Website>>

  • Margarita Azmitia

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    Professor, Psychology

    Margarita Azmitia studies the role of identity, close relationships, and social support in diverse adolescents and young adults' educational and life pathways. Agricultural workers whose children are part of migrant education often participate in Professor Azmitia's research. Access to food and health are key factors in helping these and other low income families support their children's education and life goals. Website>>

  • David Bernick

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    Assistant Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Biomolecular Engineering

    Research interests include synthetic biology and BioEngineering in support of global needs. Website>>

  • Ben Breen

  • Associate Professor, History

    Ben Breen is a historian of drugs, medicinal plants, and the cross-cultural transmission of medical and scientific knowledge. Professor Breen's first book, Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade (2019) focuses on 17h- and 18th-century Europe, Brazil, and Sub-Saharan Africa, but Breen is also interested in the contemporary history of drugs and medicine. Website>>

  • Jeffrey Bury

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    Professor and Graduate Director, Environmental Studies
    Faculty Director, Center for Integrated Spatial Research (CISR)

    Jeffrey Bury regularly teaches classes on sustainable development, political ecology, climate change, and qualitative methods focusing on agrarian livelihoods in Latin America. Professor Bury's research focuses on climate change and agriculture, glacier recession and human livelihoods, conservation, and the social and environmental impacts of extractive industries. Website>>

  • Lissa Caldwell

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    Professor, Anthropology

    Professor Caldwell's research and teaching are situated at the nexus of food studies, political economy, poverty and welfare, social justice, and comparative state socialisms/postsocialisms. Her long-term ethnographic research in Russia examines the entanglement of political systems in the most ordinary spaces and dimensions of people’s lives, and in turn, how individuals represent, interpret, and experience their relationships with the state and their fellow citizens. Her current research focuses on hacking, design, and creative economies as modes of social activism. Website>>

  • Nancy Chen

  • Professor, Anthropology

    As a medical anthropologist, Nancy Chen conducts research on the connections between food and medicine and their cultural contexts. Professor Chen also studies how food security is critical to wellbeing as well as social identity and networks. Website>>

  • Weixin Cheng

  • Professor and Department Chair, Environmental Studies

    Weixin Cheng is a soil ecologist with research and teaching interests in cycling of carbon and nitrogen in land-based ecosystems, rhizosphere ecology, agroecology, and global environmental science. Website>>

  • Andrea Cook

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    Lecturer, Pyschology

    Andrea Cook is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with adults in California in my private practice, and is also a certified functional medicine health coach whose work always includes discussions about nutrition. At UCSC, Cook teaches clinical psychology courses, including Nutritional Psychology, which examines the impact of diet and eating behavior on mental health. Website>>

  • Jennifer Derr

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    Associate Professor, History
    Founding Director, Center for the Middle East and North Africa at UC Santa Cruz

    Jennifer Derr's research interrogates the intersections among the histories of science, medicine, and the environment in the modern Middle East. Professor Derr is particularly interested in the relationships among the practice of agricultural environments and landscapes of disease. Website>>

  • Lindsey Dillon

  • Assistant Professor, Sociology

    Lindsey Dillon's research interests include environmental and climate justice, urban geography, and political ecology. Website>>

  • James Doucet-Battle

  • Assistant Professor, Sociology

    James Doucet-Battle is interested in the social metabolisms driving health disparities among minoritized individuals and groups, locally and globally. In particular, Professor Doucet-Battle's work interrogates the conditions of possibility for decolonizing appetites and desires reproduced by power, capital, and history.

  • Madeleine Fairbairn

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    Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

    Madeleine Fairbairm does qualitative sociological research on the political economy of the global agri-food system. Professor Fairbairm is particularly interested in how transnational economic processes shape access to food, land, and other natural resources globally. Current projects explore the financial sector's growing interest in buying farmland, as well as the dynamics of the agri-food technology sector. Website>>

  • Andrew Fisher

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    Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences

    Andrew Fisher's research interests incolve water resources, especially: groundwater, water quality, recharge, hydrologic systemservices, and hydrologic modeling. Website>>

  • Gregory Gilbert

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    Robert Headley Presidential Chair for Integral Ecology and Environmental Justice
    Director of UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot

    Gregory Gilbert studies the evolutionary ecology of plant diseases and how the diversity of plants in a system affects the spread and severity of disease. Professor Gilbert is particularly interested in seeing how an understanding of how disease develops naturally in wild systems can be used to help control disease in managed system, and in using principles and tools from evolutionary ecology to improve cultural practices to manage plant diseases. Website>>

  • Julie Guthman

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    Professor, Communty Studies Program

    Julie Guthman's research has examined various efforts to transform food production and consumption, a theme that persists in Progessor Guthman's current research on the Silicon Valley tech sector's forays into food and agriculture. Intersecting with this focus, Guthman has researched the historical geography and political ecology of California agriculture, with special emphases on the organic sector and strawberry industry, and the intersections of human health and food production. Website>>

  • Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez

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    Assistant Professor, History

    Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez is interested broadly in the politics of plants and the plant sciences in modern Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Professor Gutierrez conducts research on locally held plant knowledge as well as colonial science across English, Spanish, and Tagalog/Filipino source material. Gutierrez teaches courses on science and the environment and take pleasure in walking students through the development of Southeast Asian studies and Philippine history. Website>>

  • Brent Haddad

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    Professor, Environmental Studies

    Bretnt Haddad's research interests are in the governance, planning, and management of regional water systems in which irrigation water is integrated with urban water systems. Website>>

  • Joy Hagen

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    Rachel Carson and Oakes Colleges Academic Literacy Curriculum Liaison
    Writing Program Faculty
    UC-AFT Continuing Faculty

    Joy Hagen's research interests inclue ecology; agroecology and food systems; plant-insect interactions; entomology; plant population biology; matrix population models; political economy; writing in the physical and biological sciences; STEM diversity and representation; American Indian intellectual history and environmental activism; writing and learning. Website>>

  • Galina Hale

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    Professor, Economics

    Galina Hale's work is in understanding the impact of agriculture and related policies on environment, human health, and climate change, as well as economic incentives needed for developing a sustainable food system globally. Her other work is in international finance, green finance, and financial stability. Website>>

  • Dee Hibbert-Jones

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    Professor, Art 
    Director, Arts Research Institute (ARI)
    Dee Hibbert-Jones is interested in Art & Politics (Social justice, criminal justice, environmental justice) Site and place. Website>>

  • Karen Holl

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    Professor, Environmental Studies

    Dr. Holl studies how to restore biodiversity in agricultural landscapes in both tropical forests and in coastal California. Website>>

  • Colleen Josephson

  • Professor, Electrical Engineering

    Colleen Josephson's research interests are in the area of wireless sensing and communications, with a particular focus on technology to enable sustainability. Professor Josephson's work includes designing novel sensing paradigms for agriculture, inventing techniques for ultra-low power communication in indoor sensor networks, and exploiting non-traditional energy sources, such as microbes.

  • Dolly Kikon

  • Dolly Kikon

    Professor, Anthropology 

    Dolly Kikon is committed to explore the relations and understandings between Indigenous worlds, ecology, land, and justice. Kikon’s advocacy on gender justice and human rights formed the foundation for her engaged scholarship and pedagogical approaches to knowledge. She recognizes Indigenous farming and foraging practices as essential to develop ethical research methods and learning guidelines. Her current research focuses on Indigenous food sovereignty in the Himalayan region, non-industrialized forms of fermentation, and foraging as an act that involves caring for land, lives, and things. You can follow her work at 

  • Robin King

  • Lecturer, Writing Program
    Oakes College Teaching Fellow

    Robin King's research interrests include Food Politics, in relationship to issues of social justice. King teaches Oakes 67 at UCSC each spring quarter.

  • Alexie Leauthaud

  • Professor, Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Alexie Leauthaud's expertise is in cosmology: the origin and evolution of the universe. Leauthaud teaches how the universe and Earth came to be and what their possible futures may look like (including the impending effects of climate change). Leauthaud is also interested in machine learning as a tool for solving a number of scientific questions, and sustainable food systems, urban food production, and gardens as tools for STEM education. Website>>

  • Michael Loik

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    Professor, Environmental Studies

    Research interests include Photosynthesis, Water Relations, Stress Physiology, Climate Change, Sensors, Robotics. Website>>

  • Jorgge Menna Barreto

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    Assistant Professor, Art

    Jorgge Menna Barreto, Ph.D. (b. 1970, Araçatuba, Brazil) is an artist and educator whose practice and research has been dedicated to site-specific art for over 20 years. Since 2014, he has been investigating possible relationships between site-specific art and agroecology, with a special focus on agroforestry. Website>>

  • Maywa Montenegro

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    Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

    Maywa Montengro's research combines political ecology, science and technology studies, and rural political economy to look broadly at knowledge politics in struggles over food systems. Specifically, Montengro is interested in understanding the links between agrobiodiversity, Indigenous knowledges, and food security & nutrition; debates over gene editing, IP, and digitalization in agriculture; and the role of scholar-activism in advancing agroecology and food sovereignty. Current courses include ENVS 130B (Principles of Just & Sustainable Food Systems), ENVS 201B (Environmental Studies in Practice) and 290L (Graduate Seminar). Website>>

  • Katia Obraczka

  • Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

    Katia Obraczka's research is on computer and communication networks, including wireless-, sensor-, and IoT networks. Website>>

  • (Alison) Laurie Palmer

  • Professor, Art
    Director of Graduate Studies

    A. Laurie Palmer’s place-based, research-oriented art projects take form as sculpture, public art, and artist books, and she collaborates on strategic actions in the contexts of social and environmental justice. She sees art in its surprising, sensory and liberatory aspects as a critical force for collective and systemic transformation. Her current project, The Lichen Museum, is a performative, textual, and conceptual artwork that imagines the earth as an inside-out museum, seducing us to develop our powers of attention, observation, and listening, and toppling the human-centered hierarchies that value certain forms of life and being over others. Website>>

