Selected Recent Publications

(* denotes student author)

  • Kolowski, J. M., C. Wolfer, M. McDaniels, A. Williams, and J. B. C. Harris. 2023. High-resolution GPS Tracking of American Kestrels Reveals Breeding and Post-breeding Ranging Behavior in Northern Virginia, USA. Journal of Raptor Research 57:1–19.
  • Williams, Claire G. A history of the Lost Pines told from the diplohaplontic view (invited book chapter), 2023.
  • Williams, Claire G. and Fatin Samara. Changing particle content of the modern desert storm: a climate x health problem. Environmental Monitoring & Assessment. In press: 10.1007/S10661-028-11287-6. 2023.
  • Hicks CC, Gephart JA, Koehn JZ, Nakayama S, Payne HJ, Allison EH, Belhbib D, Cao L, Cohen PJ, Fanzo J, Fluet-Chouinard E. et al. Rights and representation support justice across aquatic food systems. Nature Food. 2022 Oct 18:1-1.
  • Doglioni, G., Aquila, V., Das, S., Colarco, P. R., and Zardi, D.: Dynamical perturbation of the stratosphere by a pyrocumulonimbus injection of carbonaceous aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 11049–11064,, 2022.
  • Burch, E.*, Culver, D. C.Alonzo, M., & Malloy, E. J. (2022). Landscape features and forest maturity promote the occurrence of macroinvertebrates specialized for seepage springs in urban forests in Washington, DC. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.
  • R. Binte Sharif, P. Houser, V. Aquila, V. Maggioni, Investigating Rainfall Patterns in the Hubei Province, China and Northern Italy During the COVID-19 lockdowns. Front. Clim. (2022).
  • Balestra, B., Rose, T., Fehrenbacher, J., Knobelspiesse, K., Huber, B, Godding, T., Paytan, A. (2021). In situ Mg/Ca measurements on foraminifera: comparison between Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and Wavelength-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy by electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22, e2020GC009449.


  • Williams Claire G. and Michael S. Greenwood. 2022. Rain is a fluid medium providing long-range pollen transport, deposition and primary pollination in pines. Grana 61(5): 349-354.
  • Gephart, JA, PJG Henriksson, RWR Parker, A Shepon, KD Gorospe, K Bergman, G Eshel, CD Golden, BS Halpern, S Hornborg, M Jonell, M Metian, K Mifflin, R Newton, P Tyedmers, W Zhang, F Ziegler and M Troell (2021) Environmental performance of blue foods. Nature, 597(7876), pp.360-365. [Featured on cover]
  • Colin P. Casey*, Matthew R. Hartings, Melissa A. Knapp*, Elizabeth J. Malloy, and Karen L. Knee. 2022. Characterizing the association between oil and gas development and water quality at a regional scale. Freshwater Science 41(2): 236-252.
  • MacAvoy Stephen E, Lunine Alex*. 2022. Anthropogenic influences on an urban river: differences in cations and nutrients along an urban/suburban transect. Water 14:1330

Halpern BS, Frazier M, Verstaen J, Rayner PE, Clawson G, Blanchard JL, Cottrell RS, Froehlich HE, Gephart JA, Jacobsen NS, Kuempel CD. Et al. The environmental footprint of global food production. Nature Sustainability. 2022 Oct 24:1-3.

Williams Claire and Philippe Barnéoud. 2021. Atmospheric trajectory for high-altitude pollen transport and deposition. Aerobiologia 37(2): 333-350. doi: 10.1007/s10453-021-09697-5.
Williams, Claire and David J. Smith. 2021. Atmospheric biology: a unifying theme for the U.S. scientific community. Ecological Applications 31(3): e02275.
Williams Claire and Anastasia Makhnykina. 2020. Pollen’s contribution to Siberia’s forests. Reforesta  9: 107-119. doi: 10.21750/REFOR.9.09.83.
Williams C.G. 2020. Atmospheric layering during peak pine pollen season. Grana 59 (2/3): 1-10. doi: 10.1080/00173134.2020.1737728.

Knapp, M.A., N. Geeraert, K. Kim, and K.L. Knee. 2020. Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) to Coastal Waters of Saipan (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, USA): Implications for Nitrogen Sources, Transport and Ecological Effects. Water 12(11): 3029.

