Participating Faculty and Researchers

Planet Texas 2050 researchers come from 14 colleges, schools, and units across The University of Texas at Austin. More than 120 researchers have already signed on to be a part of UT’s first grand challenge.

Planet Texas 2050 Organizing Committee
01
Jay Banner, Ph.D.
Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences
Director, Environmental Science Institute

My research explores Earth surface processes, including climate and hydrologic processes, through field studies, petrography, isotope geochemistry, and modeling. Much of my work focuses on the study of cave deposits (speleothems) as records of the links between past climate change and hydrology; studies of carbonate rocks as records of the chemistry of ancient oceans; and studies of modern aquifers and watersheds in urbanizing environments. I enjoy teaching courses in sustainability, geosciences, environmental science, and science communication.

02
Richard Corsi, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Joe J. King Chair of Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
Co-Director, Center for Sustainable Development

I study human exposure to air pollution, particularly indoor air quality because the average American lives to be 79 years old and spends 70 of those years inside buildings. As Texas’ population grows and urban areas densify, more Texans will live, study, work, and vacation in closer proximity to major roadways that produce harmful pollutants, which lead to adverse health outcomes. Retrofitting existing buildings and reimagining the nature of future construction and urban form can make our cities healthier.

03
Heather Houser, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of English

My background is in English literary studies, and my research focuses on how contemporary literature and visual culture contribute to how we understand and respond to environmental crises. I also study how 21st-century fiction and visual and digital media formally experiment with scientific information in order to understand the variety of epistemologies that produce environmental knowledge. My belief that we can only address extreme weather events and other planetary threats through epistemological and disciplinary diversity is what motivates my involvement in Planet Texas 2050.

04
Katherine Lieberknecht, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

I study how ecosystems support cities and the residents living within them. My work focuses on urban water planning, metropolitan-scaled green infrastructure planning, and metropolitan food systems. Most humans now live in metropolitan areas, where we depend in part on ecosystem flows and functions such as provision of high-quality water supply, protection from floods, and removal of waste. Communities need research focused on tools and policies that conserve, repair, and fairly allocate ecosystem services so that all residents, including the most vulnerable, can thrive.

05
Suzanne Pierce, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Assistant Professor of Research, Environmental Science Institute

I lead an NSF-funded effort to apply artificial intelligence and knowledge-centered computing to solve complex Earth resource problems. In the classroom, I teach students how to design cyber tools and use integrated approaches to data science to support decision-making for policy and management. I’m also a trained groundwater scientist and study energy-water interdependencies. I’ve worked with the US National Laboratory System and the international mining industry as the Environmental Manager for one of the world’s largest metals mines.

06
Adam Rabinowitz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Classics
Assistant Director, Institute of Classical Archaeology

The most exciting part of being an archeologist is the opportunity to capture lost time by reconstructing the stories of human beings and communities long forgotten. This has led me to focus on the interplay between the daily individuals’ dail lives and the unfolding of larger, historical processes — and on the interdisciplinary research methods necessary to connect the two. Planet Texas 2050 will give me the chance to explore all of this while seeking ways to apply lessons about human resilience to our own future.

07
Lourdes Rodríguez, DrPH
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health
Director of the Center for Place-Based Initiatives, Dell Medical School

I facilitate innovation by studying community health outside the traditional health system. My work focuses on solving local problems with local ideas and resources by inviting people from multiple sectors to contribute to activities and solutions; everyone’s voice and contribution is equally valued. Before coming to UT, I spent 13 years working in New York City to help reactivate public spaces that had been rendered unsafe during the height of violence and drug epidemics in the late ’80s and ’90s.

08
Michael Young, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology

My focus is on environmental geosciences, with an emphasis on soil, water, and ecosystem resources in arid and semi-arid regions of the U.S. The big question is: We know that populations will grow and extreme weather events will occur, so how can we manage our natural resources to avoid shortages or stresses? Texas is an excellent location to study these issues, and Planet Texas 2050 is an exciting project that links natural resources assessments to societal health and decisions.

