Skip to main content

Meet Our Graduate Students

  • Segun Abatan

    Geology PhD Student

  • Bruno Abersold

    Geology MS Student

    Abersold finds energy resources fascinating and works to learn more about them. His research involves the implementation of all various data types and exciting technology in the Marcellus Formation.

  • Sofia Andeskie

    Geology PhD Student

    I am interested in determining depositional environments and climates of Permo-Triassic evaporites and fine-siliciclastics and observing modern environmental analogs, such as continental and marginal marine lake systems in arid environments. Check out some of my publications in Journal of Sedimentary Research and Sedimentology for a closer look!

  • Garret Beacom

    Geology MS Student

    Beacon is interested in the processes of sedimentology and stratigraphy, and how they relate to oil & gas, and paleo-depositional conditions. His research is focused on constraining carbon deposition associated with the Rogersville Shale.

  • Behrang Bidadian

    Bidadian is pursuing a PhD in Human and Community Development along with a master’s degree in Geology at the same time. With a background of architecture and urban planning, he is interested in sustainable and resilient urban development. Bidadian's current research area is flood risk assessment and vulnerability studies.

  • Matthew Bell

    Geology MS Student

    I am broadly interested in the source, migration, and remedation of contaminants in natural systems. My current work at WVU focuses on the geochemistry and hydrogeology of free-draining, abandoned coal mines.

  • Shailee Bhattacharya

    Geology PhD Student

    I am interested in geochemistry research on shale energy and an environmentally friendly approach to oil and gas exploration. My current research area is to study understand the composition and kerogen of black shales across the US and Alaska.

  • Jonathan Brady

    Geology MS Student

    After completing my undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Pittsburgh, I went to work in the Oil & Gas Industry. I decided to go back to school at WVU to pursue my Master's Degree in Petroleum Geology to further my understanding of petroleum systems and their development.

  • Jesse Carpinello

    Geology MS Student

    I am interested in modeling variable-density groundwater flow in coastal aquifers. My primary research goal is to understand how the thickness of the vadose zone impacts the severity of vertical saltwater intrusion from storm-surge inundation in coastal aquifer systems using various computer applications.

  • Shaun Donmoyer

    Geology MS Student

    I study fluid-rock interactions to understand the fate of contaminants in shale formations.

  • Autum Downey

    Geology MS Student

    I am exploring the geochemistry of clastic cave sediments to understand the depositional signature of extreme weather events within cave systems.

  • Yiting Fan

    Geography PhD Student

    I seek to understand long-term landscape dynamics in response to ecological processes or biophysical/biochemical traits of the earth’s surface through remote Sensing and GIS modeling. Particular interest includes monitoring changes in vegetation patterns based on chlorophyll and water content using high-resolution remote sensed data and finding a link between the patterns with biophysical/biochemical characteristics of different species.

  • Zachary Grzywacz

    Geography MA Student

    My research uses tree-ring stable isotopes to construct past climates in the southern hemisphere, using samples of King Billy Pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides) in Tasmania, Australia.

  • Alanna Higgins

    Geography PhD Student

    Alanna K. Higgins is a University Provost Fellow and PhD Candidate, focusing on policy changes in federal nutrition programs related to the medicalization of food. Her research interests include food sovereignty and food justice, the political ecologies of health and disease, and feminist geographies and epistemologies.

  • Timothy Hoheneder

    Geography MA Student

    My research focuses on the application of remote sensing, GIS, and UAV technologies towards precision viticulture and oenology. I am particularly interested in utilizing remotely sensed imagery and spatial hydrology to monitor and improve cool climate viticultural production. I namely focus my studies to French Champagne and Canadian wines.

  • Emily Hughes

    Geology PhD Student

    My research interests include the phylogenetics, paleoecology, and macroevolution of aquatic arthropods. Specific projects have focused on eurypterid ontogeny and evaluating the importance of prey size to the survivorship of eurypterids across the Late Devonian mass extinction.

