Program Faculty

Laia Andreu-Hayes

Laia Andreu-Hayles is a Research Associate Professor at the Tree-Ring Lab of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and a lecturer at the School of Professional Studies of Columbia University. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Barcelona and defended her Ph.D, which received a European Doctorate award mention, in October 2017 in Spain. Her research is focused on the study of past, current and future environmental changes, and incorporates dendrochronology and isotopic geochemistry. Her career has been focused on the assessment of vegetation responses under global climate change and on reconstructions of past climate. She seeks to understand the interactions between forests and the environment to provide a long-term context for the study of current anthropogenic change, its impacts on the terrestrial ecosystem, and the Earth’s climatic system. Her investigations are ongoing at sites located in the Mediterranean, boreal and tropical regions, which are “hot spots,” where some of the most dramatic environmental changes are already occurring.

Howard Apsan

Howard Apsan has been a member of the faculty at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs since 1986. His teaching and research focus has been on management and environmental policy. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Brooklyn College in 1979; an M.Phil. from Columbia in 1981; and a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1985.

Since 2003, he has served as the University Director of environmental, health, safety, and risk management (EHSRM) for The City University of New York, the largest urban university system in the United States. The University Director of EHSRM is responsible for environmental health and safety (EH&S) management and compliance throughout the University; serves as the University’s chief risk officer, tasked with assessing liabilities and designing systems for minimizing CUNY’s operational and reputational risks; co-chairs the University’s business continuity committee; and is the chair of the University’s emergency preparedness task force.

Before joining CUNY, he worked as an analyst, manager and consultant for most of his career. He served for several years in New York City government at the Mayor’s Office, the Board of Education, and the Sanitation Department, and he spent seventeen years in private consulting, including eight years as a principal, and ultimately national director, of a nation-wide consulting firm. He has also been president of his own firm, Apsan Consulting, Inc., since 2001. He has served clients throughout the United States and has extensive international experience.

In addition to his management and consulting activities, Apsan has also served on the United States Technical Advisory Group for ISO 14000, the American Society for Testing and Materials Environmental Committee, the Springfield (New Jersey) Environmental Commission, and chaired the New York Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Committee and the New York Chapter of the Environmental Auditing Roundtable. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Quality Management, and writes and lectures regularly.

Michaela Biasutti

Dr. Biasutti is a Lamont Associate Research Professor.She graduated cum laude in physics at the University of Trieste in 1995. A growing interest in climate modeling and climate dynamics brought her first to visit research centers in Bologna (Italy) and College Park (MD), and then to pursue graduate studies in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA), where she received her MS (2001) and PhD (2003). She joined the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in 2004, first as a post-doctoral scholar and then as faculty.

Her research interests focus on the variability of rainfall in the tropics, from the fast development of weather systems to the dynamics of long-term droughts and pluvials associated with man-made and geological climate changes. She has enjoyed collaborating with scholars outside her discipline, working on the effect of climate change on African ecosystems and crops and on the legal framework of UN-led climate change adaptation. She lives in Manhattan, with her husband and son.

Ben Bostick

Dr. Bostick is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His research and consulting interests include Soil and Aqueous Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Tropical Soils and Soil Fertility, Environmental Health, and Environmental Remediation.

Steve Chillrud

Dr. Chillrud, Senior Research Scientist, is an environmental geochemist interested in public health research. Much of his work is focused on the role of particles in the transport, behavior and fate of chemical contaminants. These particles can be fine-grained sediments in surface water bodies, such as the Hudson River, sandy particles in groundwater aquifers, or airborne particles in indoor and outdoor settings. His research on air pollution seeks to understand the sources, behavior, and exposure pathways of airborne contaminants, as well as designing and testing new air monitoring devices, either to be used at fixed indoor and outdoor locations, or to be worn by people.

Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to his role as the Director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, he is also Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 2002 to 2006, he directed education programs at the Earth Institute. From 1998 to 2001, Cohen was Vice Dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. From 1985 to 1998, he was the Director of Columbia’s Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration. From 1987-1998, Cohen was Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at SIPA.

