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

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.

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.

Current Undergraduate Students

Saskia Lanwermann

Saskia Lanwermann

Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication
Expected Graduation: 2024

Aspen Schoenrock

Aspen Schoenrock

Biological Systems Engineering
Expected Graduation: 2023

Alumni

Graduate Students

  • Juan Carlos Ramos Tanchez , MS Mechanized Systems Management, currently employed at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • 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 LandMark Implement, Inc, Holdrege, NE

Undergraduate Students

  • Izzy Nachtigal, (2022) Major: Environmental Physical Science (Black Hills State University) , Expected Graduation: 2023
  • Seth Caines, (2021-2022) Major: Biological Systems Engineering, Expected Graduation: 2023
  • Jacob Stover, (2021-2022) Major: Agricultural Engineering, Expected 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