small headshots of new faculty members

The CEOAS family is growing by leaps and bounds! Read about our newest faculty members whose research focuses on trace metals, deep ocean ecology, disaster preparedness, air-sea interactions and more.

Tenure-track faculty

Astrid Leitner’s teaching and research interests are at the intersection of ecology and oceanography, with a focus on the impacts of abrupt and complex bathymetry on the ecology and behavior of marine animals in the deep sea. She holds a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, and B.S. degrees in biology and in Earth science from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She will come to CEOAS from her current position as a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in February 2023.

CEOAS welcomed marine biogeochemist Kristen Buck in September 2022, when she joined the faculty as an associate professor. Buck specializes in the study of the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in marine ecosystems, especially of bioactive trace elements like iron and copper. She holds a Ph.D. in ocean sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in French from Pacific Lutheran University. She has held appointments as a postdoctoral research fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as well as appointments at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and the University of South Florida.

Emily Eidam joined CEOAS as an assistant professor in August 2022. Her research focuses on sediment transport in fluvial, coastal and continental shelf systems, as well as event-scale to centennial-scale sediment deposition. Much of her work is currently based in the Arctic, but her group also works in diverse systems ranging from alpine lakes to temperate estuaries. Eidam holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in oceanography from the University of Washington, and two B.S. degrees in geological sciences and in civil engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Oregon and will be moving back to Oregon from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jessica Garwood comes to CEOAS from a postdoctoral position at Princeton University. Her research interests focus on small-scale physical-biological interactions in the ocean and how they affect plankton ecosystem dynamics and transport. To study these interactions, she combines numerical models and observations, including field measurements collected by robots.Garwood holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and an M.Sc. in oceanography and a B.Sc. in marine biology and oceanography from Dalhousie University. She joined CEOAS in September 2022.

Frank Sousa is already a familiar face at CEOAS, but in February 2022 he transitioned into a new assistant professor position. He focuses on combining low temperature thermochronology, field observations and computational thermal history models to understand tectonics and landscape evolution.He is establishing a field research program in the Turkana Basin, Kenya.Sousa will also continue to serve as the director of CEOAS’ geology field instructional programs. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in geology from California Institute of Technology, an M.A. in climate and society from Columbia University and a B.S. in natural science from University of California at Davis.

Jesse Cusack joined CEOAS as an assistant professor in September 2022. He is a sea-going physical oceanographer with a broad interest in small-scale dynamics such as internal waves, deep ocean overflows and freshwater plumes at glaciers. He studies these processes using high-resolution field observations and models. Cusack received his Ph.D. in ocean and Earth science from the University of Southampton, an M.Sc. in atmosphere, oceans and climate, University of Reading, and a M. Phys. in physics, University of Manchester. He previously held postdoctoral positions at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Rutgers University.

Jenna Tilt, a long-time member of the CEOAS family,has transitioned to a new assistant professor position. Previously she was asenior instructor and assistant professor (senior research). Tilt’s expertise is in the social sciences, and she brings knowledge and experience in land use planning principles and practices for sustainable and resilient communities. Specific focus areas include natural hazard mitigation and adaptation planning, community adaptive capacity, and resilience to natural hazards and community vulnerability, social justice, and equity in natural hazards planning. She received a Ph.D. and M.S. in social sciences from the University of Washington, where she also earned a graduate certificate in urban ecology.

Seth Zippel will be joining CEOAS as an assistant professor starting in February 2023. Zippel studies how the ocean and the atmosphere interact using field measurements from a diverse set of regions including estuaries, the open ocean and the Arctic. His teaching interests include air-sea interactions, turbulence and boundary layers, surface waves and field methods and principles of instrumentation. Zippel holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Washington, and a B.A. in physics from Whitman College. He is currently an assistant scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Andrea Jenney will join the college as an assistant professor in August 2023. She studies clouds and storms, and how they couple to the global atmospheric circulation and global climate, with a focus on the tropics. She primarily utilizes numerical models of various types and complexity, supplemented with theory and observations. Jenney’s teaching interests are in atmospheric sciences with an emphasis on experience-based learning. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in atmospheric sciences from Colorado State University, and B.S. degrees in meteorology and mathematics with a minor in sociology from the University of Miami. She will come to Oregon State after she completes a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.

Jim Thatcher will join CEOAS as an assistant professor of geography in August of 2023. His research involves cartography, geographic information science and geovisualization, with a focus on critical cartography. Specifically, he has studied how GIScience incorporates aspects of power, difference and oppression, including how maps and geovisualization reflect power dynamics and how they affect the communication of climate change science. Thatcher completed his Ph.D. at Clark University, and he holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Pomona College. He joins us from the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Additional hires: Old friends and new

Andrew Barnard joined CEOAS as an associate professor (senior research) in June 2022. His research focuses on the use of ocean color remote sensing systems to study biogeochemical processes in the ocean’s upper surface. He also has extensive experience and background in the development and innovation of new ocean sensors and observational platforms. Barnard received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in oceanography from Oregon State University (go Beavs!) and holds a B.S. in marine science from the University of South Carolina. He has been working in the marine technology industry for two decades, most recently as the chief technology officer and senior scientist at Sea-Bird Scientific.

Ken Hughes has been at CEOAS for some time as a postdoctoral scholar but transitioned to a new position as an assistant professor (senior research) in July 2022. Hughes’ research interests are focused on understanding the physics of smaller-scale processes that ultimately influence larger-scale processes. He conducts research in a broad range of settings –from the Antarctic to the Canadian Arctic, and from Greenland to the tropical Pacific –using a combination of numerical modeling and field observations. He received a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Victoria, Canada and B.Sc.and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

A number of new instructors have also joined CEOAS recently.

Park Muhonda comes to us from a postdoctoral position in the geography department at Dartmouth College. His research integrates environmental, climate, and energy justice to explore energy transition in Malawi. He brings strong skills in livelihood analysis and vulnerability mapping of Africa, and of Malawi in particular, and has background and experience in water resources management. He holds degrees from University of Malawi, University of Zimbabwe and West Virginia University. Muhonda will be teaching courses in world geography, social justice, and sustainability, among others

Tyler McFadden will serve as an instructor and the new assistant director of the undergraduate Environmental Sciences program. He is a broadly trained ecologist and conservation scientist whose research investigates how human activities affect the distribution and dynamics of biotic communities. McFadden also brings experience with innovative recruitment and outreach, and he is a co-PI on an NSF RCN for Undergraduate Biology Education. He completed his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at Stanford University and holds a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife science from Oregon State University.

Tara Massad will be joining CEOAS in March 2023, contributing to our growing Environmental Sciences undergraduate program. She is a chemical ecologist who has worked throughout the neotropics to explore the effects of plant chemistry on plant-herbivore interactions. She is coming most recently from Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, where she runs the Gorongosa master's program in conservation biology. A native Oregonian, Massad is dedicated to promoting conservation through inclusive education. She holds a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Tulane University, and a B.S. from the University of Oregon.

Ben Stanley has transitioned from a part-time CEOAS instructor to a full-time position. After earning degrees in geology from both Oberlin (B.A.) and University of Minnesota (Ph.D.), Stanley has served as an instructor at many institutions, including Globe University in Wisconsin and Linn-Benton Community College. He has taught classes on a range of geology topics, including petrology, mineralogy, astronomy and even a class called Natural Disasters: Hollywood vs Reality!