Group members

Peter Newton
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Group alumni

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Peter Newton

Assistant Professor

Pete is an interdisciplinary scientist who studies socio-environmental systems. In particular, he is interested in understanding how governance interventions affect synergies and trade-offs between environmental, economic, and social outcomes in agricultural and tropical forest landscapes. He works mainly in Brazil and the US but also with partners in Indonesia, Mozambique and elsewhere. His CV is available here.


Rayna Benzeev

PhD student

Rayna began her PhD in the Environmental Studies Program in Fall 2017. She is studying tropical forests and forest livelihoods, combining remotely-sensed satellite imagery of forest cover with household-level surveys that describe the livelihood strategies of forest-dependent people.


Sebastian Duenas Ocampo

PhD student (beginning August 2018)

Sebastian is a socio-environmental planner and educator. He has many years of experience working in the education sector and with business in topics like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Sustainable Development, Social Innovation and Business Ethics. His research is in the area of sustainability, CSR, green consumption and responsible leadership. He is  interested in understanding how to create policy, value chains, and business models that contribute to the development of sustainable food systems in the Global South. Sebastian loves nature, the outdoors, and particularly rock-climbing and trail running. His CV is available here.


Rawinorn Dulyakasem

PhD student (beginning August 2018)

Prior to studying at CU Boulder, Rawinorn worked at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Thailand. She worked on environmental issues, with international organizations including the United Nations. Her academic interests are in natural resources and environmental management. In particular, she is interested in environmental policy, and hopes to be a part of the process to formulate a national policy to protect natural resources and the environment to promote a healthy and livable society. Her CV is available here.


Joey Filmanowicz

Joey is studying for a BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geography. While working as a river guide, he observed the amount of food being thrown away, and how that felt discordant with the environmental ethic of many of the rafting companies. As such, he wrote his honors thesis on: ‘Class V Sustainability: An Analysis of Food Waste on Outfitted River Rafting Trips’.


James P Sullivan

Postdogtoral researcher

Sulley is a faithful group member, and likes to collaborate with anyone who will pet him. He is particularly interested in the topic of food.



Ashley Dancer

Ashley graduated with a dual MS/MBA degree in ENVS and Business, in May 2018. Her thesis explored the opportunities and barriers for policy to support local food systems in Boulder County. This research was supported by a CU Outreach and Engagement grant, in collaboration with The Shed.


Panos Smyrnios

Panos is an undergraduate at CU Boulder. He will graduate in May 2018 with a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish, as well as minors in Geography and Business. His undergraduate thesis research, titled 'Sustainable seafood: improving environmental attitudes, not increasing product information, can lead to greater willingness to pay' explored how marketing for sustainable seafood products could be improved. Panos is interested in a career that deals with advancing the sustainability of global food systems. His CV is available here.


Maddy Gaffigan

Madeline graduated with a double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO) and Environmental Studies (ENVS), as well as a Public Health Certificate, in May 2017. Her Honors Thesis examined the efficacy of insect-based animal feed as an alternative to conventional (soy- and fishmeal-based) feeds. Madeline is interested in pursuing a career that helps fight against climate injustices and that creates sustainable ways to adapt to a changing world. Her CV is available here.


Emilie Adamovic

Emily graduated with a BS in Environmental Studies from CU Boulder in May 2017. Her Honors thesis, titled 'Food Insecurity Among College Students: An Assessment of Prevalence and Solutions' explored issues of food insecurity among students on the CU Boulder campus. She aims to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture and food systems with a goal of working towards systems that provide accessible healthy food for everyone while taking into account the need for a more sustainable future.


Mauro Capelari

Mauro graduated with a PhD from the Department of Public Administration and Public Policy at the University of Brasilia in Brazil in March 2017. His research focused on environmental policies, governance, common pool resources, institutions, and the environment, with an emphasis on Amazonian forests. Mauro visited CU Boulder for a semester in 2016 to work on his PhD thesis (titled 'Instituições para a governança: o papel das regras formais e informais no controle do desmatamento em reservas extrativistas da Amazônia') on the relationship between formal and informal rules and rates of deforestation within extractive reserves in Rondônia, Brazil. His CV is available here (English) and here (Portuguese).


Zoë Sigle

Zoë graduated with a BS from the Environmental Studies Program  at CU Boulder in May 2016. In her senior year she wrote her honors thesis on 'Reducing Animal Product Consumption in the United States with State Interventions: Possibilities, Limitations, and Recommendations', and received the Jacob Van Ek award. Zoë is interested in sustainable food policy; upon graduating, she secured employment with The Humane League. Her resume is available here.