Group members

 Peter Newton
Portrait_Rayna Benzeev.jpg
Panos .jpg

Group alumni

Mauro Capelari.jpg


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 Ben-Zeev

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.


Ashley Dancer

Masters student

Ashley is pursuing a dual MS/MBA degree program with ENVS and the Business School. Her research interests are inspired by a desire to see a shift in thinking within economics and traditional environmentalism. She would like to contribute to a movement that emphasizes the roles that governments and businesses play in ecosystem sustainability. Her research will focus on economic incentives, policies, and businesses that seek financial success through positive environmental outcomes.


Panos Smyrnios

Undergraduate student

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 explores how marketing for sustainable seafood products can be improved. Panos is interested in a career that deals with advancing the sustainability of global food systems.


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.



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 research 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 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.