The Global Change Center welcomes four new faculty affiliates this fall! 


Dr. Carrie Fearer

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

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Dr. Carrie Fearer's research program covers a broad range of topics related to forest health, including forest pathology, early disease detection, and the role of microbes in tree health. She is broadly interested in developing rapid, non-destructive methods to identify tree diseases prior to spread and disease resistant trees in order to protect forest biodiversity and assist in ecosystem restoration applications. 

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Dr. Korine Kolivras is an environmental geographer with expertise in health and medical geography. Specifically, her work addresses human health impacts of environmental and social change at local to global scales with two core foci: (1) the role of environmental variability and change in the emergence of vector-borne diseases, and (2) the human health impacts of land use/land cover change, such as surface mining.

Dr. Jingqiu Liao

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Dr. Jingqiu Liao’s studies the ecology and evolution of microbiomes, foodborne pathogens, and antimicrobial resistance in the settings of natural, agricultural, and food ecosystems. Her research aims to advance a mechanistic and predictive understanding of microbial diversity, composition, functioning, and environment-microbe interactions in these ecosystems by leveraging the power of multi-omics, computational biology, population genetics, machine learning, and data science.

Dr. Lu Zhang

Myers-Lawson School of Construction

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Dr. Lu Zhang’s research program at Virginia Tech focuses on advancing knowledge in the areas of smart buildings and cities, built environment resilience and sustainability, equity in climate change, human built environment interaction, cyber-human systems, and artificial intelligence. Her overarching research goal is to create innovative solutions for new generations of sustainable and resilient built environments that are planned, designed, constructed, and operated with greater human awareness, intelligence, equity, and environmental consciousness.