Landscape Architecture Doctoral Student Profiles

Current Students  |  Recent Graduates

Current Students

Evan Elderbrock

PhD student, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MS, Environmental Studies, University of Oregon (2018)
BA, Geology, Macalester College (2015)

Evan Elderbrock

I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and developed my fascination with the relationship between humans and the natural world while paddling the quiet waters of Minnesota and Ontario. I worked for four years as a field ecology instructor in Maine and California before returning to graduate school. I moved to Eugene to pursue a master’s degree in Environment Studies from the University of Oregon, developing research to assess stakeholders’ ecosystem service priorities and identify pathways to increase the delivery of ecosystem services at the neighborhood scale. I am thrilled to have joined the PhD program in Landscape Architecture, where I will be assessing the distribution of health benefits provided by urban green spaces to identify areas lacking public health amenities.

Advisors: Chris Enright and Kory Russel

Thomas Fiorelli

PhD student, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MPA, University of Oregon (2017)
Graduate Certificate, Ecological Design, University of Oregon (2017)
BS, Planning, Public Policy and Management, Minor: Nonprofit Administration, University of Oregon (2015)

Thomas Fiorelli

I was raised in historic New England, finished high school on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and relocated in 2009 to my permanent home in the Pacific Northwest. My doctoral research focuses on the reuse of polluted brownfield sites and the role landscape architecture plays at the intersection of regional ecology, local land use, and community engagement. I am interested in how to mitigate the impacts that industrial legacies and agriculture have on natural systems and human health. Specifically, I am focused on groundwater contamination and stormwater pollution runoff. The purpose of my research is to identify methodologies for landscape restoration that can be applied across temporal and spatial scales to inform economic development strategies for a variety of intended future uses.

Advisors: Robert Ribe and Kory Russel

Noah Kerr

PhD candidate, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MS, Historic Preservation, University of Oregon (2014)
BA, History, Hillsdale College, MI (2008)

Noah Kerr

I am a native of rural Southern Michigan and have spent significant time working in New England and North Carolina before surrendering to Oregon’s persistent allure. My research follows my interest in cultural landscape interpretation, focusing on the use of repeat photography to reveal human changes in pre-1945 landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. This line of inquiry flows from my background in historic preservation theory and field methods, as well as work with cultural resource management. My current fellowship work with the Cultural Landscape Research Group (CLRG) investigates climate change effects within significant historic landscape sites in the National Parks.

Committee: Robert Z. Melnick (Chair), Mark R. Eischeid, Rick Minor (Historic Preservation), Marsha Weisiger (History, Institutional Representative)

Hervé Roland Memiaghe

PhD candidate, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MS, Conservation Ecology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa (2008)
Diplôme Universitaire d’Etudes Scientifique (DUES), Biology-Geology-Chemistry, Université des Sciences et Techniques de MASUKU, Franceville, Gabon (2003)
Baccalauréat série de D, Collège Bessieux, Gabon (1999)

Herve Roland Memiaghe

I was born and raised in Libreville, Makokou, and Kango in Gabon, Africa, and grew up in places surrounded by forest, where each activity such as planting, hunting, and fishing is driven by the movement of the sun. I enjoyed this harmonious time, which now guides my interest in the conservation of the Congo.

My research explores the dynamics of the Central African tropical forest and aims to integrate cultural heritage, development pressure, and conservation. This work conceptualizes the landscape as a spatially heterogeneous social-ecological system for human-elephant coexistence.

Committee: Bart Johnson (Chair), Chris Enright, Nelson Ting (Anthropology), Dennis Galvan (International Studies, Institutional Representative)

Elizabeth (Ellee) Stapleton

PhD candidate, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MLA, University of Oregon (2016)
BS, Biology and Environmental Studies, Guilford College, (2011)

Ellee Stapleton

An 11th-generation Appalachian, I was born and raised in the mountains of east Tennessee. Drawing on my Appalachian heritage, I am fascinated by the interactions between human and natural systems and am particularly interested in the connection between landscape spatiality and environmental justice. My approach to research is inherently transdisciplinary, bridging science and design, nature and culture, and theory and application. My research focuses on the study of urban social-ecological systems and specifically looks at the spatial variability of ecological function in urban stormwater planters in relation to socioeconomic patterns and processes. Through this work, I am interested in exploring how spatial analysis can serve a revelatory role and aid in promoting equity and sustainability in the landscape planning process.

Committee: Chris Enright (Co-Chair) and Liska Chan (Co-Chair)

Iryna Volynets

PhD candidate, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MS, Architecture, Lviv Polytechnic National University (2013)
BA, Architecture, Lviv Polytechnic National University (2011)

Iryna Volynets

I grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, where I received my education and became interested in landform architecture. I am a practicing architect, owner of Volynets architectural bureau, and co-owner of MIstudio in Ukraine. My research interest lies at the intersection of building and landscape with a focus on the potential of landform architecture to open up new relationships between nature and architecture. Four years ago, I was a Visiting Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Architecture at the University of Oregon, where I produced the volume “Landform [in] Architecture,” an exploration of natural landforms, the way they form, and the way they change over time.

Advisors: Mark R. Eischeid, Roxi Thoren

Yeongseo Yu

PhD candidate, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
MLA, Seoul National University, South Korea (2017)
BE, Landscape Architecture, Kangwon National University, South Korea (2015)

Yeongseo Yu

Being from Seoul, South Korea, I’ve felt the necessity of nature in a highly dense cityscape. As a landscape architecture student, I became curious about how urban nature and residents relate to each other and how urban nature influences human wellbeing. For my doctoral studies, I aim to explore the functionality of urban nature and its efficiency. I’m especially interested in quantitative methodologies—big data and spatial analytics tools—and I would like to deeply understand the relationship between humans and urban nature. Outside of my studies, I love listening to music, traveling, and taking photographs.

