Leadership and Staff

  • Director Diana Aga
    Diana S. Aga, Director, UB RENEW Institute; Henry M. Woodburn Professor, Department of Chemistry. Dr. Aga joined the faculty at SUNY-Buffalo in August, 2002. Her current research involves investigating the fate, transport, and health implications of contaminants in the environment, such as persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and engineered nanomaterials. As Director of RENEW, Dr.Aga aspires to establish and deepen ties with national and global partners and interdisciplinary faculty across UB whose research interests in water, energy, and environment are informed by equity and sustainability concerns.
  • Education and Outreach Director: Lisa Vahapoğlu
    With professional experience in health policy and management, proposal development, international project management, and interdisciplinary global health equity projects, Lisa Vahapoğlu serves RENEW as its Research and Outreach Director.
  • Database / Visualization Specialist: Zia Ahmed
    Zia Ahmed has over 20 years of experience in environmental modeling and data analysis. Dr. Ahmed is also a Research Associate Professor in RENEW, and with geography Professor Chris Renschler, he has co-taught Landscape Modeling with GIS.
  • Senior Research Scientist: Alexander Hoepker
    Alexander is a cross-disciplinary R&D biochemist who integrates enzymatic reaction strategies, protein design, materials science and chemical engineering to bring unique solutions to RENEW research projects.
  • RENEW Post Doc: Karla Lievanos
    Karla was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship, the MPS-Ascend Postdoctoral Fellowship, which aims to advance scientific discovery and diversify the fields of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
  • Environmental / Ecological Economist: Michael Shelly
    With over 25 years’ experience analyzing projects on five continents, Michael A. Shelly is a seasoned environmental economist. He is also a Research Assistant Professor in the RENEW Institute. RENEW Faculty and Affiliates are encouraged to contact Michael for proposals that require environmental impact analyses.
  • Instrumentation and Research Laboratories Director: Joshua Wallace
    Dr. Joshua Wallace’s interests center on the environmental fate, transport, and impact of chemicals in ecosystem function. He is also interested in questions related to environmental justice and equity in urban and agricultural communities.
  • Office Administrator: Juana Colón
    Juana joined RENEW in April 2023 as a welcome addition to the RENEW team.
  • Administrative Assistant: Laura Yearke
    A valuable addition to the RENEW team, Laura joined us in January 2024, bringing her expertise and dedication.