He is a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn (1970), Franklin College of Indiana (1974) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (M.A., 1977; Ph.D., 1979). In 1976-77, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy; in 1978-79, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.

Dr. Cohen served as a policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977 through 1978 and 1980-81, and as consultant to the agency from 1981 through 1991, from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2010. From 1979-1980 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University and from1981-1987 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. From 1990-94, Cohen served on the Board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs; he has also served on the Executive Committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless, the Board of Directors of Willdan Energy Solutions, and the Board of Directors of the Institute on the Environment.

Ben Cook

Ben Cook is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is interested in drought, hydroclimate, and interactions between the land surface and the climate system.

Jonathan Dickinson

Jonathan Dickinson is a consultant with more than 18 years of environmental and sustainability experience in the government, not-for-profit, health care, and academic sectors. He is the Director of Sustainability Services for Cventure LLC, a consultancy, providing third-party greenhouse gas emissions verification, sustainability strategy, and greenhouse gas emissions inventory development services to corporate and public sector clients. Jonathan is also an independent sustainability consultant, and is a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Master of Science in Sustainability Management program, where he designed and teaches a course on greenhouse gas emissions accounting and mitigation strategies. For 12 years, he served as a sustainability policy advisor in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City, developing and implementing the City’s carbon mitigation and climate resilience initiatives, as part of New York’s comprehensive sustainability plan, PlaNYC, and developing the methodology for and completing seven annual New York City greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Jonathan previously served as the Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination, where he focused on climate change policy, brownfields redevelopment, and environmental impact analysis, and worked for several years in the environmental education field. He holds a B.A. in English from Hobart College and a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Rhode Island.

Lex van Geen

Dr. van Geen is Lamont Research Professor, whose research interests range from chemical oceanography to paleoceanography. He has increasingly turned his focus on the interactions between the environment and human health. His ongoing projects include the study of the patterns of contamination in well water across south Asia and lead in soil contaminated with mine tailings in the Peruvean Andes.

Rick Horsch

Richard Horsch is a recently retired as a partner at the international law firm of White & Case LLP, where his practice focused on domestic and international environmental matters, including environmental litigation. In the international area, Mr. Horsch addressed environmental issues arising in such countries as Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, the Philippines and South Korea. He frequently advised clients on international conventions and treaties, multilateral development bank standards (e.g., World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, IFC), and evolving international environmental and sustainable development standards and norms, including the Equator Principles.

While at White & Case, Mr. Horsch, among other things, served as legal advisor to a sovereign nation in its establishment and start-up of a Designated National Authority to review and approve proposed projects developed under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, including advising on the development and implementation of sustainable development principles to guide the DNA in its decisions on whether to approve proposed projects. He was an advisor to an international oil company in identifying and implementing projects to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. He advised a sovereign nation on its negotiation of the regulatory framework for carbon capture and sequestration projects under the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Horsch has written and lectured frequently on international environmental law and climate change issues. He is an annual contributor (since 2005) to the Environmental Section of Year-in-Review, an annual publication of the American Bar Association Section of International Law. (He authors the section discussing developments regarding the Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal).

Mr. Horsch was Co-Chair of the International Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association Section of International Law in 2008 and Vice Chair from 2005-2007.He serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a non-profit public interest law organization. He is on the Board of Advisors to New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity.

Prior to joining White & Case, Mr. Horsch clerked for the Hon. Frederick B. Lacey, U.S. District Judge, District of New Jersey, Judge, Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, from 1980-1981. He holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of New Hampshire. Since 2007 Mr. Horsch has been an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law and International Environmental Law at Seton Hall Law School.

Andy Juhl

Andrew Juhl is a Lamont Associate Research Professor in the Biology and Paleoenvironment Division of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and an Adjunct professor in the Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. As a Marine Biologist, his research activities have included studies of harmful algal blooms, sewage contamination, hypoxic zones, and oil spills. Current projects include research on the Hudson River, the Gulf of Mexico and the coastal Arctic Ocean.   He received a BS from University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1988, an MS from the Oregon State College of Oceanography in 1991, and a PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. He also worked for the US EPA for several years prior to joining the Lamont Doherty faculty and has consulted for organizations such as Riverkeeper and The Nature Conservancy.