Advisor: Yekang Ko


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Recent Graduates

Chris Enright

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2013)
MLA, University of Oregon (2006)
BLA, University of Oregon (2003)
BA, Botany, University of California Santa Barbara (1984)

Willamette River

Although born elsewhere, the Pacific Northwest is my home. My dissertation, A Landscape Approach to Ecosystem Services in Oregon's Southern Willamette Valley Agricultural Landscape, proposes a landscape approach to ecosystem services in which they play a role in the intentional coevolution of social/ ecological systems. My research explores the potential for floodplain agricultural landscapes in Oregon's Willamette Valley to provide ecosystem services using an alternative futures framework in which a set of the landscape's biophysical processes are quantified using a geographic information system and aspects of sociocultural processes are explored through qualitative interviews with farmers. The biophysical and sociocultural research components are integrated into an alternative futures framework to compare the current landscape with a future landscape in which agricultural production includes ecosystem services.

Dissertation: A Landscape Approach to Ecosystem Services in Oregon's Southern Willamette Valley Agricultural Landscape

Committee: David Hulse (Chair), Bart Johnson, Thomas Oles, Stanley Gregory, Susan Hardwick (Institutional Representative)

Gwynne Mhuireach

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2017)
MArch, University of Oregon (2012)
BS, Biology (Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Track), University of Washington (1999)

Gwynne Mhuireach

I was raised on a small family farm in rural Klamath Falls, Oregon, where I learned the value of spending time outdoors and working hard. The purpose of my doctoral research is to investigate how airborne microbial communities vary with the amount, structural diversity, and/or species composition of green space across 50 sites in Eugene. The intent of this project is to determine whether microbes constitute a plausible mechanism through which urban vegetation may influence public health. Recent findings suggest that exposure to a high diversity of microbes during early life, for example through living in highly vegetated environments, such as farms or forests, may have specific health benefits, including immune system development and stimulation. My research is partially supported by an EPA STAR Fellowship and a Graduate Research Fellowship from SRG Partnership, Inc., in Portland.

Dissertation: Relationships Among Airborne Microbial Communities, Urban Land Uses and Vegetation Cover: Implications for Urban Planning and Human Health

Committee: Bart Johnson (co-Chair) and Jessica Green (co-Chair)

Homero Marconi Penteado

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2014)
MLA, University of Guelph, Canada (2004)
MArch, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2000)
BArch and Urbanism, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil (1995)

Homero Marconi Penteado

I grew up in Piracicaba, Brazil, a city where the beautiful but damaged Piracicaba River runs. The proximity to that river has molded my concerns as a landscape architect and researcher. My research explores a modeling approach for planning open space systems that aim to sustain biodiversity in areas facing urban expansion. I am interested in quantitative approaches to evaluate how spatial concepts based on landscape ecology theories affect wildlife populations. My investigation adopts an alternative futures study to test open space spatial concepts for patches, corridors and networks in combination with compact and dispersed urban development patterns, and an individual-based wildlife model to simulate the effects of habitat configuration on wildlife population sizes.

Dissertation: Open Space as an Armature for Urban Expansion: A Future Scenarios Study to Assess the Effects of Spatial Concepts on Wildlife Populations

Committee: David Hulse (Chair), Bart Johnson, Robert Ribe, John Bolte, Mark Gillem (Institutional Representative)

Lanbin Ren

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2012)
MS, Architecture, University of Cincinnati (2007)
MArch, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China (2005)
BArch, Chang An University, Xi'an, China (2002)

Lanbin Ren

I was born in Harbin, China and raised in Xi’an. I now live in Eugene, Oregon with my husband and two daughters. I had approximately six years of professional experience, primarily in architectural and landscape architectural design with a dedication to social, cultural, and ecological sustainability, before I came to the University of Oregon. At UO, I primarily focused my scholarship on the integration of architecture and landscape architecture in sustainable design. For example, my doctoral dissertation examines park-above-parking projects—ground level parks with below-grade parking garages—and illustrates the contributions of such combined space in urban sustainability.

Dissertation: Park-above-Parking Downtown: A Spatial-based Impact Investigation

Committee: Mark Gillem (Chair), Deni Ruggeri, Robert Ribe, Yizhao Yang (Institutional Representative)

Hope Hui Rising

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2015)
MLA, University of Michigan (2000)
MUP, University of Michigan (2000)
BS, Civil Engineering, Minor: Architecture and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taiwan (1996)

Hope Hui Rising

I was born in Taipei, and have lived in seven countries on four continents, and spent the last twenty years in the Midwest and both coasts of the U.S. My dissertation investigates how to introduce water into cities to engender a more coherent city image and to facilitate environmental adaptation.

Dissertation: Water Urbanism: Building More Coherent Cities

Committee: Robert Ribe (Chair), Deni Ruggeri, Amy Lobben, Elliot Berkman (Institutional Representative)

Hong Wu

PhD, Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon (2014)
MS, Landscape Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (2007)
BArch, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (2005)

Hong Wu

I grew up in southeast China, the city of Jingdezhen, a city known as the "porcelain capital" of China, with 1700 years of history producing pottery. My broad research interest lies in ecological planning, watershed management, urban hydrology, and green infrastructure. My doctoral dissertation explores the combined effects of urbanization and climate change on stream ecosystems, and potential strategies to mitigate the impacts. In particular, I focus on the effectiveness of watershed-scale stormwater Best Management Practices, and of alternative urban development patterns, for conserving aquatic ecosystem health.

Dissertation: Protecting Stream Ecosystem Health in the Face of Rapid Urbanization and Climate Change

Committee: Bart Johnson (Chair), David Hulse, Robert Ribe, Patricia McDowell (Institutional Representative)


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