Meet the Team

Here are the people who make it all happen.

Anne-PhotoelementiaAnne R. Kapuscinski (left) is the inaugural Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Science, former Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College, and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Anne is also Editor in Chief of the Sustainability Transitions domain of Elementa, a multidisciplinary open-access, peer reviewed journal. For Anne’s full bio, CV, and more click her profile picture.

Pallab Sarker, no doubt blending vitamins and minerals for a balance fish diet.

Pallab Sarker (right) is a Research Assistant Professor in Sustainable Fish Nutrition in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College. His research in aquaculture nutrition aims to improve environmental sustainability of aquaculture. His current research evaluates microalgae as alternative ingredients for fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feed to reduce dependence on forage fisheries, and to formulate nutritionally balanced, environmentally sustainable, and cost-effective diets. . For Pallab’s full bio, CV, and more click his profile picture.

Tyler Pavlowich

 

Tyler Pavlowich, PhD (December 2017), Ecology, Evolution, Ecology and Society
Education: BS from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Biology, 2005

Tyler has spent much of the last five years in villages along the northwest coast of the Dominican Republic, studying the interplay of fishing practices, the health of the area’s coral reefs, and the local economy.

Working closely with local fishermen, he has concluded that how they fish and what they catch can make a big difference to the coral reefs. “It isn’t surprising, given their extensiveness and biodiversity, that coral reefs form an integral part of the social fabric and economies in many tropical nations,” says Pavlowich. Read about his dissertation research in PLOS ONE 12(7): e0181617. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181617 and in Dartmouth News.

Coral reef ecosystems harbor tremendous biodiversity, perform important functions in the biogeochemical cycles of the planet, and provide the foundation upon which humans create unique and diverse relationships with nature. Tyler’s dissertation also includes modeling fish population dynamics to help the community and resource managers establish harvest guidelines and promote ecosystem recovery.

When Tyler can’t be snorkeling at the beach or fishing, he enjoys basketball and stoking the wood stove.

Devin Profile PictureDevin Fitzgerald, B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, University of Massachusetts, (2012). Aquaculture has been growing rapidly for several decades, but for the first time artificially produced seafood is overtaking what we extract out of the oceans. When I worked in a commercial recirculating aquaculture facility, I experienced a production environment first-hand. This invaluable opportunity helped me to understand the challenges that business owners, managers, and stakeholders have to address to make their businesses successful. The aquaculture industry is undergoing changes that have led to higher environmental burden on our oceans, higher rates of ecological degradation, and poor food nutrition for fish and people. With my hands-on experience and sustainability focus of our lab, I am excited to contribute to developing real implementable actions that reduce environmental impact while keeping businesses afloat.

My job here on the team is to make sure the fish side of our research is running smoothly. I spend most of my time at our recirculating aquaculture lab making sure the fish are healthy, the water is clear, and the mechanical aspects are functioning properly. I also manage our experiments and chemical analyses at the Environmental Monitoring Laboratory, our on-campus lab space.

I’m like Gandalf the Grey, I have questions, questions that need answering. I think researching solutions is the place for me.

When I’m not at work, Scout my dog and I are walking about, brewing, cooking, or grilling. Food is definitely my favorite letter of the I.F.E.S. acronym.

Alexandra Sclafani,

I’m an Environmental Studies and Geography double major broadly interested in human-environment interactions as they are constructed through systems of food production and natural resource use. My main interests within the team’s pursuits are related to closing nutrient loops and up-cycling wastes for greater overall sustainability of production systems. Specifically, I’ve been working to identify and assess potential organic waste streams to fertilize microalgae for use in aquaculture feeds. My work has assessed the nutrient content, and spatial and temporal availability of brewery wastewater to cultivate Nannochloropsis sp. and I’m conducting senior thesis research on these issues. During my time in the Kapuscinski lab, I have used a variety of methods including literature research, wastewater sampling, financial cost analysis, nutrient composition comparison, GIS, and algae growth experiments. I enjoy working on this project because it allows me to take a holistic approach to identifying sustainable transitions at the nexus of food, energy, waste, and water. I like to spend my free time running, hiking, and cooking.

Hannah Nash ’17,

I’m a biology major with a concentration in human health and ecology.  Several years ago my family moved to California and I fell in love with the ocean. This passion solidified my interest in the connection between the environment and public health.  My work with the lab so far has centered around developing a microalgae-based fish feed for tilapia. The fat and protein sources in conventional fish feed come from fish oil and fish meal, which are made from small, wild-caught fish. A microalgae-based feed would reduce the strain on wild fish populations by using alternative fat and protein sources. I’m also interested in how a microalgae-based diet might improve the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio in tilapia farmed for human consumption. I’ve also worked with the lab to examine the differences in pollution potential between conventional fish feed and micro-algae based diets. In my free time, I enjoy biking, surfing, climbing, cooking, and exploring wild places.

OliverProfilePicOliver Edelson ‘18,

Oliver is a senior from New York, NY. He is an Environmental Studies major and Spanish minor. His main academic interests include exploring how our nation’s government legislates our food system and the impact that has on our society as a whole. Oliver has been a member of the Kapuscinski lab research team since June 2016 when he was a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar. Beyond his daily role in the lab, he has conducted statistical analyses to better understand the correlation between feed intensity and specific water chemistry parameters. He has also used his experience in systems thinking to study the inputs and waste streams in our lab’s recirculating aquaculture systems.

Recently, he has begun trying to communicate with the fish in spoken word—it has not been effective. Besides developing fish-human telepathy mechanisms, Oliver also hopes to work to develop a more fair, equitable, and sustainable food system post-graduation. Not surprisingly, Oliver loves to cook and bake. He is also a huge New York sports fan (go Yankees and Giants!) and the captain of the Dartmouth Club Baseball team.

Check out some of Oliver’s work influencing food system policy here (pdf)

We have had numerous talented individuals work with us on many projects. For more about our previous members, click here.

Check back in for team member updates. Want to see your face here? Email Anne.R.Kapuscinski@dartmouth.edu or Devin.S.Fitzgerald@dartmouth.edu.