Kroetz, K, GM Luquec, JA Gephart, SL. Jardine, P Lee, K Chicojay Moore, C Cole, A Steinkruger, and CJ Donlan (2020) Consequences of seafood mislabeling for marine populations and fisheries management. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

Davis, KF, S Downs and JA Gephart (2020) Environmental variability and food supply chains: Building resilience into global and local food systems Nature Food, pp. 1-12.White, ER, HE Froehlich, JA Gephart, RS Cottrell, TA Branch, R Agrawal Bejarano and JK Baum (2020) Early effects of COVID‐19 on US fisheries and seafood consumption. Fish and Fisheries.

Shepon, A, JA Gephart, PJG Henriksson, R Jones, K Murshed-e-Jahan, G Eshel and CD Golden (2020) Reorientation of aquaculture production systems can reduce environmental impacts and improve nutrition security in Bangladesh. Nature Food, 1(10), pp.640-647. Alonzo, M., Dial, R. J., Schulz, B. K., Andersen, H. E., Lewis-Clark, E., Cook, B. D., & Morton, D. C. (2020).

Mapping tall shrub biomass in Alaska at landscape scale using structure-from-motion photogrammetry and lidar. Remote Sensing of Environment, 245, 111841. Bistline, John ET, Maxwell Brown, Sauleh A. Siddiqui, and Kathleen Vaillancourt. "Electric sector impacts of renewable policy coordination: A multi-model study of the North American energy system." Energy Policy 145 (2020): 111707. 

Dumnicka, E., T. Pipan, and D.C. Culver. 2020. Habitats and diversity of subterranean macroscopic freshwater invertebrates: main gaps and future trends. Water 11:2170. Doi:10.3390/w12082170.

Eisenstadt, Todd and MacAvoy, Stephen. in production. Climate Change, Science, and the Politics of Shared Sacrifice. Oxford University Press. Final draft submitted 7/10/2020. expected publication date: 1/2021

Fong, D.W. 2019. Gammarus minus as a model system for the study of evolution.  In: pp. 451-458, D.C. Culver and W.B. White (eds.), Encyclopedia of Caves, 3rd Edition.  Elsevier Academic Press, Burlington, Massachusetts.

Geeraert N, NM Duprey, S McIlroy, PD Thompson, BR Goldstein, C LaRoche, K Kim, LJ Raymundo & DM Baker. 2020. The anthropogenic nitrogen footprint of a tropical lagoon: spatial variability in Padina δ15N. Pacific Science 74:19-29

Gephart, JA, CD Golden, F Asche, B Belton, C Brugere, HE Froehlich, JP Fry, BS Halpern, CC Hicks, RC Jones, DH Klinger, DC Little, DJ McCauley, SH Thilsted, M Troell and EH Allison (2020) Scenarios for global aquaculture and its role in human nutrition. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture, pp.1-17.

Keany, J., M. Christman, M. Milton, K.L. Knee, H. Gilbert, and D. Culver. (2019) Distribution and structure of shallow subterranean aquatic arthropod communities in the parklands of Washington, D.C. Ecohydrology 12(1): e2044. 

Knee, K.L. and A. Masker. (2019) Association between unconventional oil and gas (UOG) development and water quality in small streams overlying the Marcellus Shale. Freshwater Science 38(1) 113-130. 

Kwon MJ, D Baker, C Tudge, K Kim, SE MacAvoy. (2018). Museum collections yield information on nitrogen sources for coastal Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina and Caribbean invertebrates 1850 to 2004. Journal of Shellfish Research 37(5):1-7.

Pipan, T., M.C. Christman, and D.C. Culver. 2020. Abiotic community constraints in extreme environments: epikarst copepods as a model system. Diversity 12:269. Doi:10.3390/d120/12071269.

Read, QD, S Brown, AD Cuéllar, SM Finn, JA Gephart, LT Marston, E Meyer, KA Weitz and MK Muth (2020) Assessing the environmental impacts of halving food loss and waste along the food supply chain. Science of The Total Environment, 712, p.136255.

Siddiqui, Sauleh, Kathleen Vaillancourt, Olivier Bahn, Nadejda Victor, Christopher Nichols, Charalampos Avraam, and Maxwell Brown. "Integrated North American energy markets under different futures of cross-border energy infrastructure." Energy Policy 144 (2020): 111658. 

Wilken RL, A Imanalieva, SE MacAvoy, VP Connaughton. (2020). Anatomical and behavioral assessment of larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) reared in Anacostia River water samples. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Faculty Labs

Selected Grants

Michael Alonzo (Environmental Science) received a grant for $37,914 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his work in improving models of forest ecosystem structure and function through fusion of 3D data derived from stereo imagery and lidar.

