The Global STEWARDS core faculty—all leaders in their respective food, energy, and water fields—bring expertise from five UMD colleges/schools across the biological, physical, agricultural, social, engineering, and computer sciences. These faculty have strong and consistent research and mentoring records, and have demonstrated commitment to the integration of stakeholder-driven research, outreach and education. As such, they are uniquely positioned to lead a successful training program to further actionable science that can affect global change with regard to the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus.

Principal Director:

Amy SapkotaAmy R. Sapkota (Professor, School of Public Health, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health): Dr. Sapkota is an environmental microbiologist with over 15 years of experience developing, refining and applying culture- and molecular-based methods for the detection and quantification of bacterial pathogens in environmental media, including water, air, food and soil. Dr. Sapkota is also the Project Director for CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food and Health.



Engineering at the University of MarylandAllen Davis (Professor, A. James Clark School of Engineering, Maryland Water Resources Research Center (Former Director). Dr. Davis’ interests are in aquatic and interfacial environmental chemistry.  Recently, he has been working on various issues related to urban storm water quality and the concept of Low Impact Development.  Much work on bioretention as an urban storm water best management practice has been completed and is in progress.


Nathan HultmanNathan Hultman (Associate Professor, Center for Global Sustainability, Global Change Research Institute, Energy Research Center): Dr. Hultman is Director of the Center for Global Sustainability and Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He is also associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between the University of Maryland and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His research interests include international climate policy, national climate target setting and assessment, low-carbon energy technologies, United States energy & climate policy; and comparative energy policy.


Stephanie LansingStephanie Lansing (Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Technology): Dr. Lansing integrates research, teaching, extension, and mentoring in order to provide efficient and ecologically sound methods for waste treatment and bioenergy using ecological engineering. Her research on bioenergy has value-added benefits to agricultural communities, the sanitation sector, and developing countries, while directly addressing greenhouse gas emissions, organic pollutants, pathogens, and nutrient runoff reductions.


LiangXin-Zhong Liang (Professor, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center). Dr. Liang’s research interests include determining climate effects on agricultural productivity and regional climate-weather research and forecasting models.


Jenghong MengJianghong Meng (Professor, Nutrition and Food Science, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (Director), Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (Acting Director)). Dr. Meng’s research focuses on food safety microbiology. His group studies the molecular identification, antimicrobial resistance, and pathogenicity of major foodborne pathogens, including Shiga toxin-producing Echerichia coliCampylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes.


Shirley MicallefShirley Micallef (Associate Professor, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Center for Food Safety and Security Systems):  Dr. Micallef specializes in the microbiological safety of fresh produce. Her main research areas include assessing the impact of various cropping practices on the persistence of foodborne enteric pathogens in the agricultural environment, and environmental metabolomics of plant surfaces to understand enteric pathogen colonization of plants.


Mihai Pop (Professor, University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology): Dr. Pop is a computer scientist with over 15 years of experience in bioinformatics, specifically in the analysis of large genomic and metagenomic datasets.


Amir SapkotaAmir Sapkota (Professor, School of Public Health, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health): Dr. Sapkota leads the exposure assessment laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. He has worked extensively to characterize environmental pollutants that are of concern to human health using state of the art laboratory methods including liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) based approaches.



Gili Marbach-AdGili Marbach-Ad (Research Professor, College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences Teaching and Learning Center (Director)).  Dr. Marbach-Ad’s research interests include promoting faculty member adoption of evidence-based teaching approaches in science courses and developing novel assessment tools to assess progress towards meeting national teaching and learning initiatives among faculty members, graduate teaching assistants, and students.


Program Manager:

Rianna MurrayRianna Murray (PostDoctoral Associate, School of Public Health, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health).  Dr. Murray’s research focuses on the influence of private drinking water wells and their proximity to animal agricultural operations on the incidence of foodborne illness in Maryland. Her other areas of research include global health, environmental justice, food safety and water quality. She works closely with faculty, staff and students to coordinate all aspects of the Global STEWARDS program and interdisciplinary research teams.


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