Dr. Gabriela Garcia 

Principal Investigator Assistant Professor

Gabriela earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in psychology and philosophy and her Ph.D. in biology from Tufts University. Her research explores the feedbacks between plant ecological dynamics and human livelihoods and decision-making. She has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Comission, the National GEM Consortium Fellowship, the NSF Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, and the Garden Club of America. She loves running, drawing, and going on adventures with her family. 

Current Lab Members

Paola Stuparich-Nouel

Research Technician

BS, MS Northeastern University

Paola joined the Socio-ecological Science and Solutions lab to work with The Nature Conservancy on their Adaptation in the Amazon and Africa project. She earned her  Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science and Landscape Architecture and a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Policy at Northeastern University. Through her current project, she is excited to leverage conservation and her native Spanish to better the conditions for Amazonian communities and build relationships with partners in South America. She is an avid hiker and traveler, and loves experiencing new people, foods and landscapes whenever and wherever I can. When in Boston, she enjoys staying active as well as reading, painting and knitting.

Hannah Braslau

Research Technician, 

BS, Bates College

Hannah graduated from Bates College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. She joined the lab as a Research Technician and is excited about studying alternate bearing through a socio-ecological lens. She loves staying active by biking, horseback riding, and rock climbing. 

Ximena de la Mora Bakjejian

Research Technician, 

BS, MS Candidate Northeastern University

Ximena is an Environmental Science and Policy graduate student at Northeastern University. She earned a double Bachelor of Science in Economics and Philosophy from Northeastern University. Ximena joined the lab as a Research Assistant and is interested in using interdisciplinary approaches to understand the relationships between humans and the environment. She is eager to further her skillset and understanding of socio-ecological systems and gain additional research experience within the realm of ecological conservation through nature-based solutions. Outside of research, she enjoys reading, writing poetry, horseback riding, and learning new languages. 

Sally Nourani

Incoming PhD Student, 


MS, Cornell University

Sally earned her bachelors from the University of North Carolina in biology and environmental studies and her masters from Cornell University in natural resources where she worked in the extension system on adaptive governance of invasive forest insects. Sally has a deep interest in how community-driven research processes can support the well-being and resilience of humans and nature in agroforestry systems. Prior to starting at Northeastern, she lived in Uganda for 5 years, raising her kids and contributing to an education-for-development initiative.

Mariam Hamzat

Incoming PhD Student, 

BS, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology

Mariam completed her Bachelors in Environmental Biology at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria. She is interested in research around crops and sustainable farming systems. She looks forward to making valuable contributions to decision making and policies around agriculture with her research. Mariam loves trying new foods, traveling and learning about cultures from other places. 

Lab Alumni

Abigail Thelusma

Co-op Student

BS Candidate

Northeastern University

Abigail is an undergraduate in Marine and Environmental Sciences. She joined the lab as a co-op research assistant to develop a research project on reproductive tradeoffs in blueberry through a socio-ecological lens. She loves reading.