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Our Lab Team

Dr. Meagan Schipanski
meagan.schipanski at

Curriculum Vitae

Bethany Avera

Dr. Bethany Avera

Research Scientist

Ph.D. Ecology, Colorado State University

M.S. Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech University

B.S. Soils and Sustainable Crop Systems, Clemson University

I am a soil ecologist and biogeochemist currently focused on understanding plant-soil-microbial interactions for crop access of soil organic matter nitrogen. My graduate work explored soil organic matter formation, nitrogen dynamics, and soil ecosystem function in forested ecosystems. Broadly I am interested in research that builds mechanistic and conceptual understanding of (agro)ecosystems to inform management, policy, and modeling.

When I’m not on campus you can find me trail running with my dog Sprout or gardening with my husband and son.

Caroline Dewey

Caroline Dewey

M.S. Student

B.S. Biology, Environmental Science, Virginia Tech

I am interested in examining the plant dynamics and tradeoffs when responding to abiotic stressors, with the broader goal of addressing larger questions surrounding climate change.


My research focuses on analyzing and quantifying intraspecific competition with varying population densities across a precipitation gradient.

Violeta Mendoza

Violeta Mendoza

M.S. Student

B.S. Environmental Science, University of Texas at El Paso

My research explores the changes in soil carbon dynamics after irrigation retirement on a continuous maize agroecosystem, focusing on the soil microbial community as a proxy. I study microbial activity, community composition, and their access to soil resources.

Christopher Toy

Christopher Toy
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences


Administration Assistant, Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center

B.S. Evolution and Ecology, The Ohio State University

I joined the agroecology lab in July 2019. My doctoral research focuses on evaluating ecosystem services and social dimensions of agrivoltaic systems. Agrivoltaics, also called dual-use solar, is a novel form of agricultural land management that integrates solar energy and agricultural production. As development of renewable energy infrastructure accelerates it is imperative that vast tracts of farmland are not displaced or degraded in the process. Agrivoltaics can help us achieve this goal.

Tyler Donovan

Tyler Donovan
Ph.D. Student
B.S. Agronomy, Iowa State University

I am currently part of a collaborative project between CSU and the USDA-ARS investigating soil and plant responses to nitrogen fertilizer x irrigation rates. I am hoping to better understand how nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation rates and their interactions alter soil nitrogen cycling, plant nitrogen uptake, pools of nitrogen plants are utilizing, and yield in maize agroecosystems in Eastern Colorado.

Carolita Landers

Carolita Landers
Research Associate / M.S. Student
B.S. Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

I am a research associate currently pursuing a masters in AgroEcosystem management through my employee student privilege. I hope to apply my research and educational experience towards improved leveraging of ecological relationships between human behavior and multiple soil processes that influence agroecosystem sustainability. I am currently researching questions around land use management effects on deep soil organic carbon dynamics in semi-arid agroecosystems.


Tess Noble Stromm

Tess Noble Strohm

Masters Student, CSU Soil and Crop Sciences

I am a master’s student in the Soil & Crop Science department focusing my research on soil health. Currently I am researching the effects of cover cropping and compost additions on soil health in water-limited regions, specifically Colorado and New Mexico. I am especially interested in interdisciplinary approaches to agroecological research including participatory research, educational outreach, and community driven projects. Prior to attending Colorado State University, I graduated from Bard College with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and received an educational background in performance and visual arts.


Arsen Yerlan

Arsen Yerlan

Masters Student, CSU Soil and Crop Sciences

Hi! I am Arsen, and I am from Almaty, Kazakhstan. I completed my B.S. in Soil and Crops here at CSU, and I am continuing my education to become a professional in the field by pursuing a Masters. My research involves looking at different cover crop species and their effect on general soil properties, presence of enzymes, and also the microbiome composition and function. I am interested in elucidating the mysterious world of microbes in the soil and leveraging them to benefit agriculture.



Angie Moore
Research Technician
B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University

Cassandra Schnarr
M.S. Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University

Current position: Agricultural Resource Specialist, Boulder County

Shelby McClelland
Ph.D. Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University
B.S. International Agriculture & Rural Development, Cornell University

Current position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Cornell University

Agustin Núñez
Ph.D. Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
M.S. Soil Science, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Current position: Agronomist/Research Scientist, National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) of Uruguay

Candace Carter
M.S. Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
B.S. Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University

Current position: Cargill Crop Innovation Center

Dr. Cynthia Kallenbach
Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University

Current position: Assistant Professor, McGill University

Dr. Theresa Nogeire
Research Associate
Ph.D. University of California Santa Barbara

Current position: Spatial Scientist, American Farmland Trust

Dr. Steven Rosenzweig
Ph.D. Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
B.S. Biology, SUNY Geneseo

Current position: Soil Scientist, General Mills, Brookings, SD

James Hale
Research Associate, Colorado State University
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences
Former postdoc at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago
Ph.D. Sociology, Colorado State University
M.S.S. Society and the Environment, University of Colorado at Denver
B.A. Psychology, University of Colorado

Current position: Food Systems Researcher, Colorado State University

Dr. Andrew Robertson
Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State University
Ph.D. Aberdeen University

Current position: Nature Based Solutions Researcher, Shell Global

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