The Environmental Geopolitics Research Group (EGRG) is meant to be a common place for graduate students interested in the intersection between critical social science approaches and perspectives and the study of environmental conflict and violence. Our lab is comprised of undergraduate, Master’s as well as Ph.D. students working around the world.

We discuss and conduct research related to critical political ecology and environmental geopolitics that pays serious attention to both the materiality of nature and the agency of people, groups, and institutions that are enrolled in environmental practices.

The lab group meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss term papers, thesis ideas, proposal and grant writing, and other issues that are meant to be beneficial for all students.


Piki Piki Magadi

Dr. Bilal Butt

Postdocs Supervised


2022 Dr. Wenjing Xu (NSF CAREER Project)


2020 Dr. John Mullen (Sustainability and Development)

philile mbatha

2020 Dr. Philile Mbatha (University of Michigan Africa Presidential Scholars)

Current Students

PhD Candidates

McCoy-Ember copy

2020 Ember McCoy


2019 Marlotte De Jong

PhD Committee Advising

2023 Olivia David
2022 Shahram Abbas
2021 K. Malulani Castro
2018 Kristen Connor (Anthropology & History)

Masters of Science (Thesis)

2021: Meghna Patnaik

Masters of Science (Non-Thesis)

2021: Jessica Silber-Byrne


PhD Committee Advising
2017 Katherine Browne (Now at Stockholm Environment Institute)
2015 Hayden Hedman (Now at CDC)
2013 Maria Carolina Simao (Now at Princeton University
2012 Joshua Cousins (Now at SUNY-ESF)
2011 Baruani Mshale (Now at CIFOR)

Masters of Science (Thesis)

2022 Evan Klasky: Milking Welfare: The Inclusive Thanatopolitics of the Digital Dairy Farm

2021 Roshan Krishnan:  “The gasoline of the future:” points of continuity, energy materiality, and corporate marketing of electric vehicles among automakers and utilities

2017 Marlotte De Jong: Constructing the Poacher: Narratives of Blame in Ivory Poaching

2017 Saachi Kuwayama: Protesting on Behalf: Constructing Legitimacy in Water Movements

2015 Claire Poelking: Gender and Pastoralism in an age of shifting political economies of labor

2015 Amanda Kaminsky: China in Africa and the New Safari

2012 Cara Steger: Citizen Science and Natural Resource Monitoring in African Protected Areas

2012 Erin O’Brien (committee member; Johannes Foufopoulos, Advisor): Effects of grazing treatments on vegetative regrowth in East African savanna grasslands

2011 David O’Connor (committee member; Johannes Foufopoulos, Advisor): Grazing ecologies of giraffes and camels in Northern Kenya: Possibilities for Competition?

2011 Wan-Chih Cheng (committee member; Johannes Foufopoulos, Advisor): Effects of small ruminant grazing on ecosystems services in Greece

Masters of Science (Non-Thesis)
2023: Evelyn Patrell-Fazio
2022: Danielle Vermeer
2022: Samuel Lisak
2021: Robert Hart
2021: Cara Thuringer
2021: Ryan Horowitz
2021: Danielle Triebwasser
2021: Isabella Bledsoe
2018: Linnea Carver (Dual with Ford School for Public Policy)
2018: Colleen Hill (Dual with Ross School of Business)
2016: April Richards
2015: Alexandra Clayton (Dual with Ford School for Public Policy)
2013: Jordan Fischer (Dual with Ross School of Business)
2012: Katie O’Gara: Community Forestry in Tanzania

Undergraduate Students involved in Projects
2014 Syeda Zaynab Mahmood (UROP Scholar)
2013 Audrey Chitkara
2013 Cordi Craig
2012 Zachary Petroni (Wallenburg Fellow)
2011 Jordan McHugh (UROP Scholar)