Einat Lev

Einat Lev is a Research Assistant Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she started as a Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellow in 2009. Einat holds a B.Sc. in Geophysics and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University in Israel, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT. Her research is focused on the fluid mechanics and physical processes controlling volcanic eruptions. In particular, Einat studies how the complex properties of magma and lava, and the variable eruption conditions, play a role on the outcome of eruptions. Einat’s research relies on a range of methods, primarily numerical modeling, fluid mechanics experiments using materials analogous to magma and lava, field surveys, and aerial photography. Einat has published many articles in scientific journals, as well as popular science blogs and radio interviews. In addition to volcanoes and geology, Einat is a passionate about science education, and strives to bring the insights gained from basic research into applications that benet society and to expand the reach of science education to all sections of society.

Braddock Linsley

Brad Linsley is a Lamont Research Professor and Director of the Lamont-Doherty Stable Isotope Laboratory. He came to Lamont in 2011 after 16 years as a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany-SUNY. Brad is from the Connecticut shore where he developed a life-long interest in the oceans. Following his Ph.D. research in marine sediment core-based paleoceanography at the University of New Mexico, Brad began working with and developing the use of massive corals as recorders of past oceanographic and climate conditions while a postdoctoral associate at Rice University in Houston. Since then the sediment and coral facets of his research have taken him to remote sites across the Pacific studying sediment cores and coral cores from sites in Panamá, Clipperton Atoll, Fanning Atoll, Rarotonga, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Great Barrier Reef, the Makassar Strait in Indonesia, the Sulu Sea, and the New Guinea margin. Back in the lab, meticulous work on the coral cores generates near-monthly resolved geochemical reconstructions of water temperature and salinity over the last several centuries. The sediment cores are used to make deeper-time reconstructions of surface, intermediate and deep water conditions in the far western Pacific. Brad recently returned from a 9 week expedition on the JOIDES Resolution drill ship as part of Ocean Discovery Program Leg (IODP leg 363) in the western Pacific warm pool. Over his career, Brad has developed influential paleoclimate records from the circum-Pacific that have significantly advanced our understanding of interannual-multidecadal climate dynamics and millennial-scale variability in the ocean.

Wade McGillis

Wade McGillis is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont Doherty Observatory and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is also the Director of the Center for Rivers and Estuaries at Columbia University, where he and other university scientists conduct research activities using the environment of the Hudson River Estuary to learn more about global biogeochemical processes. His research interests include ocean-atmosphere-land-urban interactions as well as biogeochemical, water, heat, and pollutant cycling in urban and natural environments. Previously, he was an Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of marine science and engineering. In addition, McGillis has published articles in numerous publications, the most recent of which was entitled “Sea surface and pCO2 and O2 in the Southern Ocean during the austral fall, 2008″ (Journal of Geophysical Research, 2011). He also served as the editor of the book, Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces (Kyoto University Press, 2011).

Christoph Meinrenken

Christoph Meinrenken is an associate research scientist at the Climate Center, a research unit of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and an affiliate of the Foundations of Data Science Center at the Data Science Institute, Columbia University. His research focuses on computer modeling to elucidate and improve the techno-economic performance of low carbon energy systems. Recent and current research projects include demand management and energy storage in smart buildings, electrification of the transportation sector, synthetic fuels, and automated product carbon footprinting. An expert in Life Cycle Assessment and enterprise-scale product analytics, Meinrenken has worked with the World Resources Institute, Carbon Disclosure Project, and The Sustainability Consortium, and consulted several globally operating consumer goods manufacturers.

Before joining Columbia, Meinrenken worked on modeling molecular spectra (Princeton University, 1996) and computational neuroscience (PhD Physics, Max Planck Institute, 2001). In addition to academic research and teaching, Meinrenken spent several years in the private sector, specializing in financial engineering and risk management.

