Join the Team

Lab team (2018).jpg

To join Dr. Grunwald's research team as a graduate student submit an application to seek entrance into the Ph.D. or M.S. graduate programs offered by the Soil and Water Sciences Department (SWSD) or School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Florida, USA. 

Potential Research Topics

(1) Soil Science:

  • Soil health, resilience, and fragility

  • Development of a new soil health index (or multiple indices) 

  • Nano-plastics in sediments and stormwater ponds assessed via soil proximal sensing

  • Fusion of soil spectroscopy and a mechanistic model to assess soil carbon  

  • Geospatial terrestrial carbon modeling across the continental U.S. 

  • Improved management through soil health index development for different land use types

  • Pedo-econometrics to optimize ecosystem functions (e.g., nutrient regulation, water quality, carbon sequestration, net primary productivity)

  • Modeling of ecosystem services efficiencies based on the Data Envelopment Analysis 

  • Modeling of change at ecological benchmark sites using proximal soil sensing and remote-sensing

(2) Integrative Soil-Environmental-Social Studies: 

  • Integral modeling of soil-human relations based on Integral Ecology and Integral Theory 

  • Assessment of integrated socio-environmental impacts due to multi-hazard natural disasters (hurricanes, tropical storms, storm surges) 

  • Eco-disaster impact assessment and scenario modeling via machine learning and deep learning algorithms

  • Modeling of future risks and vulnerabilities of agro-forest ecosystems under global climate change

  • Modeling of scenarios (business-as-usual, worse, best case) of various socio-economic interventions for carbon credits, water conservation, well-being or other 

  • Sea level rise, environmental gentrification, and environmental justice

  • People's perception and valuation of soil, water, and/or public health 

(3) Theoretical Studies / Review Studies / Meta-analysis:

  • Perspectives of data/machine-driven (AI) versus knowledge-discovery oriented soil-environmental research

  • Ethics of artificial intelligence (AI) in soil and environmental sciences

  • Philosophies that undergird modeling paradigms in soil-environmental science; assess how different philosophical-informed worldviews help to alleviate soil degradation and boost soil health

  • Potentials and pitfalls of machine learning and deep learning (artificial neural networks) applied to soil and water sciences  

(4) Cultural Understanding of Soils:

  • Cultural understanding of soils in Florida

  • Relation between mindfulness practice and people's connection to nature/soils/environment?

  • Indigenous, farmers, rural and urban perspectives of soil care, soil health, and healthy food (in a specific region in Florida or other region)

  • Exploration of soil health practices from a permaculture perspective

  • Relations between spiritual/religious views and soil/land/nature/Earth