Department Chair

Harney Science Center 440D

Calla Schmidt received a PhD in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research spans physical hydrology and biogeochemistry and aims to understand the connection between hydrology and the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients. She has done research on nutrient cycling during groundwater recharge, nitrogen pollution in highway runoff and presently she is working on a project investigating the transfer of nutrients discharged by wastewater treatment plants into the base of...

  • PhD, Earth Science, University of California, Santa Cruz

Full-Time Faculty

Harney Science Center 440H

Professor Benning received her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology. Her research interests include landscape ecology, urban ecology and resource conservation and management. Her most recent research focuses on remote sensing and GIS technologies in the study of tropical rainforest dynamics in Hawaii and riparian corridors in southern African savannas.

  • PhD, University of Colorado
Harney Science Center 449

John Callaway received his PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in 1994. Prior to his position at USF, John was the Associate Director of the Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL) at San Diego State University.

At USF, Professor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory environmental science, applied ecology, wetlands, and restoration ecology. His research expertise is in wetland restoration, specifically wetland plant ecology and...

  • PhD, Louisiana State University, 1994
  • Wetland restoration
  • Wetland plant ecology and sediment dynamics
Harney Science Center 245

Professor Karentz is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology and ultraviolet photobiology. Her work has focused on investigating the ecological implications of Antarctic ozone depletion, specifically identifying strategies for protection from UV exposure and understanding mechanisms for repair of UV–induced damage. She has over 30 years of field experience in Antarctica.

In addition to research, Deneb mentors early-career scientists through the US National Science Foundation...

  • PhD, University of Rhode Island
  • MS, Oregon State University
Harney Science Center 320

William Karney received his BA from Haverford College and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to his position at USF he did postdoctoral work at the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley.

At USF, William teaches organic chemistry and environmental chemistry. His research, performed in collaboration with Professor Claire Castro, involves the use of computational chemistry to understand the structures, energetics, and...

  • University of California, Los Angeles, PhD in Chemistry, 1994
  • Haverford College, BA in Chemistry, 1986
Harney Science Center 440G

An associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science since 2016, Dr. Amalia Kokkinaki holds a PhD degree from the University of Toronto in Canada and joined USF after completing her postdoctoral research at Stanford University. She is an environmental engineer with expertise in groundwater flow, fate and transport of contaminants, and biological treatment of organic pollutants. Her research is in the nexus of mathematical and statistical modeling of the physical, chemical and...

  • University of Toronto, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2013
  • University of Toronto, MASc, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2007
  • Technical University of Crete, BS and MS, Environmental...
  • Groundwater flow and transport
  • Contaminant hydrogeology
  • Environmental chemistry and microbiology
  • Statistical modeling and data assimilation
  • Bayesian inverse modeling
Harney Science Center, 440F

John M. (Jack) Lendvay was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio. Since an early age, he has been interested in environmental issues as one of his childhood memories is the Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969. This interest and his love of science led him to study Chemistry as an undergraduate student at Hiram College, where he graduated in 1983. After college, he joined the US Navy as a Nuclear Submarine Officer and served predominantly on USS Simon Bolivar until 1988. After working in industry for a...

  • University of Michigan, Ph.D. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, 1999
  • University of Michigan, M.S.E. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, 1994
  • Hiram College, B.A. in...
  • Assessment of Water Quality in Coastal California Streams
Harney Science Center 418A

Allison Luengen received her MS in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She then completed her PhD in Environmental Toxicology, also at UCSC. Following her PhD, she moved to the East Coast for postdoctoral research with Dr. Nicholas Fisher in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. As a postdoc, Professor Luengen worked with radioisotopes to look at how methylmercury bioavailability to phytoplankton was affected by dissolved...

  • PhD, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • MS, Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz
Harney Science Center 439

Tom MacDonald received his PhD from Stanford University. Professor MacDonald's research focuses on designing computer simulations of problems of pollution migration and using the results to engineer systems to contain pollutants and prevent further spreading. He has also published his research on the neural network application for bioremediation. Recently he has co-authored papers dealing with environmental risk and the precautionary principle.

  • PhD, Stanford University
Kalmanovitz Hall 117

Paul is from southern California and earned his PhD from the University of Calgary after completing an MA in Geography from Cal State University - Long Beach (CSULB). His research is at the intersection of modern digital geospatial technologies and geologic mapping, aimed at the assessment, documentation, and application of complete geospatial workflows to analyze and better understand fundamental environmental, geologic, and geomorphologic challenges. His current focus implements drone-based...

