Our Faculty and Staff

Many faculty are involved with the Hixon Center as advisors to F&ES students through the Hixon Fellowship program. 

  • Faculty/Staff

    Gaboury Benoit, Hixon Faculty Director


    Professor Benoit’s research and teaching focus on the behavior, transport, and fate of chemicals in natural waters, soils, sediments, and biota. Two special areas of interest are nonpoint source pollutants and biogeochemistry of trace metals and radionuclides. Most of his research involves state-of-the-art analytical methods and carefully designed field sampling programs, with results verified by laboratory simulations or simple mathematical models. His research is conducted in a watershed context, and study sites include freshwater and terrestrial systems, as well as estuarine and coastal environments. Four current research emphases are the use of modern clean techniques to investigate trace metals; micronutrient limitation by Cu and Fe; spatial and temporal variability of nonpoint source pollution; and human-environment interactions in urban areas. He is a fellow of Trumbull College.

    Mark Ashton, URI Faculty Director

    Professor Ashton conducts research on the biological and physical processes governing the regeneration of natural forests and on the creation of their agroforestry analogs. In particular, he seeks a better understanding of regeneration establishment among assemblages of closely related trees. His long-term research concentrates on tropical and temperate forests of the Asian and American realms. His field sites within these regions were selected specifically to allow comparison of growth, adaptation, and plasticity within and among close assemblages of species that have evolved within forest climates with differing degrees of seasonality. Findings from these studies have theoretical implications for understanding the maintenance of diversity of tree species in forested ecosystems and the adaptability of forests to change in climate. The results of his research have been applied to the development and testing of silvicultural techniques for restoration of degraded lands and for the management of natural forests for a variety of timber and nontimber products. Field sites include tropical forests in Sri Lanka and Panama, temperate forests in India and New England, and boreal forests in Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Colleen Murphy-Dunning, Center Director

    (203) 432-6570

    Colleen received her B.S. in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University, and a M.S. in Forestry from Humboldt State University. She directs both the Hixon Center for Urban Ecology, as well as the Urban Resources Initiative (URI).  She joined the Yale staff 20 years ago to launch URI’s Community Greenspace program.  Since then, she has partnered with Yale F&ES faculty to instruct courses in environmental justice, monitoring and evaluation methods, and urban ecology.  Prior to coming to Yale University Colleen taught agroforestry at the Kenya Forestry College as a Peace Corps volunteer, and led the New Guinea campaign for Rainforest Action Network .

  • Hixon Center Program

    • Katie Beechem, GreenSkills Manager


      Katie received her B.A. in Biology from Goucher College and her M.F. in Forestry from the Yale School Forestry & Environmental Studies.  Prior to studying at Yale, Katie worked with the Baltimore County Forest Sustainability Program, where she led the effort to plant 1,000 shade trees around public facilities and contributed to the reforestation of hundreds of acres of abandoned agricultural land.  She has also worked as a graduate teaching fellow at Yale F&ES, a research assistant at the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, an environmental educator at the National Aquarium, and as an Ultimate Frisbee coach.

      Anna Pickett, Development and Outreach Manager


      Anna earned a Master’s of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in 2010 and a BA in environmental studies from Oberlin College. She lives in New Haven with her husband and two sons. Previously, she worked at the Ford Foundation on its environmental justice grantmaking team, for other environmental non-profits, as a social worker in a battered women’s shelter, and as a political campaign field staffer.

      Chris Ozyck, Associate Director

      (203) 432-6189

      Chris Ozyck is the Associate Director for the Urban Resources Initiative. He graduated from the University of Connecticut 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Design. Chris has owned and operated a landscape design and construction business for over ten years in New Haven.

      Chris has been involved in and led numerous Greenway initiatives including being lead organizer for the Vision trail, the Harbor Trail and the historic Quinnipiac River Loop trail. He was the founding President of the Board for the Elm City Parks Conservancy and the newly formed water pollution mitigation endowed fund. Chris lives in Fairhaven Heights with his wife Rosemary and two daughters.