The Committee

The BRiDGE Coordinating Committee is composed of Nigel Golden, Nadia Fernandez, Elsa Cousins, Brooke Burrows, RoseAnn Vik and Mariela Garcia Arredondo. BRiDGE logos and graphics were designed by Lian Guo.

BRIDGE is supported by the UMass Campus Climate Improvement Grant, Office of Professional Development, Office of the Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, the College of Natural Science, the School of Earth and Sustainability, and the NSF Graduate Fellowship Learning Community.

Nadia Fernandez
Environmental Conservation

My research applies genomic tools to understand populations of wildlife species. I study the Golden Dorado (Salminus brasiliensis), using genomic approaches to investigate their contemporary and historical population structure.

Brooke Burrows
Social Psychology – Psychology of Peace and Violence Program

I study how different modes of communication influence individual, group, and societal-level change within both collective action and conflict reconciliation processes.

Arthur Siller (they/them)
Plant and Soil Sciences

Applied research in agronomy focusing on grazing and cover crops.

Christina Rowley
Psychological and Brain Sciences

My research focus is on how context (e.g., socioeconomic status, racism/discrimination, family conflict) influences families’ mental health in marginalized communities.

Gorana Gonzalez
Psychological and Brain Sciences

My research is centered on the development of children’s racial social cognition, specifically the awareness of racism and race and how that impacts children’s cognitions and behaviors.

Meghna N. Marjadi
Organismic & Evolutionary Biology

I study how anadromous fish populations (fishes that live in the ocean and spawn in freshwater) may respond to changes in climate as a result of changes to their migration and reproductive patterns. Learning more about this will help us better understand how fisheries and the people who rely on them for food, jobs, and community can adjust as our world changes.

Wayne Barnaby
Neuroscience and Behavior

I study the neural underpinnings of locomotion and how genetic disruption leads to motor and locomotor disorders.

LeAnn Zuñiga (they/them)

My research investigates the sourcing and transport of dissolved manganese in Massachusetts groundwaters to better understand the presence of manganese in glacial aquifer systems.

Katherine Chacon-Vargas
Molecular and Cellular Biology, Food Science

I study domestication and evolution of microbes associated with food systems, using comparative genomics and bioinformatics to assess taxonomic and functional changes in the microbial community.

Cierra Abellera
Psychological & Brain Sciences

I study how people navigate new contexts and relationships and the process of acculturation and host community attitudes among resettled communities of refugee populations.

Jordan Allen

My research is working towards understanding the controls on the production of N2 and N2O gas in subsurface shale environments.

Josphat (Jo) Kiunga
Plant and Soil Sciences

My research focuses on elucidation of  the role of  key enzymes involved in arsenic  metabolism and phytoremediation of arsenic.

Jasmine Dixon
Psychological & Brain Sciences - Clinical Psychology

My research is in the psychosocial and contextual factors (e.g., chronic stress) that affect risk of cognitive decline and dementia for racial/ethnic minority populations, with an emphasis in Black populations.

RoseAnn Vik

I study Chlamydia & 'Chlamydia like organisms' - specifically their role in the progression of epitheliocystis disease in marine and freshwater fish - to better understand the vast health, economic and societal impacts that this incredible group of microbial pathogens are implicated in.

Kinjal Manish Desai
Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning

As an architect and landscape architect, I want to build designs that entails and celebrates diverse cultures and communities; And as a tech savvy person, I am researching the role of AR and VR in the field of Design.

Carline Fermino do Rosario
Biology/Molecular and Cellular Biology

My research focuses on understanding how the midzone is formed and how the behavior of these microtubules is regulated.

Leannah Hicks
Plant Biology

I work on biofortification in maize to increase the iron levels in kernels by the overexpression of endogenous genes.

Erika Correll
Neuroscience and Behavior

I study the inhibitory mechanisms underlying the process of filtering out sensory information which allows for us to properly focus.

Audrey Barker Plotkin
Environmental Conservation

I study the causes and consequences of tree mortality from invasive insects.

BRiDGE Alumni

The founding BRiDGE Coordinating Committee was composed of Benjamin Keisling, Raquel Bryant, Nadia Fernandez, Nigel Golden, and Mariela Garcia Arredondo.

Benjamin Keisling

My research focuses on identifying the causes of ice-sheet fluctuations during the last few million years and understanding the climatic consequences of ice-sheet collapse.

Raquel Bryant

I use microfossils called foraminifera to study how ancient oceans responded to and recovered from intervals of environmental change like rapid warming.

Srishti Kashyap

I study microbe-mineral interactions and biogenic rock and mineral transformations, catalyzed by high-temperature microbes called hyperthermophilic iron reducers that live in hot springs and deep sea hydrothermal vents.

Emily Bechtold

I study how bacteria interact with plants on the surface of leaves in order to understand if we can utilize these relationships to support sustainable farming practices.

Nigel Golden (he/him)

I seek to understand how environmental changes will impact arctic adapted-species like the Arctic Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus parryii) and develop models that will predict shifts in their abundance and distribution.

Mariela Garcia Arredondo (she/her)
Environmental Conservation

I use field observations, synchrotron spectroscopy, and laboratory investigations to understand how root weathering affects carbon loss and accrual in soils.

Sarah McCormick (she/her)
Psychological & Brain Sciences - Developmental Science

I study how family systems and context promote or inhibit early social-cognitive development.

Elsa Cousins (she/her)
Organismic & Evolutionary Biology

I study the interaction of plants and global change, particularly the evolution of defense chemicals at the edges of non-native plant range expansion.

Kadambari Devarajan (she/her)
Organismic & Evolutionary Biology

I study the community dynamics of vertebrates at different spatial and temporal scales using fieldwork, theory, and quantitative methods with a focus on mammalian carnivores.

Cam Anderson (they/them)
Environmental Conservation

I study how soil carbon and minerals interact in floodplain ecosystems that experience drastic floods and droughts, which will help us predict whether soils will store or release carbon under climate change.

Sungha Kang
Psychological and Brain Sciences - Clinical Psychology

I study the ways that the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD in early childhood vary as a function of family factors, specifically culture and race, and other contextual factors that influence externalizing behaviors including parenting and schools.

Tatjana Washington
Environmental Conservation

I am interested about how anthropogenic influences on climate change affects urban bird physiology.

Nikki Lee
Neuroscience and Behavior

I study hormones and social behavior in rodents. In particular, I am interested in the neural mechanisms that mediate behavioral differences between closely related social and non-social species.

Carolina Munoz Agudelo
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

I study wild bees and the fitness consequences from common  practices in agriculture, such as the use of neonicotinoids, landscape simplification and scarcity of floral resources among others.

Alam García-Heredia
Molecular and Cellular Biology

I investigate how mycobacteria, an important and unique group of bacteria, make, edit and coordinate the synthesis of their cell envelope.

Erin Patterson
Plant Biology

My research examines the evolution and development of specialized plant tissues in the grasses.

Hannah Baranes

I study coastal flooding and erosion hazards, and my projects have ranged from developing statistical techniques to model flood hazard in regions with large tides, to investigating mechanisms of sediment delivery to New England salt marshes.