People

Schmidt Group (L-R): Andrew Lutt, Andrew Ortiz Balsero, Maria Jose Oviedo, Karla Melgar, Amy Schmidt, Mara Zelt, Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez. (Photo taken November 2021)



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.

Lab Members

Amber Patterson

Amber Patterson

Extension Assistant for Media and Design
apatterson@unl.edu

Amber has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a background in graphic design. Originally from Florida, she has lived in Lincoln, NE for eight years and absolutely loves it! She's worked with the Schmidt Lab for seven years and enjoys finding new and exciting ways to share the incredible work the lab does with the public. When Amber is not working she is snuggling her Chiweenie while reading a book.

Mara Zelt

Mara Zelt

Research Technologist and Extension Assistant for the iAMResponsible Project
mzelt2@unl.edu

Mara is a native Nebraskan, attended UNL for her undergraduate and master's work, and is currently serving as the Schmidt Research Group's resident helperbot, lab manager and project manager for the nationwide extension and outreach project focused on antimicrobial resistance (iAMResponsible) which is being direct by Dr. Schmidt. Mara is an avid podcast listener, reader, and a fierce board game competitor -- if you block her bid for longest road, you will be hunted.

Current Graduate Students

Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez

Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez

MS - Mechanized Systems Management
jramostanchez2@huskers.unl.edu

Juan Carlos was born and raised in San Marcos, a town in the western mountains of Guatemala. He recivied his B.Sc. in Environment and Development from Zamorano University, in Honduras. After a 12 months internship working on animal wastewater management in Missouri, he started his Master degree in Mechanized Systems Management with a specialization in Water Resources Management and Planning in UNL. His graduate research is a part of the project "Water and Nutrient Recycling: A Decision Tool and Synergistic Innovative Technology" under Dr. Amy Schmidt and Dr. Rick Stowell's direction. Juan Carlos is an amateur photographer, soccer fan and MMA enthusiast.

Nancy Sibo

Nancy Sibo

Ph.D- Natural Resources
knancy.sibo@gmail.com

Nancy Sibo holds a Master of Science degree in Global Health Delivery form the University of Global Health Equity. She graduated with a bachelor of science in Animal Production from the University of Rwanda. After the completion of her undergraduate studies, Nancy joined Global Health Corps, where she worked as Food Security and Livelihoods Program in charge of designing a strategic roadmap of community nutrition interventions areas aligned to the National Food and Nutrition Policy. Nancy’s area of research has covered a wide range of topics including the use of Non-Protein Nitrogen to cattle that look at achieving food and nutrition security today and poultry farming best practices for sustainable productivity of small scale farming. Nancy is now a graduate student in Natural Resources, her project will focus on the mitigation of Antimicrobial Resistance in the cattle food chain.

María José Oviedo Ventura

María José Oviedo Ventura

MS - Mechanized Systems Management
moviedoventura2@unl.edu

María José was born in El Salvador and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and Development from Zamorano University, in Honduras. After the completion of her undergraduate studies, María José worked in different areas of environmental education, agri-environmental regulatory frameworks and on monitoring projects focused on promoting sustainable agriculture and improve the resilience of households whose livelihoods depends on agriculture. She is currently a master’s student at UNL in the Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering, working towards a degree in Mechanized Systems Management with a specialization in Water Resources Management and Planning. She is interested in researching how different agricultural practices can improve ecological systems capacity. María José enjoys playing volleyball, doing activities outdoors and reading a nice book.

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.

Current Undergraduate Students

Seth Caines

Seth Caines

Biological Systems Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Seth Caines is from Hanover Park, Illinois and attended Lake Park High School. Some hobbies of his include thrifting, biking, and hiking. After college, Seth plans on working in Environmental Engineering and has interests in ecological engineering, bioremediation, and habitat restoration. At UNL, Seth is a Teaching Assistant for ENGR 100 and is a part of the McNair Scholars Program.

Jacob Stover

Jacob Stover

Agricultural Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Jacob is from Gretna, Nebraska. He is pursuing Agricultural Engineering with hopes of working with irrigation systems, sensors, or natural resource management. Jacob has always loved the outdoors, and his favorite hobbies are playing guitar, hiking, fishing, and pretty much anything that brings him into nature. Jacob is involved in Campus Crusades for Christ (Cru) and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineers (ASABE).

Alumni

Graduate Students

  • Karla Melgar , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Setje Agriservices, Raymond, NE
  • 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 Olson Associates., Grand Island, NE

Undergraduate Students

  • 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
  • Garret Isom, (2019) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Expected Graduation: 2023
  • 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