Sauleh Siddiqui and Kiho Kim helped lead a $15 million grant awarded to AU for Multiscale RECIPES (Resilient, Equitable, and Circular Innovations with Partnership and Education Synergies) for Sustainable Food Systems.

Barbara Balestra was awarded an AU Deputy Provost & Dean of Faculty’s Pilot Grant for the proposal “Effects of biofilm biodiversity and biomass on microplastics in the Potomac River” (Spring 2022), which she is working on with MS student Joe Barnes and BS student Natalie Landaverde.

Jessica Gephart was awarded a $785,000 NSF grant to develop a global seafood trade network database for sustainable food systems, human health, and nutrition security.

Kiho Kim is co-PI on a $300,000 NSF grant to develop enhanced teaching and learning through problem-based pedagogy. Karen Knee and Barbara Balestra are also participating in this research, which partially focuses on our Habits of Mind class, ENVS 150 (the Nature of Earth). 

Kiho Kim is co-PI on a $800,000 NSF grant entitled “Noyce Scholar Retention in Racially and Culturally Non-dominant Communities: Partnerships and Persistence” 

Karen Knee and collaborators at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Washington State University–Vancouver were recently awarded a 3-year, $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from trees.

Barbara Balestra received a grant for $12,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for her project "Predicting Changes in Ocean Habitability on Earth and Other Ocean Worlds."

Michael Alonzo received a grant for $37,914 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his work in improving models of forest ecosystem structure and function through fusion of 3D data derived from stereo imagery and lidar.

Sauleh Siddiqui received a $108,130 grant from National Science Foundation (NSF) March 2021

Aquila, Valentina. Tracking Volcanic Volatiles From Magma Reservoir to the Atmosphere: Identifying Precursors and Optimizing Models and Satellite Observations for Future Major Eruptions. Michigan Technological University — $296,026 (3 years)

Alonzo, Michael. (PI) Understanding tree species and site controls on urban transpiration using high resolution spatial analyses. NSF — $416,000 (3 years, 2020 – 2023)

Alonzo, Michael (CO-PI) NASA-USFS Partnership to Advance Operational Forest Carbon Monitoring in Interior Alaska. NASA Carbon Monitoring System — AU portion: $136,000 (3 years, 2020 – 2022).

Aquila, Valentina. (CO-PI): Tracking volcanic gases from magma reservoir to the atmosphere: identifying precursors, and optimizing models and satellite observations for future major eruptions. 2 September 2020 to 11 September 2023. NASA.
Total award: $1,270,000, award for AU: $310K. 

Brakel W, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science, was elected Chair of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB;, effective 09/01/2020.  He has served on the Commission, representing the District of Columbia, since 2014.

Connaughton, Victoria. (PI). Using zebrafish to assess water health of Paint Branch Stream, an upstream tributary within the Anacostia Watershed”, DC Water Resources Research Institute, 2020-2021. USGS/WRRI. $10,000

Culver, David. (PI). A Survey of the Fauna of Seepage Springs in National Capital Parks-East (NACE). 2018-2022. National Park Service. $137,951. 

Gephardt, Jessica (CO-PI) Title: CNH-L: Interactive Dynamics of Reef Fisheries and Human Health (2018-2022). NSF. Award total:  $1,359,998, award for AU: $219,214. 

Siddiqui, Sauleh. $108,130 grant from National Science Foundation.

Knee, Karen and Kim, Kiho. (PIs). Investigating the role of groundwater in pollutant transport to Nu`uuli Pala Lagoon, American Samoa. NOAA. $161,559.00

MacAvoy, Stephen. (PI). Toxicity of organic contaminants in urban and suburban areas of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. 2020. USGS/WRRI $10,000

MacAvoy, Stephen. (CO-PI). Next-generation effects-based monitoring of contaminants in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. 2020. USGS/WRRI $10,000

Meiller, Jesse and Brody, Michael (CO-PIs). "Central Asia University Partnerships Program" from the American Councils for International Education (State Dept.). January 2020 to June 2021. $22,500.

Siddiqui, Sauleh (PI). Time-Sensitive Human Forest and Model Forecasts for COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Trials (Aug 2020 - Aug 2021). NSF
Amount: $200,000

Siddiqui, Sauleh (PI). Human Forests versus Random Forest Models in Prediction (Sep 2019 - Feb 2022). NSF
Amount: $480,000

Siddiqui, Sauleh (PI). EAGER: SSDIM: Generating Synthetic Data on Interdependent Food, Energy, and Transportation Networks via Stochastic, Bi-level Optimization (Aug 2017-Aug 2021). NSF
Amount: $399,874