Michael Previdi

Michael Previdi is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He holds a B.S. degree in Meteorology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, both from Rutgers University. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Mike stayed on at Rutgers for one more year as a Post Doctoral Associate in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, where he studied the effects of North Atlantic Oscillation variability on the air-sea exchange of CO2. Mike then did a second postdoc at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where he focused on the response of the global hydrological cycle to different anthropogenic forcings. In 2010, Mike entered the Lamont Research Professor track at the assistant level, where he subsequently published several papers on the global hydrological cycle, climate sensitivity, and stratospheric ozone effects on climate. He was promoted to Lamont Associate Research Professor in 2015. Mike’s latest research is focused on the causes of Arctic amplification in climate models and observations.

Christopher Small

Dr. Small is a Lamont Research Professor, whose fields of interest include geophysics, land surface processes, remote sensing, and population and environment. His cross-disciplinary collaborations have ranged from tropical deforestation monitoring to urban growth mapping. His is currently focused on satellite remote sensing to quantify changes in the Earth’s surface and the consequences of these changes.

Ajit Subramaniam

Ajit Subramaniam is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, located in Palisades, New York. He has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC, the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles prior to moving to Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York in 2004. He has served as the Program Director for the Marine Microbiology Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a program manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Ajit earned his Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography and M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from SUNY, Stony Brook. He has a Bachelors degree in Physics from The American College in India.

Subramaniam is a biological oceanographer who uses remote sensing, bio-optics, Geographical Information Systems, to better understand how the marine ecosystem works and can be managed. Specifically, he works on understanding the diversity and productivity of phytoplankton: why does a particular phytoplankton species bloom where it does, the factors that lead to its demise, the consequences of such blooms, and how these might change in the future as a consequence of anthropogenic activity and climate change. He has worked with remote sensing data for more than 20 years and has developed algorithms for detection of cyanobacterial blooms. Subramaniam has taught at the Austral Summer Institute, Universidad de Concepción in 2004, 07, and 10 and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award in 2010 for this. He was awarded a Mercator Fellowship by the University of Rostock and the Baltic Sea Research Institute, Germany in 2017. He has extensive sea-going experience and been chief scientist on major oceanographic cruises.

Yutian Wu

Yutian Wu is a Lamont Assistant Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She researches the general circulation of the atmosphere, including the midlatitude jet streams, storm tracks and monsoon circulation, using observations and numerical model simulations. Dr. Wu’s recent research projects focus on understanding the impact of Arctic sea ice loss on the midlatitude weather and climate as well as understanding the summer monsoon circulation and its associated troposphere-stratosphere transport. She is the recipient of the 2017 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Before joining Lamont, Dr. Wu worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University and before that, a postdoctoral research associate at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Dr. Wu received Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in 2011.

Beizhan Yan

Dr. Beizhan Yan received his Ph.D. in Geology in 2004 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY and currently he is a Lamont Associate Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University. His Ph.D. study at RPI (2000-2004) focused on the source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban waters. He initially developed a systematic approach to differentiate major PAH sources by using molecular isomer ratios and compound-specific carbon stable isotope ratios as source indicators. After two years of postdoc in Idaho National Laboratory, he joined Washington University in St. Louis to study nanoscale size effects on biogeochemical processes for environmental bioremediation. This research has important implications for the immobilization of uranium and biodegradation of aromatic compounds at contaminated sites. In 2007, he joined LDEO as an institutional postdoctoral fellow through a highly competitive recruiting process in which more than 110 Ph.D. level scientists applied and only three got hired. Since then, he has established an Environmental Organic Geochemistry Lab with ability to extract, isolate, and identify organic contaminants and biomarkers from environmental and biological samples

Using source-sensitive indicators and compound-specific stable isotope ratios, he has successfully traced metals and aromatic hydrocarbons in the waters and air of NYC and linked the exposures of these air pollutants to pediatric asthma outcomes. He is also leading a collaborative study to examine the association between pediatric respiratory outcomes and air pollutants (including PM2.5 and black carbon, VOCs) in Beijing China. To determine possible impacts of hydrofracking on air and water quality and health outcomes, he is conducting a collaborative study in adjacent counties of western NY (Broome, Tioga, and Chemung) and northern PA (Susquehanna, Bradford, and Tioga).