Fatai Balogun is originally from Nigeria, where he graduated with a B.S. in Geology from Obafemi Awolowo University in 2012. Also, he graduated with a M.S. in Geosciences in 2017 from Georgia State University. His B.S. project focused on the measurement of radiation exposure due to naturally occurring radionuclides in Gemstone mining. His M.S. Thesis investigated the effect of time and temperature on Ultisol and Mollisol. At the University of Oregon, he will work with Matthew Polizzotto’s group to understand the chemical and mineralogical controls on release of heavy metals from sediments into ground water. He is also interested in processes that enhances the cycling of redox sensitive metals within the Earth’s Critical Zone. In the future, he would like to work at a multidisciplinary research institute where he could collaborate with scientists from different fields to proffer sustainable solutions to arrays of environmental problems of the 21st century. When Fatai is not spending countless man hours in the school, he’s an avid fan of soccer and motor racing. He also enjoys watching documentaries about ancient civilizations.
Joe Caggiano grew up in Washington State, and earned a Bachelors of Science in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Georgia Tech, he founded a chapter of the Sigma Gamma Epsilon Geoscience Honor Society and performed research with Dr. Carol Paty modeling plasma motion around the Earth while Earth’s magnetic field is undergoing a pole reversal. He looks forward to continuing this research with her at the UO. Other scientific interests include the geologic history of Venus and Mars, and using paleomagnetism to infer the dynamics of Earth’s outer core and thus the processes driving magnetic pole reversals. In addition to spending time with family and pets, he enjoys science-fiction, gardening, and growing minerals.
Ryan Cahalan is a current PhD candidate transferring from Georgia Tech. He received his B.S. in Geology from The University of Texas (Austin) in 2008, where he focused on measuring and modeling diffusion in metamorphic garnet. From there he moved to Georgia Tech and began his PhD work with Joe Dufek focusing on the eruption dynamics of submarine volcanism, paying special attention to the 2012 eruption of Havre Seamount, New Zealand. Ryan enjoys traveling, camping, sports (watching and playing), beer (drinking and brewing), and cheese (eating and making).
Monse Cascante graduated from the University of Costa Rica with a B.S. in geology in 2011, then she moved to Chile to study a M.S. in geoscience in the University of Chile. For her Master’s Thesis she investigated the geological and petrological evolution of Isluga Volcano, in Northern Chile. Monse has been working in the Costa Rica Volcano Observatory and has done some research on the ashes from recent eruptions in Costa Rican volcanoes. At UO, she will be working with Thomas Giachetti on volcanology research. Her other interests include hiking, movies, traveling, and sports.
Helena de Bastos Cruz Machado received her B.S. in Biological Sciences at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). She also received her M.S. in Geopaleontological Patrimony at the National Museum (Brazil). Her Master’s thesis concerned the taxonomic review of the genus Equus in South America, a horse that participated in the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI). She’s excited to be working with Edward Davis towards a Ph.D. and getting to research fossil mammals, specifically Pleistocene horses and their relation to the GABI event. Helena has a lot of interests outside the research world, but watching movies and series is probably her favorite activity.
Gabriel Ferragut grew up in Fargo, ND and graduated in 2017 from North Dakota State University with B.S.’s in Physics and Geology. His undergraduate research ranged from the application of optically stimulated luminescence dating on Mars to paleoclimate reconstruction in the Great Basin of North America through hydrologic mass balance modeling, but more recently an IRIS internship has shifted his focus to seismology. Before starting at UO he was working at the USGS Menlo Park investigating Sn velocities and the implications for mantle temperature beneath Saudi Arabia. At UO, Gabe will be joining Doug Toomey’s seismology group and hopes to explore crustal and mantle structure of plate boundaries in the PNW through tomographic imaging as well natural hazard analysis and early warning utilizing the so called Internet of (Wild) Things (IoWt.) In his spare time Gabe very much enjoys cooking, backpacking, and, true to form as an Earth scientist, has a healthy respect for, and interest in, the brewing and drinking of beer. His chief obsessions outside of the academic setting, however, are fly fishing and fly tying, which as you might be aware, are without a doubt the greatest non-scientific activities ever conceived by humans.
Chris Harper received his B.S. in Mathematics and B.S. in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (Chinese) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Shortly after graduating he became fascinated by the multi-disciplinary nature of the Earth Sciences, and his proclivity for mathematics quickly fostered an interest in the dynamics and modeling of volcanic processes. At the University of Oregon Chris will be working with Josef Dufek’s Volcanology lab, and is currently interested in modeling force chains. He is a huge fan of riddles and games, and enjoys staying physically active. He loves his hometown of Atlanta, but is eager for the opportunity to explore all that the west coast has to offer!
Brooke Hunter graduated from Macalester College in Minnesota with a B.A. in Geology and a Mathematics minor. At UO, she has joined Josh Roering’s Lab to study land displacement and biotic response to the fire event in Eagle Creek. Her interest in Earth Science stems from wanting to better understand how natural and anthropogenic factors impact landscape evolution. At Macalester she studied how increases in water velocity and sediment load impact river mussel behavior and health. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing volleyball, and hanging out with her pets.
