Student Research & Advising

Current Students


Beas, Maribel (Preservation Studies) – The preservation of indigenous landscapes in the Rainforest of Peru (Committee member)
This research will comprise the documentation of a specific area in the Peruvian Amazon to identify both the tangible and intangible material culture of the Esa’Eja indigenous community and to categorize the main preservation challenges.

Leiper, Chelsea (Geography) – Re-Wilding the Body in the Anthropocene: Lessons from the Microbiome and the Paleo Diet (Committee member)
This research focuses on two emergent topics in human health discourse that seek to restore the disrupted relationship between humans and “nature”/the non-human in the Anthropocene by redefining what constitutes a healthy body: the human microbiome and the Paleo Diet.

Obringer, Kelsey (Political Science) – Hearts, Minds, and Stomachs: Toward a Theory of Gastrodiplomacy (Committee member)
Theoretical examination of diplomacy, communication, eating, and community.

Thayer, Nathan (Geography) Reclaiming the Mountain: Coal mining, emergent food economies, and articulating geographies of hope in Appalachia (Committee Chair)
This PhD project is focused on the cultivation of new economic identities in former coal mining communities in Appalachia.


Barret, Jaime (Geography) – Dueling Conservation Perspectives?: The Whys and Why Not of Best Management Practice Adoption and How it Relates to Local Knowledge (Committee Member)

Speck, Samantha (Geography) – Risk Perceptions of the Mushroom Industry in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (Committee Chair)

Sundberg, Todd (Geography) – At the Intersection of Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in Wilmington, Delaware: Practices and Perceptions (Committee Chair)

Undergraduate Students

Soyak, Jayme (Geography) – Urban Agriculture and Youth Aging out of Foster Care Systems

Just A farm? Think again! UD Engage Article


Jayme Soyak presents her research

Stanko, Haley (Geography) – Stakeholder Networks that Facilitate Urban Agriculture in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Food Justice – UDaily Article

Haley Stanko at poster exhibition

Haley Stanko at poster exhibition