toby_maxwell.jpgToby Maxwell, PhD Candidate

Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry

Research Interests: Nutrient cycling in agricultural and natural ecosystems, stable isotopes as indicators of biophysical processes, plant-soil-water interactions as a way of understanding environmental interactions at local and ecosystem scales.

Hobbies: backpacking, skiing, music.





Roberta_Franco.jpgRoberta Brancher Franco M.Sc., PhD Candidate

Horticulture and Agronomy

Research Interests: The main objective of my thesis research is to investigate and mitigate NOx and N2O formation and emissions from silage. This research will potentially reduce the local air pollution due to NOx emissions and reduce the emission of N2O, the most potent greenhouse gas, which has 310 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. I also would like to consequently increase the nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of the forage crops utilized for silage making. This research would benefit the dairy and beef cattle farmers by developing ensilage techniques to help prevent nitrogen losses to the environment and promote more effective application of nitrogen fertilizer to the forage crops.

Hobbies: I love swimming in lakes and rivers, I like to hike or walk with my dog in nice places and views, I like riding horses a lot, I am an animal fan (I would have all of them if I had the money and space), I love traveling to new places.

My LinkedIn:


hannah.jpgHannah Waterhouse, Ph.D. Candidate

Soils and Biogeochemistry

Research Interests: Broadly, I am interested in the intersection of agriculture management and environmental quality. My main focus is on nutrient cycling - in particular nitrogen - and the transport and fate of reactive nitrogen from agricultural systems into the environment. I am interested in mitigating the impact human dominated ecosystems have on the natural environment. My work has included research in identifying agricultural management practices to reduce N2O emissions, remediating salt affected soils on subsistence farms in Bangladesh, and modeling the transport of NO3- to groundwater in agricultural systems in the central valley. 

Hobbies: cooking, traveling, backpacking, biking, climbing, reading


Barbara_Bomfim.jpgBarbara Bomfim M.Sc., PhD Student

Soils and Biogeochemistry

Research Interests: In my PhD project I will examine how disturbance affects nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics and how these influence Amazon forest ecosystems as a result of interactions between resource availability in soils and shifting demands from vegetation at different successional stages following fire and logging disturbance.





Jordon_Wade.jpgJordon Wade M.Sc. Candidate

Soils and Biogeochemistry

Research Interests: Soil fertility, C and N dynamics, N mineralization in California cropping systems

Hobbies: making music, being totally average at all athletic endeavors, and spending too much on coffee

My LinkedIn:




Garett_at_AY_Lookout-2.jpgGarret Long, M.Sc. Student

Soils and Biogeochemistry

Research Interests: Transition from conventional to biodynamic production and subsequent effects on soils and nutritional quality of fruit; nutrient cycling; agroecology; biodynamic agriculture; land and resource management; communicating science/research


My LinkedIn:



Ryan_Byrnes.jpgRyan Byrnes, M.Sc. Candidate

International Agricultural Development

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding soil processes from from mechanistic and applied perspectives with the end goal to provide managers and policy makers with data which can help protect the environment and enhance livelihoods. Currently, I am conducting experiments to assess the role of sub-surface drip irrigation as a nitrous oxide emissions mitigation tool. I also plan to conduct an experiment to evaluate the efficacy of nitrification inhibitors across a variety of soil textures, as well, I am developing and experiment to assess the role of available carbon in low-oxygen soil environments in determining dominant nitrous oxide production pathways. Before coming to graduate school I worked abroad in Africa with farmers to develop soil and water management strategies in smallholder farming systems. I am continuing to pursue avenues for outreach and research abroad and have been awarded a USAID Fellowship to conduct an experiment that will examine different biological nitrification inhabitation strategies in tropical pasture systems.

Hobbies: When I’m not working or studying I love spending time outdoors; climbing, surfing and playing soccer. I also enjoy cooking good food, drinking good beer and wine and spending time with friends. 


My Linkedin:


  Rylie Ellisonrylie.png

 Agriculture and Environmental Chemistry


  Research Interests: Dairy manure management is a   leading emitter of methane and nitrous oxide, as well   as nutrient runoff in California. I am working on   developing a process which uses hydrodynamic   cavitation to rapidly break down and sterilize manure   along with stabilizing chemical additives to produce a   stable fertilizer for field application. I will then test how   this affects nutrient cycling, plant growth, and gas   emissions form agricultural soil. I am also interested in science communication and environmental policy, particularly at the state level.


Hobbies: Hiking and camping, listening to podcasts, reading novels, snowboarding, learning to cook international cuisine