  • University of Calgary, PhD in Geography, 2020
  • CSU - Long Beach, MA in Geography, 2014
  • CSU - Long Beach, BS in Geology, 2009
  • CSU - Long Beach, BA in Geography, 2009
  • Remote sensing and photogrammetry
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Geomorphology
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Drones/uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAV)

April Randle's research is broadly focused on how ecological factors shape the behavioral and morphological traits of species and influence species' distributions and interactions. She has conducted research on a range of taxa including: tropical trees (forest restoration), primates (foraging behavior), temperate flora (plant ecology, mating system evolution, plant-pollinator interactions), marine mammals (population size estimation of large cetaceans), tropical freshwater fish (adaptations to...

  • University of Pittsburgh, PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2009
  • University of Florida, MS in Zoology, 2001
  • The Evergreen State College, BS/BA, 1994
  • Stream and Riparian Ecology
  • Plant Mating-System Evolution
  • General Ecology
  • Wildlife Conservation
Harney Science Center 440G

Dr. Saah has been broadly trained as an environmental scientist with expertise in a number of areas including: landscape ecology, ecosystem ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, ecosystem modeling, natural hazard modeling, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. He has used these skills to conduct research primarily at the landscape level in a variety of systems. Dr. Saah has participated in research projects throughout the United States and Internationally...

  • Ecosystem ecology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Hydrology
  • Geomorphology
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Natural hazard modeling
  • Remote sensing
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Geospatial analysis
Kalmanovitz Hall 118

Simon Scarpetta is an evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and herpetologist with a particular appreciation for lizards and salamanders. He received a PhD in Geosciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 2021, and recently finished an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology at UC Berkeley. His research incorporates molecular and paleontological data to determine evolutionary relationships and timescales of the lizards of North America, in the context of climatic changes...

  • The University of Texas at Austin, PhD in Geosciences, 2021
  • Stanford University, BS in Biology (Specialization in Ecology and Evolution), 2014
  • Phylogenomics
  • Morphology
  • Computed tomography
Harney Science Center 440E

Professor Siehr works on energy–based solutions to multiple environmental problems–from local air pollution to global climate change–combining engineering with tools from political economy and organizational analysis. With a geographical focus on China, Japan, and the US, her research and teaching examine energy and carbon saving strategies; emissions inventories; city climate action; environmental and energy policy analysis; urban sustainability, international cooperation; and environmental...

  • PhD, MS, Environmental Engineering and Policy, Stanford University
  • SB, Chemical Engineering, MIT

Part-Time Faculty

Priti Brahma joined USF in fall 2022 as Adjunct Faculty in Environmental Sciences. Priti has been teaching Environmental Science, Engineering, Math and Computer Science classes since 1996 at UCLA, Cal State LA, American University, Cabrillo College and Napa Valley College. In between, Priti spent 8 years at NOAA fostering research and educational ties between NOAA and Minority Serving Institution partners and mentored graduate and undergraduate students studying the NOAA Sciences. Helping...

  • UCLA, PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2001
  • UCLA, MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering, 1997
  • UC Berkeley, BS in Mechanical Engineering, 1995
Harney Science Center G24

Fernanda Lopez Ornelas is a Mexican biologist and environmental manager who has always been passionate about nature and environmental phenomena. She earned her biology degree in Mexico and completed her Master of Science in Environmental Management at USF, where she developed a strong interest in geospatial technologies and GIS. She is proud to be part of the first group to obtain the GIS Certificate recently developed by USF’s Geospatial Analysis Lab (GsAL). Lopez Ornelas has a particular...

  • University of San Francisco, MSc in Environmental Management, 2016
  • Universidad Simon Bolivar (Mexico), BS in Biology, 2010
  • GIS
  • LiDAR Technologies
  • Ecology
  • Spanish
Harney Science Center 122E

Although Professor Elizabeth Mickaily-Huber's degrees are in chemical engineering, her specialty is in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Over the years, besides using CFD to solve real-world problems, she has taught engineering, environmental science, and mathematics at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (Switzerland), and CSU Los Angeles.

  • University of California, San Diego, PhD in Chemical Engineering
  • University of California, San Diego, MS in Chemical Engineering
  • University of California, Berkeley, BS in Chemical Engineering

Faculty Emeritus

Raymond James (Jim) Brown joined the USF faculty in fall 1970 as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department. Over his 37 years at USF, Jim taught General Biology, Organic Evolution, Comparative Anatomy, Vertebrate Embryology, and California Wildlife. Later in his career, he directed the Graduate Environmental Management Program and helped establish the Environmental Science Department. He was the first chair of the department and taught Environmental Science and Environmental Monitoring...