Group Members

Peter Hernes, PI

Professor – Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources

Google Scholar Profile

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Amanda McCormick

Postdoctoral Researcher – Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources

Amanda is broadly interested in aquatic ecology, especially food webs and the interplay between organisms and ecosystem processes. Currently, she is researching resource use of copepods in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in order to understand how wetland plant detritus supports the lower food web. Amanda joined the Hernes Lab in August 2020 as a postdoc, after finishing her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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Madi Mathers

PhD Candidate – Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry Graduate Group

Madi is a PhD student in the graduate group of Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry interested in studying ecosystems impacted by anthropogenic climate change. She is currently researching particulate organic carbon in the particle-starved Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Her research focuses on quantifying sources of particulates within the organic matter pool, characterizing the forms of these particles, and assessing quality of particulates as a food source.

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Alyssa Burns

PhD CandidateAgricultural & Environmental Chemistry Graduate Group

Alyssa earned her B.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University. She spent several years working as a research assistant in industry and academia before continuing her academic pursuits as a PhD student within the Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry graduate group at UC Davis. Alyssa joined the lab in September 2020. Her research is focused on terrestrial organic carbon transport and transformation across Arctic land-sea continuums, specifically within the Yukon River delta and Bering Sea and subterranean estuaries flowing into lagoon ecosystems along the Beaufort Sea coast (Alaska). Her fieldwork and lab analyses have allowed her to collaborate with individuals from Florida State University, Texas A&M-Galveston, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Texas-Austin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, City University of New York, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Alaskan native communities (Yup’ik people of Alakanuk, AK). When not working in the lab, Alyssa enjoys spending time outside gardening, hiking, running, cycling, and skiing.

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Sasha A’Hearn

Undergraduate Student – Environmental Science and Management major and Watershed Science minor

Sasha is a second-year student at UC Davis studying environmental science, with a particular interest in water, riparian systems, and ecology. She currently works in Peter Hernes’s lab as an undergraduate research assistant, a role which involves supporting the graduate students with the data collection and interpretation, as well as conducting her own experiments. She is currently conducting an experiment on microbial lignin degradation. Sasha’s favorite thing about environmental science is how physical and biological systems connect organisms, particles, natural resources, and humans to each other, something which she loves exploring every day in the lab.

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