Current Lab Members


Timon McPhearson

Dr. Timon McPhearson is Associate Professor of Urban Ecology at The New School’s Environmental Studies program, Director of the Urban Ecology Laband research faculty at Tishman Environment and Design Center. He investigates the ecology in, of, and for cities and teaches urban resilience, systems thinking, and urban ecology at the university. Dr. McPhearson is a contributing author to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s Cities Biodiversity Outlook, a member of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), and member of the Urban Heat Island Task Force in NYC Mayor's Office for Recovery and Resiliency. He is Co-PI on the five-year, US$12Million, National Science Foundation Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather-related Events Sustainability Research Network (URExSRN) and Co-PI of the ENABLE project to enable blue-green infrastructure as nature-based solutions in Europe. His work is published widely including in scientific journals (Nature, Sustainability, AMBIO, Urban Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, Landscape and Urban Planning, Ecosystem Services), in books (Sustainability in America’s Cities, Urban Sustainability Transitions) and popular press (Revolve Magazine, The Nature of Cities), and covered by The New York Times, The Nation, Chronicle of Higher Education, and moreIn 2014 he was a Visiting Research Scholar in residence at the Stockholm Resilience Center, at Stockholm University in Sweden and in 2016 was a Visiting Research Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Follow him on ResearchGate, Google Scholar, LinkedIn, and download his CV here.



Yaella Depietri

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Yaella earned her PhD in Environmental Sciences at the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) (Spain) in 2015. Her PhD has been carried out in collaboration with the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn (Germany).  She focuses on urban vulnerability and ecosystem services.

Follow her on ResearchGate, Google Scholar, LinkedIn, and download her CV here.

Khila Dahal

Khila Dahal is a GIScientist by educational training and background. He earned his PhD in Geography from Texas State University in 2014. His research interests include geospatial modeling, urban growth simulation, urban sustainability, scenario modeling, risks and hazards, GIS, Cellular Automata, and agent-based modeling.  

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Bart Orr

Bart Orr is a PhD student in Public and Urban Policy at the New School. He is interested in the relationship between climate change adaptation and resilience policies and socioeconomic inequality.  He is also a member of the Global Urban Futures project at the New School.  






Katinka Wijsman

Katinka Wijsman is a PhD Candidate in Politics at the New School for Social Research, where she studies global environmental politics, environmental justice, and political ecology. Her research explores the politics that shape the production of resilient coastal landscapes through the introduction of nature-based infrastructure. Using a feminist and multispecies ethnographic approach, her research asks how climate change governance deals with nature as an active agent, and what it means for the concept of political responsibility to include complex and dynamic assemblages of people, animals, plants, and things. In addition to her research, she teaches courses on Feminism & Ecology and Environmental Justice at the undergraduate college of The New School.

Follower her on and LinkedIn.






Ruchika Lodha

Ruchika Lodha is an architect, designer, and urbanist interested in applying strategic and sustainable design practices within urban environments. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Mumbai and since, has worked with design firms of various scales – local and international, enabling her to manage projects with different scopes – interior design, architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture. Her keen passion for understanding and practicing design in a broader realm encouraged her to pursue a Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice at Parsons School of Design, New York.

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Chrissy Remein


Chrissy Remein is a Master of Science student in Milano's Environmental Policy Program. She is currently working on her thesis with the U.S. Forest Service's Urban Field Station to better define and determine the significance of community cohesion as an urban ecosystem benefit in NYC. She is also working with TEDC on an mapping green roofs across NYC. 

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Hildegaard Link

Hildegaard is a PhD student at CUNY-Brooklyn College collaborating with the lab to study ways to develop more sustainable urban energy and water use in the context of urban ecosystem services. 


Katharina Hölscher

Katharina is a PhD student at the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, at Erasmus University in The Netherlands. She was a visiting scholar in the lab in 2015 as part of a comparative study on urban sustainability transitions in Rotterdam and NYC


Lab Alumni

Zoé Hamstead

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Zoé Hamstead was a PhD student at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and completed her PhD in 2016.  Her dissertation research used geospatial-temporal modeling to examine how land change impacts social-ecological resilience in New York City with a focus on heat risk and vulnerability. She is currently tenure-track Assistant Professor at SUNY-Buffalo.

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Toni Castro-Cosío

Toni is a former PhD student in Public and Urban Policy at The New School and completed her PhD in 2016.  Her dissertation research is examined urban environmental stewardship and social resilience in Western Queens, NYC and financial inclusion in low- and moderate-income urban communities in Harlem, NYC.  

Follow her on LinkedIn and download her CV here.






Rositsa Illeva

Rositsa T. Ilieva is a former post-doc in the lab from 2014-2015  where she is was teaching and conducting research on urban sustainability transitions and on ways to utilize social media to understand social-ecological relationships in cities.

Download her CV here






Peleg Kremer

Dr. Kremer is a former postdoc in the lab from 2011-2014.  Her research focused on urban ecosystem services mapping and valuation and the social-ecological nature of ecosystem services supply and demand. She is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Villanova University.

Follow her on ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and visit her website here.




Sanpisa Sritrairat

Dr. Sritrairat is a former postdoc in the lab from 2011-2013.  Her research focused on urban forest dynamics in particular soil-plant relationships in urban parkland in NYC as part of the NYC Afforestation Study.  She is currently faculty at Mahidol University in Thailand and affiliated researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Click here for CV




Neele Larondelle

Neele Larondelle was a visiting scholar in the lab in 2013 and completed her PhD candidate at Humboldt University in 2015.  Her dissertation assessed urban land use and ecosystem services comparatively in multiple European cities and New York City.  She is part of ongoing collaborative research with Humboldt University.

Follow her on ResearchGate, and Google Scholar.



Richard Karty

Dr. Karty is a former postdoc in the lab from 2009-2011.  His research focused on urban biodiversity and community dynamics in the NYC Afforestation Study. 






Elsa Velasco Valdés

Elsa is a former graduate student in the lab from 2011 working on her master's thesis from the University of Alcalá de Henares focusing on land use to examine drivers of urban soil heterogeneity in NYC.