PhD Students

Jesann Gonzalez Cruz is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in the IL lab. She earned her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2019. Her research centers around intersections of identity and power across landscapes. Jesann is particularly interested in conservation politics as related to concepts of invasion, extinction, and control in Puerto Rico with a focus on the Coqui (a variety of frog species in the Eleutherodactylus genus) and Puerto Rican livelihoods. Past research involved developing conservation practices for indigenous cultural heritage in Belize farmlands. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida. 

Jane Gross,, is a second-year Ph.D. student in the in(Secure) Landscapes Lab. She has a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from Northwestern University and a MS in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois. Jane is interested in research around aging infrastructure, environmental health, and equitable land use and redevelopment in Illinois and the Midwest more broadly. For her M.S., she examined the evolving standards for ethylene oxide, and the regulatory process for hazardous air pollutants in Illinois. For her Ph.D., she is working under the NSF-funded Co-Producing Community to examine agriculture governance and policy in Illinois. 

Juliana Rubiano Lizarazo is a first-year Ph.D. student in the in(Secure) Landscapes Lab. She has a BA in Anthropology and an MS in Applied Economics from Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). Juliana is interested in the intersection between development, environmental governance, illicit economies, and armed conflict. For her PhD, she is working under a NASA-funded project to analyze socio-political drivers of land use change and land use conflicts in Colombia and their implications for peacebuilding. She is also interested in the environmental and socioeconomic effects of organized crime activities in the Global South. Past research involved local resource sharing and collective action dilemmas, socio-ecological impacts of the expansion of illicit economies, and coca crop substitution programs in protected areas and collective territories.