  • Ingrid M. Parker

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    Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Research interests include Plant disease ecology, Evolutionary ecology of weeds, Evolution of domestication. Website>>

  • Jennifer M. Parker

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    Professor, Art 
    Founding Director, OpenLab Collaborative Research Center

    Parker investigates methods of Arts Integration in Higher Education by combining creative research practices with science, engineering, and technology. As an artist, Parker carves sites for collective entanglement between disciplines. Facilitating, identifying and determining the boundaries of complex, multi-dimensional space with the aim to develop (a sense of) community to encourage learning, and inform and develop the practice of its members. Website>>

  • Michael Patnode

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    Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology

    Microbes residing in the human intestine influence host metabolism, immune homeostasis, and susceptibility to enteric infections. Gut bacteria have evolved to subsist on certain classes of carbohydrates in our diets, however, it is currently difficult to predict which species will be impacted by a given dietary intervention. Michael Patnode's work examines how beneficial and harmful gut microbes compete with one another for nutrients in food, and how our immune systems influence the outcomes of these competitions. Website>>

  • Cecilia M. Rivas

  • Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies

    Professor Rivas teaches in the areas of media studies, consumer cultures, national identity, and modernity. Some of her courses focus specifically on contemporary Central American societies. Her areas of research include media and communication, migration, globalization, El Salvador, and Southern Mexico.

  • Marco Rolandi

  • Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Research interests include bioelectronic sensing and actuation of biological systems ranging from ion channels to cells including organs on chip, plants, and soil. Website>>

  • Ricardo Sanfelice

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    Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Research interests include modeling, stability, robust control, observer design, and simulation of nonlinear and hybrid systems with applications to power systems, robotics, aerospace, and biology. Website>>

  • Pallab Sarker

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    Research Associate Professor, Environmental Studies

    The overarching goal of Pallab Sarker's current research program is to advance more environmentally sound aquaculture diets by reducing eutrophication emissions, eliminating fishmeal and fish oil and encouraging economically sustainable use of under-utilized microalgae co-product. Sarker's research team is also aiming to conduct integrating aquaculture-agriculture research (both soil-based and aquaponics) via a circular–no waste– economy approach to strengthen sustainable stewardship of farmed fish and fresh vegetables. Professor Sarker teaches the campus’ first course Sustainable Aquaculture, ENVS 135 in winter quarter. Website>>

  • Katherine Seto

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    Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

    Katherine Seto's research focuses on harvested food systems (e.g. fishing, hunting) and their contributions to diets, income, and livelihoods in Africa and Oceania. Specifically, her research explores the role of seafood in local and global food systems, and the governance and sustainability of those systems. Website>>

  • Sam Severance

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    Assistant Professor, Education

    Sam Severance's research looks at how to create more inclusive design processes that support the development and implementation of STEM learning experiences that build on the strengths learners bring and that contribute to purposes learners see as relevant and meaningful to their lives and communities. In addition to exploring how to better empower learners, both in formal and informal spaces, a larger aim of Professor Severance's work examines how to sustain such opportunities over time through partnership work with schools, community members, and other stakeholders. Website>>

  • Amanda M. Smith

  • Assistant Professor, Literature

    Amanda M. Smith is interested in Latin American literature and culture, the environmental humanities, and Indigenous studies. Website>>

  • Matt Sparke

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    Professor, Politics

    Matt Sparke's work focuses on the changing geography of politics and citizenship in the context of globalization. Most recently this has involved research on the politics of global health, including the intersections of food security and agro-ecological interventions in community health work. Website>>

  • Anna Tsing

  • Professor, Anthropology

    Research interests include environmental history and politics; Southeast Asia.

  • Yiman Wang

  • Professor, Film and Digital Media

    Ecocinema and environmental media, transnational Chinese cinemas, ethnic star studies, documentary studies, early and silent cinema studies, feminist studies, Asian and diasporic Asian studies. Website>>

  • Rob Sean Wilson

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    Professor, Literature

    Interests include worlding places and reworlding the planet; oceanic becoming; poetics of conversion. Website>>

  • Erika S. Zavaleta

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    Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Erika S. Zavaleta research interests include enhancing stewardship, understanding and appreciation of ecosystems, and justice in the conservation field. Professor Zavaleta's projects focus on terrestrial ecosystems and communities, links between biodiversity and human well-being, implications of interacting global and regional environmental changes, and equity and justice in higher education. Website>>

  • Yu Zhang

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    Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Dr. Zhang's research interests span the broad areas of cyber-physical systems, smart power grids, optimization theory, signal processing, machine learning and big data analytics. Website>>

  • Ariel Zucker

  • Assistant Professor, Economics

    Ariel Zucker is a development economist focused on behavior change to support environmental sustainability and health globally. Part of Professor Zucker's research aims to promote sustainable groundwater use in Indian agriculture. Website>>