People

A humorous peak behind the curtain at goings on in the Schmidt Research and Extension Team



Team Leader

Amy Schmidt

Amy Schmidt, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor
Biological Systems Engineering & Animal Science
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
213 L. W. Chase Hall
P.O. Box 830726
Lincoln, NE 68583-0726
402-472-0877
aschmidt@unl.edu

Having grown up in rural Iowa, Dr. Schmidt appreciates the agricultural production systems that feed people worldwide and chose her career path to support responsible livestock production by helping farmers adopt research-based practices that optimize agronomic productivity and minimize potential environmental and social risks. Keeping up with two active kids, her husband, and their family dog is her other full-time job! She spends a lot of evenings and weekends cheering on her kids at baseball and softball games, about as much time scrubbing dirt and grass stains out of white baseball pants, and not nearly enough time sleeping.

Research and Extension Staff

Leslie Johnson

Leslie Johnson

Extension Educator, UNL Manure Management Team
leslie.johnson@unl.edu

Agnes Kurzhals

Agnes Kurzhals

Communication Associate, UNL Manure Management Team
akurtzhals2@unl.edu

Amber Patterson

Amber Patterson

Content Development and Graphic Design
apatterson@unl.edu

Bethany Zelt

Bethany Zelt

Extension Assistant, iAMResponsible Project
bzelt2@unl.edu

Mara Zelt

Mara Zelt

Manager, Schmidt Research and Extension Team
mzelt2@unl.edu

Current Graduate Students

GustavoCarlosGarcia

Gustavo Castro García

PhD - Agricultural Engineering
gcastrogarcia2@huskers.unl.edu

Gustavo received his undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Palmira), a master’s degree in sanitation and environmental engineering from the Universidad del Valle, Colombia and a second master´s in civil engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. His experience covers a wide range of topics including composting, biogas, reuse of wastewater as fertilizer, and watershed modeling. During the last 8 years, he has been a professor in two countries in rural Latin America at Universidad de La Salle Utopia Project (Yopal, Colombia) and EARTH University (Limón, Costa Rica). He is looking forward to work researching sustainable agricultural practices and manure application. Gustavo enjoys fieldwork, work with farmers, helping people, sharing with his family and friends, learning about other cultures, barbequing, dancing to Afro-Latin music, and playing soccer and baseball.

Andrew Stiven Ortiz Balsero

Andrew Stiven Ortiz Balsero

MS - Agricultural & Biological Systems Engineering
aortizbalsero2@unl.edu

Andrew was born in Colombia and has two undergraduate degrees from La Sabana University, the first in Agroindustrial Production Engineering and the second in Bio-Production Engineering. He worked as an intern in the Schmidt lab in the fall of 2021 on projects related to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from manure and soil quality. He is currently a master's student at UNL in the department of Biological Systems Engineering, working towards a degree in Agricultural & Biological Systems Engineering. He enjoys reading books, going to the gym, and spending time with his family.

Nafisa Lubna

Nafisa Lubna

PhD- Natural Resources
nlubna2@huskers.unl.edu

Nafisa received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. Her experience covers a wide range of topics including antimicrobial resistance, soil and water conservation, toxicology, and analytical chemistry. She was a National Science and Technology Fellow-2020, of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. Previously she has worked with two national reference scientific laboratories in Bangladesh: Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements (BRiCM) and Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI); where she got involved with the One Health Poultry Hub Bangladesh initiative to screen the manure management situation in local poultry farms. Now she is focusing on the root cause and risk factor analysis of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) by livestock manure, not only on the clinical and biochemical basis but on education and outreach as well. Her aim is to increase consciousness among farmers and consumers about AMR in poultry and livestock production and work more on mitigating its impact on the environment and human health. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is cooking. She also enjoys watching movies, TV dramas and doing outdoor activities.

Current Undergraduate Students and Technicians

Saskia Lanwermann

Saskia Lanwermann

Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication
Expected Graduation: 2024

Logan Hafer

Logan Hafer

Biochemistry
Expected Graduation: 2025

Hector Palala Martinez

Hector Palala Martinez

PhD Education
Expected Graduation: 2024

David Diez Laso

David Diez Laso

MA Modern Languages
Expected Graduation: 2024

Jillian Bailey

Jillian Bailey

Biological Systems Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2025

Alumni

Graduate Students

  • María José Oviedo Ventura, MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Karla Melgar , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
  • Agustin Olivo , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • Mara Zelt , MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Erin (Stevens) Boyles , MS Animal Science, currently employed at Zoetis, Lincoln, NE
  • Linda Schott, PhD. Biological Engineering, Assistant Professor, University of Idaho, Twin Falls, ID
  • Mitch Goedeken, MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at Amec Foster Wheeler, Wichita, KS
  • Scott Speicher, MS Environmental Engineering, currently employed at Felsburg Holt & Ullevig, Lincoln, NE
  • Nicole (Schuster) Leonard, MS Agricultural and Biological Engineering, currently employed at LandMark Implement, Inc, Holdrege, NE

Undergraduate Students

  • Josh Mansfield, (2023) Major: Environmental Engineering (Kansas State University), Expected Graduation: 2024
  • Aspen Schoenrock, (2022) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2023
  • Izzy Nachtigal, (2022) Major: Environmental Physical Science (Black Hills State University), Graduation: 2023
  • Seth Caines, (2021-2022) Major: Environmental Engineering, Graduation: 2023
  • Jacob Stover, (2021-2022) Major: Agricultural Engineering, Graduation: 2023
  • Andrew Lutt, (2020-2022) Major: Agricultural Engineering, Graduation: 2022
  • Bella Breinig, (2019-2021) Major: Advertising and Public Relations, Graduation: 2021
  • Andrew Ortiz Balsero, (2021) Major: Agro-Industrial Production Engineering (Universidad de La Sabana) , Graduation: 2022
  • Elise Gamble, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2022
  • Trevor Kalson, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2022
  • Jake Richardson, (2019-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Eric Henning, (2018-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Andrea Harris, (2018-2020) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2020
  • Abby Steffen, (2018-2019) Major: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication, Graduation: 2019
  • Zach Trout, (2018-2019) Major: Plant Biology, Graduation: 2019
  • Autumn Dunn, (2018) Major: Environmental Restoration, Graduation: 2018
  • Katherine Mundorf, (2017) Major: Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication, Graduation: 2017
  • Colton Hintz, (2017) Major: Mechanized Systems Management, Graduation: 2018
  • Mara Zelt, (2016-2017) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2017
  • Bethany Brittenham, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2015
  • Ashley (Schmit) Dierks, (2015-2017) Major: Animal Science, Graduation: 2017
  • Julia Frank, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2015
  • Troy Nelson, (2015) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Graduation: 2018
  • Jared Korth, (2014-2016) Major: Mechanized Systems Management, Graduation: 2016
  • Ethan Doyle, (2014) Major: Animal Science, Graduation: 2016