Office of the Vice President for Research Support Team
01
Daniel Jaffe, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
02
Jennifer Lyon Gardner, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Research
03
Tessa Green, MFA
Executive Director, Bridging Barriers Grand Challenges Initiative
04
Clint Leysath
Program Director, Bridging Barriers Grand Challenges Initiative
05
Paula Thomas
Executive Assistant, Bridging Barriers Grand Challenges Initiative
Full Team
Paul Adams
Professor, Geography and the Environment
David Adelman
Professor, School of Law
Pradeep Adhikari
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Space Research
CJ Alvarez
Associate Professor, Mexican American and Latino/a Studies
John Andrews
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology
Josh Apte
Assistant Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Lucy Atkinson
Associate Professor, Advertising & Public Relations
Aaron Averett
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology
Germine Awad
Associate Professor, Psychology
Samuel Baker
Associate Professor, English
Jay Banner
Professor, Geological Sciences
Phil Barrish
Professor, English & Humanities Institute
Tim Beach
Professor, Geography and the Environment
Amy Belaire
Nature Conservancy
Patrick Bixler
Research Fellow, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Bryan Black
Marine Science Institute
Hans Boas
Professor, Linguistics Research Center
Deborah Bolnick
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Steve Boyles
Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Daniel Breecker
Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Katherine Brown
Senior Research Scientist, College of Natural Sciences
Erika Bsumek
Associate Professor, History
Todd Caldwell
Geomorphologist-Hydrologist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Craig Campbell
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Kate Catterall
Associate Professor, Design & Creative Technologies
Richard Chuchla
Program Director, Jackson School of Geosciences
Anna Collette
Assistant Professor, Art & Art History
Jason Cons
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Richard Corsi
Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Neil Crain
Research Scientist, Center for Energy & Environmental Resources
Elizabeth Cullingford
Department Chair/Professor, English
Clinton Dawson
Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Lesley Dean-Jones
Future Department Chair, Classics
Anthony Dudo
Associate Professor, Advertising & Public Relations
Brent Elliott
Economic Geologist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Ofodike Ezekoye
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Caroline Farrior
Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology
Kasey Faust
Assistant Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Juliana Felkner
School of Architecture
Jenifer Flaxbart
Assistant Director, University of Texas Libraries
Michelle Foss
Program Manager, Bureau of Economic Geology
Norma Fowler
Professor, Integrative Biology
Niall Gaffney
Director of Data Intensive Computing, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Sherri Greenberg
Clinical Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Benjamin Gregg
Associate Professor, Government
Gurcan Gulen
Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Michelle Habeck
Associate Professor, Theatre & Dance
Kelly Haragan
Clinical Professor, School of Law
Patrick Heimbach
Associate Professor, Geological Sciences
Christopher Herrington
City of Austin, Watershed
Lea Hildebrandt-Ruiz
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Ben Hodges
Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Steve Hoelscher
Department Chair/Professor, American Studies & Geography and the Environment
Hans Hofmann
Professor, Integrative Biology and Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Heather Houser
Associate Professor, English
Jonathan Jarvis
Associate Director, Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory
Shalene Jha
Associate Professor, Integrative Biology
Junfeng Jiao
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture
J. Johnson
Scene Shop Supervisor, Texas Performing Arts
Christopher Jordan
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate, Texas Advanced Computing Center
LeeAnn Kahlor
Associate Professor, Advertising & Public Relations
Tim Keitt
Professor, Integrative Biology
Anjum Khurshid
Assistant Professor of Population Health, Director of Data Integration, Population Health
Kerry Kinney
Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Mary Jo Kirisits
Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Brian Korgel
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Todd Krause
Research Linguist, Linguistics Research Center
J. Rich Kyle
Professor, Geological Sciences
Danny Law
Assistant Professor, Linguistics Research Center
Fernanda Leite
Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Katherine Lieberknecht
Assistant Professor, Community and Regional Planning
Ben Liebowicz
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
Professor, Geography and the Environment
Allen MacDuffie
Associate Professor, English
Ashley Matheny
Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences
Elizabeth Matsui
University Affiliate, Dell Medical School
Elena McDonald-Buller
Senior Research Engineer, Center for Energy & Environmental Resources
Kelly McDonough
Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese
Matthew McGlone
Professor, Communication Studies
Julia Mickenberg
Associate Professor, Slavic and Eurasian Studies
Nathaniel Miller
Lecturer, Geological Sciences
David Mohrig
Professor, Geological Sciences
Elizabeth Mueller
Associate Professor, School of Architecture
M. Musgrove
US Geological Survey
Zoltan Nagy
Assistant Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Jean-Phillippe Nicot
Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Atila Novoselac
Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Fikile Nxumalo
Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction
Michael Oden
Associate Professor, School of Architecture
Lisa Olstein
Associate Professor, English
Tom Palaima
Professor, Classics
Robert Paterson
Associate Professor/Associate Dean for Research and Operations (Interim), School of Architecture
Suzanne Pierce
Research Scientist, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Kevin Pluta
Lecturer, Classics
Mary Jo Poteet
Research Fellow, Integrative Biology
Adam Rabinowitz
Associate Professor, Classics
Denne Reed
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Bob Reedy
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology
Stuart Reichler
Senior Lecturer & Program Administrator, Integrative Biology
Tim Reidel
College of Natural Sciences
Daniella Rempe
Assistant Professor, Geological Sciences
Lourdes Rodriguez
Director, Population Health
Stuart Rose
Software Developer, Applied Research Laboratories
Astrid Runggaldier
Senior Program Coordinator for the Mesoamerica Center, Art & Art History
Deborah Salvo
Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living
Francesca Samsel
Research Associate, Center for Agile Technology; Applied Research Laboratories
Bridget Scanlon
Hydrogeologist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Gian-Claudia Sciara
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture
Mateo Scoggins
City of Austin, Watershed
Lina Sela
Assistant Professor, Civil, Architectural and Enivironmental Engineering
Allan Shearer
Associate Professor, School of Architecture
Mark Shuster
Program Director, Bureau of Economic Geology
David Springer
Director/Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Pauline Strong
Professor, Anthropology and Humanities Institute
David Stuart
Professor, Art & Art History
Alex Sun
Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology
Rabun Taylor
Professor, Classics
Paul Toprac
Associate Director, Computer Science
Fred Valdez
Professor, Anthropology
Rahul Verma
Research Engineering/Scientist Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology
Jim Walker
Director, Sustainability
Alex Walthall
Classics
Heather Way
Clinical Professor, School of Law
Michael Webber
Deputy Director of the Energy Institute/Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Corinne Wong
Research Scientist Associate, Environmental Science Institute
Zong-Liang Yang
Professor, Geological Sciences
Michael Young
Associate Director, Bureau of Economic Geology
Ming Zhang
Professor, School of Architecture