Jill Desimini, Director and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture

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

Recent Work: Cyclical City, From Fallow, More From Fallow, Landscape & Climate, Climate Justice Design Fellowship

Education: Master of Landscape Architecture/Master of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies, Brown University

Contact: jill.desimini@uconn.edu

Mariana Fragomeni, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

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.

Contact: mariana.fragomeni@uconn.edu

Sohyun Park, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

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 

Recent Work: Covid rekindled an appreciation of nature, Operationalizing urban biodiversity, park.psla.uconn.edu, cv

Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Arizona State University; Master of Landscape Architecture, Seoul National University, Bachelor of Science, Biology, Sookmyung Women’s University.

Contact: sohyun.park@uconn.edu

Julia Smachylo, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Julia Smachylo, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

Research Interests: Environmental governance, urban political economy, critical visualization, urban theory, environmental design, and social mobilization

Recent Work: Towards a Critical Glossary of Extraction, New Geographies 10: Fallow, Lying Fallow: the Value of Idleness, Nature of Enclosure, Agents of Design

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.

Contact: julia.smachylo@uconn.edu

Graduate Students

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

Contact: zahra.ali@uconn.edu

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

Contact: tracey.2.miller@uconn.edu


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

Contact: pan.zhang@uconn.edu


Undergraduate Students

Seniors Juniors
Samuel Bushka
Elisabeth Helmin
Ziqi Li
John Mooney
Richard Patai
Nancy Pan
Ahren Ramirez
Andrew Simmons
Mia Tunnicci
Abigail Varga
Owen Wollenberg
Iris Armstrong

Matthew Bacon

Siesel Canaday

Christian Carmona

Fatima Cisneros Ortega

Darren Cole

Atlas Collazo

Sean-Patrick Houssan

Sydnie Jacobsen

Zachary Masi

Brendan Pugmire

Jason Robinson

Lucas Silva

Britney Soubannarath

Alexander Vassallo

Kayla Villareal

Haley Vitko

Cassidy Wilson

Annie Zhu