Office: B62 Riley Robb Hall
Advisor: Tammo Steenhuis
Degree Program: PhD
I grew up in Sunny Kissimmee, Florida right near Walt Disney World and the many other Florida amusement parks. My parents are from Guayaquil, Ecuador and after some seasons in New York City, they settled down in central Florida to raise their family. I have one older brother and two beautiful younger sisters.
I attended the University of Florida, in Gaineville starting in 2005 and received a B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, specializing in Land and Water Resource Engineering with a minor in French in 2009. I studied abroad at Fachhochschule Osnabrueck, in Osnabrueck, Germany in 2008 and at Ecole Superieur d'Agriculture de Purpan in Toulouse, France in 2009. As a part of my study abroad trip in Toulouse, I had an internship on the vineyards of Causse Marines in the Gaillac region that produced biodynamic wines. My Current Research Projects and Interests
2009-2010 SUNY Diversity Fellowship, Master's
For my Master's thesis I investigated trends in precipitation, sediment, and discharge data for three watersheds in the Ethiopian Highlands. Main findings were that sediment concentrations are highest in the beginning of the rainy season and progressively decline as the soil saturates, base flow increases, and sediment supply becomes exhausted. By incorporating the proportion of each watershed under cultivation, we developed sediment rating curves based off derivations from Hairsine and Rose and models from Ciesolka et al. (1995) that correlated reasonably with the highly variable data.
2010-2012 IGERT Food Systems and Poverty Reduction
I started the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship in Fall 2010 with an interest in researching water supply and soil and land degradation in Ethiopia. As a part of the traineeship, I have been able to interact dynamically with students in Applied Economics, Sociology, Natural Resources, International Nutrition, Civil Engineering, Crop and Soil Sciences, Animal Sciences, and Public Affairs. During the summer of 2011, Morgan Ruelle (Ethnobotany), Dorisel Torres (Soil Science), and I conducted a short-term project with the Debre Zeit Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. We worked with the tef-breeding program to develop preliminary GIS suitability maps for crop production as well as initial concept maps for a system dynamics model of tef production in Ethiopia.
Currently, I am conducting my 7-month field research in Ethiopia as the final component of the fellowship. With the help of the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute and Bahir Dar University School of Civil and Water Resource Engineering, the project investigates erosion by using GIS, caesium-137 tracers, and focus group discussions to detect eroding areas in the landscape. We compare these different methodologies to each other as well as to field measurements of precipitation, sediment, stream flow, soil nutrients, and ground water depths to identify spatial and temporal patterns in erosion processes.
I love to go to the beach! I also like playing soccer, biking, dancing salsa, reading my bible, raising chickens, spending time with my family, learning languages, watching foreign films, and smiling.