Meet our 2021-2023 Fellows
Claudia Christine E. Avila
Scott Fendorf Lab
Earth System Science
Claudia Christine E. Avila is a soil biogeochemist studying soil carbon dynamics in agricultural soils. She is a Chicana from Fontana, CA and a long-time resident of the Inland Empire. She was a community college transfer student at UC Riverside, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences and where she will also be receiving her PhD this Spring. While finishing up graduate school, she became a mother and a part-time instructor at her alma mater, Riverside City College and at Cal State University, San Marcos where she teaches Environmental Sciences/Studies and Biology. As a Stanford Earth Postdoctoral Fellow, she will be disentangling the role of soil carbon in the release of naturally occurring contaminants in the Central Valley that ultimately harm drinking water resources. She is incredibly passionate about community-led research that follow Indigenous frameworks and transformative justice in all levels of academia.
Marshall Burke Lab
Earth System Science
Carlos Gould earned a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and will receive his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University. His research focuses on the potential for household energy transitions to address climate change and improve health by reducing air pollution exposure. In his dissertation, Carlos studies the impact of Ecuador’s nationwide transition from biomass to gas cooking, facilitated by long-standing subsidies, on air pollution exposure and children’s health. Weaving together tailored energy access surveys, state-of-the-science sensor, and administrative data, Carlos’s work shows that despite cheap and accessible cooking gas, a large portion of Ecuadorian households still use biomass for some of their daily cooking and heating needs, leading to air pollution exposure above health-based guidelines. Nonetheless, he shows that Ecuador’s investments in cooking gas subsidies over the last three decades have facilitated reductions in lower respiratory infection mortality among children under 5 years. As a Stanford Earth Postdoctoral Fellow, Carlos will investigate (1) the impacts of India’s ongoing clean cooking transition on air quality, health, and climate and (2) the health and climate benefits of clean-to-cleaner fuel transitions (e.g., from gas to renewable-based electricity). He looks forward to joining the Stanford community and is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the University through service, mentorship, teaching, and research.
Erik Sperling Lab and Jon Payne Lab
I am a first-generation Mexican American originally from Los Angeles, California, where I was born and raised. After being initially interested in marine biology, I decided to pursue geology as a major after watching the movie, Dante’s Peak, when I was in high school. I attended Cal State Fullerton, where I could work and pay for my tuition while majoring in Geological Sciences. As an undergrad, I developed a passion for marine paleobiology and decided to pursue that as a career after participating in an NSF REU at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. After earning my B.S., I stayed at Cal State Fullerton where I earned my Master’s degree. For the next two years, I split my time between living in Panamá working for the Florida Museum of Natural History and working in paleontological resource mitigation in Southern California. I then went on to earn my Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.
As a paleobiologist, I am interested in understanding the interplay of abiotic and biotic factors in shaping the history of marine life. I seek to reconstruct the habitats and environmental conditions in which ancient organisms lived in by applying sequence stratigraphic principles and ecological theory at the local and regional scale. I also work with large fossil databases to assess the underlying drivers of macroevolutionary patterns at the global scale, which has the been the primary focus of my research at Stanford using marine animal body size. As a Stanford Earth Postdoctoral Fellow, I will work with Erik Sperling and Jonathan Payne to use physiological modeling based on organisms’ metabolic demand to determine if it can explain body size trends of marine animals in the fossil record.