Trophic Modeling


The Trophic Modeling Team is creating environmental models to discover the potential ecological consequences of MEER:ReflEction. The team is working to understand the potential impacts on food webs due to environmental changes caused by mirror arrays. The team's findings are used to develop strategies to reduce any negative impacts on organisms.

Team Members:

Asia Zhang

Trophic Modeling Team Leader

Asia Zhang is a junior at Stanford University where she studies Environmental Systems Engineering and Data Science. She is working on the Marine Ecology and Materials Science teams of Project MEER: ReflEction where she analyzes the surface functionalization for corrosion resistance and self-cleaning capability of the mirror structures and studies the aquaculture under floating mirror arrays. She is passionate about engineering creative solutions to tackle climate change and loves to run, ski, and bike in her free time.

Alfredo Quezada

Research Database Analyst

Alfredo is a senior at University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he is majoring in Marine Biology with a Marine Sciences minor. He is a member of the Marine Ecology Team for MEER:ReflEction, focusing on the direct and indirect effects of the consequences of global warming on marine ecosystems and organisms. He’s trying to find a way to better understand and model trophic interactions among different key species of interest in order to predict the possible cascading effects ocean acidification will have across all major trophic levels. For the future, Alfredo is hoping to finish his studies at Scripps and to continue working towards the research and conservation of marine apex predators (Sharks!)

Ellie Flint

Organism Specialist

Ellie studies Environmental Systems University of California San Diego with a focus on Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and a minor in Biology. For project MEER:ReflEction, she is a member of the terrestrial ecology team where she is working to create a model of temperature, light and moisture effects on endemic species due to climate change. In her future, she hopes to pursue a Masters’ or Ph.D. in conservation ecology and conduct research on climate change. In her free time, she competes for UCSD’s Division 1 Track & Field team, enjoys reading, and going to the beach.

Riti Bhandarkar

Modeling Research Specialist

Riti is an engineering student in the class of 2023 at Princeton University. She is currently pursuing a certificate in Sustainable Energy, but in the past she’s done a lot of research on the evolution of birds and how they adapt to a changing climate. In her spare time, she loves reading fantasy & sci-fi novels, being outdoors, and making art/music. She’s excited to be working on the MEER:rEflection project!