  • Shelby Isom

    Geology PhD Student

    I study 600 year-old volcanic domes in California to better understand the processes, timescales, and hazards associated with the eruption and emplacement of viscous lavas. Geology, Physical Volcanology

  • Emily Jackson

    Geology MS Student

    My research area focuses on local depositional history, geomechanical properties, and maturation of the Marcellus Shale from well logs and core data from southwestern Pennsylvania. I am also interested in advocacy for women in STEM careers.

  • Hartford Johnson

    Geography MA Student

    Hartford is a master's student studying in the field of geospatial analysis. His research interests include identifying the relationships between land use and wildfire propagation through the lens of remote sensing. Hartford has a background in physical geography, remote sensing analysis, and geographic information science.

  • R. Scott McCleery

    R. Scott McCleery is currently pursuing a PhD. in geology. Scott’s research interests are focused on trace metal concentration in organic-rich shale.

  • Namiko Machida

    Geology PhD Student

    My paleontology interests are centered around ontogeny and heterochrony of Paleozoic arthropods, and paleo-environmental transitions. I have a background in microfossil biostratigraphy of Silurian to Devonian. My current research is focusing on trilobite phylogeny and driving factors on the paedomorphic evolution.

  • Barbara MacLennan

    Geography PhD Student

    The goal of MacLennan's work is to examine the spatial nature of public policy and to explore ways in which complex spaces surrounding public policy implementation and evaluation can be identified and understood through the use of spatial concepts and multiscalar methodological applications embedded within GIS and geovisualization representations.

  • Caleb Malay

    Geography MA Student

    Malay is a graduate research assistant at the WV GIS Technical Center. His research involves using machine learning and LiDAR for slope failure prediction.

  • Natalie Odegaarden

    Geology PhD Student

    My Petroleum Geology research area is the Marcellus Shale across the Appalachian Basin. My focus is unravelling the evolution of fractures/veins/veinlets due to the thermal maturation of kerogen of various maturity.

  • Brigitte Petras

    Geology MS Student

    I am interested in understanding modern and ancient extreme arid and hot environments by utilizing sedimentology and geochemical techniques. My research focuses on refining the sedimentology, microbiology, and ancient water geochemistry of the mid-Permian Blaine Formation from the Rebecca K. Bounds core of Kansas.

  • Holly Pettus

    Geology MS Student

    I am a MSc student working for Dr. Graham Andrews in the Volcanology and Petrology Lab at West Virginia University. My research focuses on lava delta/dam complex formation and the associated hazards.

  • Jaimee Pyron

    Geography MA Student

    I am interested in using remote sensing, GIS, and computer programming to investigate issues of spatial hydrology. My current research focuses on utilizing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and machine learning to predict palustrine wetland locations throughout West Virginia.

  • Brandon Rothrock

    Geography MA Student

    Rothrock is a human geographer interested in the intersection of climate change, gender, and sexuality. His research assesses the perceptions and beliefs of students on climate change at WVU. More information about his work is available at the HydroFeminist Lab at martinaangelacarettaphd.com.

  • Kevin Shrader

    Geography MA Student

    Shrader's research focuses on the use of immersive virtual reality and 3D modelling for flood visualization creation. This research has the potential to assist community floodplain managers with non-structural planning and mitigation of major riverine flooding events.

  • Rachael Taylor

    Geography MA Student

    Rachael's research examines the spatial and sociocultural aspects of locally-made craft beer in West Virginia. You can also find her working at the WV GIS Technical Center focusing on the discovery and mapping of mineral parcel ownership in the state.

  • Randy Toth

    Geology MS Student

  • Sam Tybout

    Tybout studies the process of evolution in deep time. His current research examines rates of speciation and extinction in bivalves using a statistical analysis of fossil data from the Paleobiology Database.

  • Shobha Yadav

    GEOGRAPHY PHD STUDENT

    Shobha is a climatologist investigating the change in regional atmospheric conditions due to land degradation and its consequence on summer monsoon and social vulnerability in the Tibetan Plateau.

  • Rachel Yesenchak

    Geology PhD Student

    My current research focuses on water quality in shale gas regions of West Virginia. My work incorporates big data and GIS to better understand water quality issues in the state.

  • Iman Zulkapeli

    Geology MS Student

    My research focuses on geophysics and the application of 3D seismic attributes for reservoir characterizations.