Environmental Problem-Solvers

Students in the Department of Environmental Science and Management solve local and regional environmental problems that are relevant to society.  Here are some highlights of their research:

Sydney Gonsalves (MS) is studying greenroofs to see how design and connectivity affect beetle community composition. Here, Sydney and Jessica Szabo (Biology) check and reset a pitfall trap on the Multnomah County Building greenroof in Portland.

Ariana Chiapella (PhD) is examining contaminants in the food webs of montane and alpine lakes. Ariana is collaborating with the National Parks Service to understand the effects of food web dynamics on contaminant accumulation in mountain regions. Here, Ariana is weighing a fish caught in North Cascades National Park.


Sarah Kidd (PhD) is testing the factors that influence tidal wetland restoration in the Columbia River estuary. Sarah is interested in how long the restoration process will take and if wetlands and regain functionality,
informing the science of restoration.  Here, Sarah is monitoring plant communities in Youngs Bay, Oregon.


Isaac Clayton (BS) is interested in the development of low-cost, environmental sensor networks to measure atmospheric pollution. Isaac has developed a smartphone-based data collection and analysis platform that could be used to collect data for atmospheric research. Here, Isaac is conducting laboratory studies at Portland State University.


Amy Truitt’s (PhD) research focuses on how an endosymbiotic bacteria called Wolbachia affects butterfly populations. The goal of Amy’s project is to identify parasitoid wasps and flies as potential vectors of horizontal transmission between species within this genus. Here, Amy is holding a female butterfly near Cairns in Queensland, Australia.


Amelia Johnson (MS) is examining juvenile coho salmon movement and growth patterns in Northern California. Amelia is interested in determining which environmental variables most affect juvenile coho, which are listed on the Endangered Species Act.  Here, Amelia is sampling macroinvertebrates in a stream in the Russian River watershed.

Jaclyn Teixeira (MS) is exploring how contaminants affect marine organisms such as microalgae and mussels. Jaclyn is interested in antibiotics that are introduced into ecosystems through wastewater. Here, Jaclyn is conducting a laboratory study on mussels and antibiotics at Portland State University.


Brian Turner (PhD) is testing how the response of introduced non-native species to native predators has changed over time. Brian’s research tests the factors that influence establishment success of marine invertebrates. Here, Brian is collecting clams in northern Japan for an experiment.