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Jessica Hua

Associate Professor

About me

I come from a refugee family who epitomizes the concept of the American Dream. As such, I will always value the vast opportunities afforded by education. I love what I do and feel so fortunate to have discovered a career path that allows me to have a platform to pay it forward by working to provide opportunities to others.


Outside of work, I love the outdoors and I am an avid reader. I've played sports all my life so I will take any opportunity to play or watch sports. Basketball will always be my favorite but ultimate, disc golf, and pickleball are not far behind! 


Current members
Updated Spring 2024

Visiting scholars and Post-doctoral researchers

Dr. Bryon F. Tuthill II

Dr. Zach Gajewski

Dr. Katarzyna Affek


Bryon received his B.A. in biochemistry from Elmira College and PhD in from Binghamton University with the Musselman lab. He is interested in the relationship between pesticide tolerance, viral infectivity, and host-predator interactions.  As a cell and molecular biologist, he is also interested in metabolic changes at the organ and cellular level when tadpoles are stressed by altered environmental conditions.


Katarzyna obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Molecular Biology from the University of Warsaw in Poland and completed her Ph.D. at the Warsaw University of Technology. Currently, she serves as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Building Services, Hydro, and Environmental Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology. Her research interests span across environmental microbiology, biological wastewater treatment, and ecotoxicology, with a primary focus on investigating the molecular alterations occurring in aquatic organisms exposed to contaminants.

Zach received his M.A. in Data Analysis and Applied Statistics in 2019 and PhD in Biological Sciences in 2021 from Virginia Tech. His research combines empirical and theoretical methods to understand environmental influences on disease dynamics and population trends.


PhD students

Isabela Velasquez Gutierrez

Kyra Ricci


Isa is interested in disease ecology. She particularly interested in understanding factors that influence the biodiversity-disease relationship. 



Kyra received her B.S. in Biology from Coastal Carolina University. She is uses art, community outreach, and citizen science to investigate ways to improve the accessibility of science to broader audiences. 


Mary Campbell


Mary received her B.S. in Biology and English from SUNY Binghamton. She is interested in understanding how habitat structure interacts with global change to shape disease outcomes. 


Eve Milusich

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Eve received her B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in French Language and Literature from SUNY Binghamton. She will be studying PFAS contamination in aquatic ecosystems across the Ceded Territories in WI. This work will be in collaboration with the Toxicology Lab

Community-Ecotox Team
We aim to integrate a Socio-Cultural-Ecotox approach to understanding pollutant effects through genuine collaboration with our WI community partners


Diana Vera
I am first-generation Mexican student interested in climate justice and science accessibility that supports marginalized communities. I want to foster love and reconnection with nature in communities of color by working on decolonization of scientific education by overcoming socio-economic and language barriers, integrating TEK from Indigenous communities, and acknowledging experience outside of a professional setting as important forms of knowledge.  


Alivia Arredondo

 I am a senior studying Environmental Science, Conservation Biology and Indigenous studies. My interests lie in the decolonization of the sciences by integrating and holding all forms of knowledge to the same degree, such as TEK. In doing so, I hope to approach science in a holistic manner that stimulates kinships with the more than human world and creates an environment were communities of color thrive.


Alexis Cox

 I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Botany and Conservation Biology. My focus is ethnobotany, but more specifically traditional and pre-colonial food systems. I am passionate about rebuilding our Black and Native communities through our relationships with the land and plant relatives up to community organizing. It is important to me that decolonization efforts through science collaborate with and are accessible to all communities.


Gigi Diekelman

Gigi received her B.S. from the University Wisconsin- Madison in Ecology with a certificate in Environmental Studies. Gigi's overall interests include agroecosystems and sustainable food systems, with a particular emphasis on addressing the environmental injustices experienced by marginalized communities due to agricultural pollutants and other forms of contamination. She hopes to continue the fight towards equal access to good, clean, and fair food for all by advocating for the decolonization of science, amplifying BIPOC voices, and fostering community engagement.

Current Undergraduates students

Research Experience for Undergraduate Students


Qais Stovall
Qais is a rising senior at Columbia University studying Environmental Biology. Coming from a family of social workers, he is particularly invested in the intersection between ecology, social sciences, and environmental justice. While passionate about ecotoxicology and animal behavior, Qais always looks to participate in projects servicing or connecting with minority communities like the one he grew up in.

Cofunded by the Cellular and Molecular Biology of Stress (CMBS) program

Tabatha Leekeenan
TBD- Summer 2024


Kayla Holman
TBD- Summer 2024
Funded by Waters @UW REU program

Isabelle Relyea
TBD- Summer 2024

Disease Ecology Research Team

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Cathy Chen

Chloe Hansen

SciComm Research Team

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