Jill Desimini, Director and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Research Interests: Urban abandonment, urban wilds, land valuation, land banking, property reform, climate justice, co-design, cartographic practice
Education: Master of Landscape Architecture/Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies, Brown University
Mariana Fragomeni, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Research Interests: Climate adaptation and decision-making, heat vulnerability, urban climatology, human bioclimatology, urban design, applied research
Recent Work: Google Scholar
Education: Doctor of Philosophy, University of Georgia; Masters in Environmental Planning and Design, University of Georgia; Bachelor of Architecture and Urbanism, Universidade Federal da Bahia.
Sohyun Park, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Research Interests: Urban nature, urban biodiversity, socio-ecological systems, geospatial analytics, green infrastructure, sustainable cities and landscapes, community resilience, well-being
Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Arizona State University; Master of Landscape Architecture, Seoul National University, Bachelor of Science, Biology, Sookmyung Women’s University.
Julia Smachylo, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
Research Interests: Environmental governance, urban political economy, critical visualization, urban theory, environmental design, and social mobilization
Education: Doctor of Design, Harvard University; Master of Urban Design, University of Toronto; Master of International Planning, University College London; Bachelor of Arts, Geography, Queen’s University.
Zahra Ali, Ph.D. Student
Research Interests: Nature and place-based education, equitable access to nature, socio-ecological systems, urban ecology, human well-being
Advisor: Dr. Sohyun Park
Recent Work: Zahra Ali joined the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Ph.D. program in Fall 2022. Zahra holds an M.S. in Global Affairs, with a specialization in energy and environmental policy from New York University, and a B.S. in International Business from the University of Rhode Island.
Her research focus is on the impacts of outdoor learning environments and nature/place-based curricula on learning outcomes, health, wellness, and long-term relationships with the environment—with a focus on equitable access to nature in urban communities both locally and globally.
Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Zahra was the Director of the Global Partnerships & Outreach, in UConn’s Office of Global Affairs. She worked in collaboration with faculty, university leadership, and partners around the world to advance UConn’s global initiatives and foster engagement with global networks.
In addition to being a research assistant for Dr. Sohyun Park, Zahra continues to serve on working groups for the Office of Global Affairs to develop initiatives on Mindfulness for Earth and the Tree of Life.
Education: MS New York University, BS University of Rhode Island
Tracey Miller: Ph.D. Student
Research Interests: Resource-sensitive design for water infrastructure resilience; the interface between landscape architecture, anthropogenic development, and riparian (rivers, streams, and wetlands) stewardship.
Advisor: Dr. Mariana Fragomeni
Recent Work: CIRCA Heat Report
Education: Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia
Pan Zhang, Ph.D. Candidate
Research Interests: Cities as a social-ecological system, urban morphology, landscape ecology, geospatial analysis, urban vacant land management, environmental justice
Advisor: Dr. Sohyun Park
Recent Work: see Pan Zhang's Website
Education: MSLA University of Connecticut, BA Nanjing Agricultural University
Fatima Cisneros Ortega