Meet Our Team

Graduate & Postdoc Projects

Leslie  Dybiec, M.S.

Leslie Dybiec, M.S.

Leslie Dybiec, M.S., Ohio State University

Leslie Dybiec earned a Master of Science in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Botany from Ohio University. She brings to optimIA a passion for the plant sciences and education, and extensive experience in communications and marketing. She is responsible for managing the multi-state OptimIA outreach education effort focused on controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and research conducted on the production of high quality, nutrient-rich leafy greens under these specialized conditions.

John  Ertle

John Ertle

John Ertle, Ohio State University

Tipburn Ecophysiology and Management in Indoor Farming

John Ertle is a first-year PhD student at the Ohio State University, under the advisement of Dr. Chieri Kubota. 

He is investigating the ecophysiological insight of tipburn, an environmental nutrient disorder problematic in lettuce, and is developing novel microclimate control strategies to mitigate risks of tipburn. Johnís project also includes commercial cultivar screening for tipburn sensitivity and dissemination of information and decision support tools to stakeholders.

Nathan  Kelly

Nathan Kelly

Nathan Kelly, Michigan State University

Indoor lighting to increase lettuce quality and nutrition

Nathan Kelly is a PhD student at Michigan State University under the advisement of Dr. Erik Runkle.

He is investigating how light quality and quantity can be manipulated to elicit desired quality traits of lettuce grown indoors. He is especially interested in how lighting can be used to promote pigment accumulation and the biosynthesis of nutritious secondary metabolites and vitamins.

Gio  Papio

Gio Papio

Gio Papio, Ohio State University

Lettuce Transpiration Prediction Tool

Gio Papio is a MS student at the Ohio State University under the advisement of Dr. Chieri Kubota.

He is developing a simple tool to analyze plant microclimate with regard to potential plant transpiration rates, as part of the effort to develop a simple methodology for growers to assess risks of tipburn incidence in lettuce. This tool is also useful for indoor HVAC design and optimization.

Joseph  Seong

Joseph Seong

Joseph Seong, Michigan State University

Quantifying the Critical Elements of CEA Economics

Joseph Seong is a fourth-year PhD student at Michigan State University under the advisement of Dr Simone Valle de Souza. 

He works with survey development, economic modelling and programing for the development of an optimization model for the indoor farming industry.

KC  Shasteen

KC Shasteen

KC Shasteen, University of Arizona

Enhanced environmental control and resource use in indoor farming

KC Shasteen is a MS student at the University of Arizona, under the advisement of Dr. Murat Kacira.  

He is working on modelling and computer vision-based crop biomass production predictions and co-optimization of environmental variables for enhanced environmental control and resource use in indoor vertical farming.

Fatemeh    Sheibani

Fatemeh Sheibani

Fatemeh Sheibani, Purdue University

Energy-efficient indoor production of leafy-greens
Fatemeh Sheibani is a PhD student at Purdue University under the supervision of Dr. Cary Mitchell.

She has been working to develop strategies to enhance energy-efficient indoor production of leafy-greens by leveraging unique properties of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for sole-source lighting. To optimize conditions for indoor leafy-greens production, interaction of LED lighting with other environmental parameters including temperature and CO2 concentration are taken in to account. Close-canopy lighting, targeted lighting, and phasic co-optimization are the main OptimIA strategies that have been under investigation in the Mitchell lab.

Sean  Tarr

Sean Tarr

Sean Tarr, Michigan State University

Improving yield, color, and flavor of leafy greens and herbs grown indoors with precise radiation intensity, temperature, and carbon dioxide management
Sean Tarr is an M.S. student at Michigan State University under the advisement of Dr. Roberto Lopez.

He is quantifying how temperature alone or its interaction with radiation intensity and/or carbon dioxide concentration influence leafy green and herb yield, color, and post-harvest life. Production models that include radiation intensity, temperature, and CO2 will provide growers with the best recipe to improve leaf unfolding rates, color, flavor, and post-harvest lon/gevity.