Pierce Hunter received a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Oregon. His main focus is computational geophysics with a heavy emphasis in fluid mechanics. While an undergraduate at the U of O, Pierce worked with Alan Rempel and Colin Meyer modeling thermo-viscous feedback in ice stream flow. He is excited to continue this research as a master’s student. Outside the classroom Pierce enjoys skiing, camping, bowling, and Formula 1 racing.
Sage Kemmerlin graduated from Georgia Tech in 2017 with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Science. Her undergraduate research focused on subsidence on the western flank of Arenal. After graduating, she joined Josef Dufek’s group as a master’s student to study the transport and deposition of hot pyroclastic density currents and the formation of high grade to extremely high grade ignimbrites. As Joe took a position at UO, Sage transferred too and is very excited by the opportunities it presents. In her spare time Sage enjoys traveling, hiking, painting, climbing, and hanging out with her two cats.
Nate Klema grew up in Durango Colorado, where he graduated with a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics minor from Fort Lewis College. Throughout, and after, his undergraduate education he worked guiding rafting expeditions through Grand Canyon National Park, where he fell in love with the complex story of earth as told through the lens of Geology. He will be working with Leif Karlstrom and Josh Roering studying the post-fire landscape response in Oregon’s Eagle Creek Drainage.
Alexis Klimasewski graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in Physics and Astronomy in the Fall of 2017. As an undergraduate, she researched stellar x-ray activity and radio wave propagation through the ionosphere, but decided to pursue seismology after working with Valerie Sahakian at the USGS during a summer internship. Alexis is excited to continue working with Valerie at UO on ground motion modeling and seismic hazards. Alexis enjoys hiking, trail running, and listening to true crime podcasts.
Markus Koeneke graduated from NC State University, majoring in Environmental Technology and Management with minors in Soil Science and Environmental Toxicology. His undergraduate research projects looked at carbon’s impact on arsenic contamination of Southeast Asian aquifers and the fate of natural bacteriogenic iron oxides during reduction. After graduation, he made a 4000+ mile trip across country to Eugene and became the lab manager for the Soil and Water Lab at the UO. He is interested in understanding contaminant fate in the environment and how to use that to help protect and improve human and environmental health. He is also very passionate (scared?) about climate change and water and sanitation in developing countries, as both issues pose great challenges to humanity. In the fall, Markus will start working with on his master’s program. In his free time, he enjoys disc golf, hiking, reading, photography, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Allison Kubo, a SoCal native, graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Earth Sciences in 2018. Her undergraduate work focused on volcanic hazards and she spent a summer at the American Natural History Museum in NYC summer determining sulfur isotopes in melt inclusions. She continued her focus on hazards studying computational modeling of pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) with Josef Dufek for her senior honors thesis. She is beyond excited to pursue a doctoral degree at U of O under Joe Dufek and Leif Karlstrom. Although volcanoes are her one true love, when those aren’t available she enjoys film photography, pottery, audiobooks, and eating ramen.
Maria McQuillan graduated with a B.S. in Physics from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. At the University of Oregon she will work with Alan Rempel and Leif Karlstrom to better understand the dynamics within glacial systems. In the past, she has done research on tidal features of interacting galaxies and solar wind interactions with the Earth. Her interest in earth science stemmed from her study abroad in New Zealand and she looks forward to studying more Earth related processes. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and chilling with her cat.
Chelsea Obeidy earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Humboldt State University. She focused her research on ecological restoration, wildland soil science, forestry, and geotechnical engineering. She became increasingly interested in subsurface contaminants and their threat to soil and water quality. She is excited to work with Matthew Polizzotto and the Earth Science Department at University of Oregon. She will focus her research on contaminant transport mechanisms within the critical zone. During her free time, she loves to dance, hike, swim, and garden.
Eli Orland graduated with a BA in Geology from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. His thesis utilized remote sensing and high resolution digital elevation models to predict the substrate of post-glacial mountain river systems. He is excited to work with Josh Roering and focus on the geomorphic response of rivers and hillslopes to regional uplift in the Western United States. Outside of research, Eli can be found running, biking, playing music, or talking about that one time he worked in a coffee shop.
Amanda Peng graduated from the University of Washington with a double major in Biology and Earth Sciences. During her time at UW, her research has focused on the jaw biomechanics and feeding ecologies of Cretaceous mammals. She also has an interest in the evolution of mammalian dental characters in non-mammalian synapsids. She has worked extensively in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, which has helped her to develop a love of all fossils. She looks forward to working with Dr. Samantha Hopkins on fossil mammals, and to living in Oregon. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, hanging out with dogs, and playing tennis.
Paul Regensburger graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Physics. He has conducted undergraduate research in computational geophysics and planetary sciences. Paul will be working with Joe Dufek on plume dynamics of Enceladus and Europa. Outside of academics, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, and reading novels.
Ryan Seward has spent the last few years traveling the world in search of the ultimate cup of coffee, and when not drinking coffee is also working at many of the worlds geothermal power plants as a Field Geochemist for Thermochem Inc. Ryan finished his Master’s degree in 2014 from the University of Oregon working with Mark Reed. His thesis focused on understanding the reservoir fluid chemistry of Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula in preparation for drilling the world’s first geothermal well to produce supercritical fluids. With the well now drilled, and supercritical fluid conditions reached, Ryan is excited to be back at the University of Oregon to pursue PhD research in the geochemistry of supercritical fluids and in overcoming the challenges from using these fluids for power production.