Please join us in congratulating Carla López Lloreda and Rahul Garg, and in welcoming them to the Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program this fall 2022!

Carla López Lloreda

2022 Diversity Fellow


Carla obtained her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from her home institution, the University of Puerto at Río Piedras. In her undergraduate career, she worked on projects understanding the role of animals in nutrient cycling and on characterizing the aquatic habitat of Puerto Rico’s only native toad, the Puerto Rican Crested toad. Carla later worked as a research technician with the University of New Hampshire and Oak Ridge National lab, based in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, where she was able to contribute to important work understanding the impacts of disturbance on tropical forests and was driven by this experience to pursue graduate school. For her PhD, Carla is broadly interested in watershed biogeochemistry and her graduate work will focus on quantifying and understanding greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands, focusing on different global regions and controls. Her work will take place in geographically isolated wetlands in the Delmarva Peninsula, Maryland, where she will focus on evaluating the role of wetland landscape variables and hydrologic connectivity on greenhouse gases. 

Advised by Dr. Erin Hotchkiss

Photo of Rahul Garg

Rahul Garg

2022 Diversity Fellow


Having grown up in a semi-arid town in Rajasthan, India, Rahul Garg has first-hand experience with the implications of clean water scarcity, which fueled his curiousity about hydrogeology and the subsurface processes that impact drinking water. For his PhD studies, Rahul will study the North Atlantic coastal plains (NACP) subsidence and associated hazards. Land subsidence affects relative sea-level rise, a combination of eustatic sea-level rise due to changing climate, and surface deformation, including geological adjustments. The abstraction of groundwater from coastal aquifers exacerbates the relative sea-level rise, accelerating disruption in coastal communities, wetland ecosystems, and agricultural productivity through frequent flooding and aquifer salinization. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach using remote sensing observational data products like radar and satellite gravimetry combined with poro-mechanical and hydrological modelling, Rahul plans to understand the role of groundwater abstraction on vertical land motion and its nonlinear behaviour.

Advised by Dr. Susanna Werth

Global Change Center Diversity Fellowships are awarded to incoming Ph.D. students from underrepresented communities, providing them with a 12-month assistantship and tuition. The aims of this fellowship are to engage students in difficult discussions of complex socio-environmental problems, learn from their diverse perspectives and life experiences, and equip them with the skills needed to drive change in communities of the U.S. and abroad. The focus of their research includes an emphasis on the social and/or environmental challenges associated with rapid global change, such as pollution, invasive species, climate change, and habitat loss.