Our team

The Principal Investigator

Dr. Matthew Scarborough started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont in August 2019. More information about Dr. Scarborough can be found here.

Graduate Students

Panagiota (Yiota) Stamatopoulou, Doctoral Student

Yiota's research focuses on production of medium chain fatty acids from agricultural waste using anaerobic microbial communities. Previously, she did her MESc at Western University in Canada, focusing on the partial nitritation- anammox (PNA) process for sidestream wastewater treatment using membrane-aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology. She is originally from Greece, where she did her undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering at the University of Patras followed by a MSc in Municipal Solid Waste management at the National Technical University of Athens.

Leandro Conrado Fernandes, Doctoral Student

Leandro is interested in developing robust, affordable methods for wastewater treatment that can be deployed in areas currently lacking adequate sanitation processes. Leandro is originally from Brazil where he completed an undergraduate program in Environmental Engineering at the University Center of Belo Horizonte. During his undergraduate program, he was part of the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program and studied at the University of Montana and Columbia University. His previous research focused on biological nitrogen removal. Besides his passion for wastewater treatment, Leandro also loves to study new languages, to travel and to get to know new people and cultures.

Amy DeCola, Master's Student

Amy grew up in Wilton, CT and is studying Environmental Engineering with a Math minor at UVM. On campus, Amy is a member of Tau Beta Pi and the Outreach Coordinator for the Society of Women Engineers. Most recently, she interned for Otter Creek Engineering in Middlebury, VT where she was involved with stormwater, water supply, and wastewater design. Amy is interested in renewable energy, life cycle assessment, and waste management.

Kennedy Brown, Master's Student (Accelerated Master's Program)

Kennedy studies Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont. In the fall of 2019, she transferred to University of Vermont from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA where she studied Biology on the Pre-Medical Studies Track. She previously interned at the Philadelphia Zoo as an Environmental Education Animal Behavior Intern where she studied the environmental effects of palm refining on rainforests and the species who reside there.

Peyton Lienhart, Master's Student (Accelerated Master's Program)

Peyton grew up in Willowbrook, IL and is studying environmental engineering at the University of Vermont. She has been a swimmer her whole life and was on the varsity swim team at UVM. For her masters, she is conducting research on greenhouse gas emissions from landfill cover soils. Her research is funded by the NASA Vermont Space Grant Consortium. She previously interned with the Dam Safety Program in Montpelier, VT where she went on dam inspections and wrote dam hazard classification reports. She is also interested in renewable energy and wastewater treatment. In her free time, she loves to be outside, cook, and travel.

Amelia McClure, Master's Student

Amelia is a Civil and Environmental Engineering Master’s student interested in optimizing biological phosphorous removal from municipal wastewater treatment processes. She will be investigating this process at the Burlington Main Wastewater Treatment Plant, where she works as a wastewater operator. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Wellesley College, where she completed research on plant associated microbial communities in a permafrost thaw zone. Outside of work and school, she enjoys swimming in the Winooski River watershed and playing in Burlington's Brazilian samba drumming band.

Neha Subedi, Master's Student

Neha is from Kathmandu, Nepal and is currently enrolled in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at University of Vermont. For her master's thesis, she is conducting research on development of methods for determining deleterious material content in process glass aggregate, focused on plastic content. Her major interest lies in helping developing countries solve their waste problems. Neha's primary interest is converting waste into an asset. In her spare time, she loves to read and travel.

Undergraduate Students

Venus Rohra

Venus studies Environmental Engineering with a minor in Pure Mathematics. She was born in Japan and has lived in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Venus is member of the Society of Women Engineers and the Asian Student Union. In the Summer of 2021, she completed a Richard Barrett Scholar's project related to the role of soil microbial communities in greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. Venus is interested in a range of environmental topics including renewable energy, hydrology and biodiversity.


Courteney Hales

Courteney is majoring in Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont. She is originally from South Africa and has also lived in Angola for part of her childhood. She previously studied Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) as a soil bio cementation technique, through an REU and Summer 2021 Richard Barrett Scholarship. She currently studies the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from manure lagoons using biochar, for her Honors College Thesis. In the future, she is excited to discover new ways of using wastewater as a sustainable energy resource. On campus, Courteney is a member of Tau Beta Pi and the UVM Climbing Team. In her free time, she loves to go hiking, snowboarding, and climbing – really anything outdoors.

Ryan McKeown

Ryan is majoring in Environmental Engineering at UVM. He is originally from New Jersey. As a Richard Barrett Scholar he studied the chemical phosphorus removal of dairy wastewater during the summer of 2022. He is interested in resource recovery from wastes and environmental remediation. Ryan has worked as a geospatial, marketing, and project analyst in solar development for Encore Renewable Energy. He is an avid mountain unicycler/biker.


Hudson Smith

Hudson is studying Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont. He is studying methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from manure lagoons, including fungal neuromas and biochar. Hudson is a member of Pi Kappa Phi and Engineers Without Borders. He looks forward to finding new ways to implement fungi for environmental issues. When he can, Hudson likes to sail, fish, and just get out on the water.

Jacob McCoy

Jacob grew up in East Montpelier, Vermont and is studying Environmental Engineering at the University of Vermont. He is studying the fermentation of amino acids and their effectiveness in producing Medium Chain Fatty Acids. Jacob is interested in renewable energy and sustainable development. In his free time, he enjoys sports such as basketball, ultimate frisbee, and rock climbing.

Leo Rabinovich

Leo grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and spent the first two years of his undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied microbiology and environmental science. There he worked alongside water treatment facilities to generate electricity with microbial fuel cells. Leo now attends the University of Vermont where he studies engineering and works on amino acid fermentation with the goal of producing medium-chain fatty acids from food waste.

Former Students

Olivia Mead, Undergraduate Student - Graduated May 2021



Courtney Clement, Undergraduate Student - Graduated May 2021


Juliet Malkowski, Undergraduate Student - Graduated May 2021

Cassidy Vaccari, Undergraduate Student - Anticipated Graduation is Fall 2022

Ryan Weinstein, Masters Student - Graduated August 2020


Reed Winter, Undergraduate Student - Graduated May 2021.