Jiayang Li, PhD Pre-Candidate, received her BE in Landscape Architecture from the Tongji University in Shanghai, China, and her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan. During her master’s studies, she worked part-time at SmithGroupJJR Ann Arbor office on landscape design and planning projects in Michigan and Ohio, and also served as a graduate student instructor for design studios in the MLA program. Jiayang is interested in exploring how green infrastructure can enhance the quality of urban environment and the well-being of urban residents in a fast-changing climate and society.  

Yuanqiu Feng, PhD Candidate, received her concurrent BA Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2015. Prior to entering the PhD program at SNRE, she was an instructor in the MLA program in NUS, where she assisted in teaching design studio and urban ecology courses. She is broadly interested in issues surrounding urban green space, and ecological design approaches for tropical cities. Yuanqiu's studies are supported by the NUS Overseas Graduate Scholarship.

Rachel C. Leonard, Dual Masters Candidate Landscape Architecture and Urban planning, received her BFA with a focus on industrial design and public art from the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan and studied product design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. To merge this background in design with her interests in cultural sustainability and community development she worked in programming for the Center for Educational Outreach at the University of Michigan and served as a Health Extension Agent for the Peace Corps in rural Tanzania. Rachel is interested in community participation, environmental psychology, and global and comparative issues in the planning and design of healthy, vibrant, socially just communities.


Roberto Astudillo, Masters Candidate Landscape Architecture, received his BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to attending the University of Michigan, he joined Chicago’s rich tech startup community as a research analyst focusing on energy efficiency technology. His current interests include urban ecological design and climate resiliency in vulnerable cities. Roberto is also interested in sustainable development and real estate development focusing on place-making, preserving ecological integrity and providing support for equitable communities.

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Derell Griffin, Masters Candidate Landscape Architecture, received his BS in Horticulture with a concentration in Landscape Design, Construction & Management from Michigan State University. He is a current third-year student in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Michigan.  As a native of Detroit, he is interested in green development of highly urban areas, not only in the U.S but also in developing countries. Water management issues, whether it’s storm water or the quality of a stream is of high importance to him as well. Derell became interested in this field while learning more about social and environmental services and the effects both have on the quality of life on people, and believes everyone should have access to environments that promotes ones mental and physical well-being.

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Alexis Heinz is a third-year Master's student pursuing landscape architecture and conservation ecology.  As an undergraduate student, she studied plant science and horticulture at Cornell University.  She decided to attend the University of Michigan because in addition to exploring landscape architecture, she would be able to collaborate with people in other environmental and sustainability-focused fields.  In terms of career interests, she would like to integrate conservation and preservation with landscape architecture methods.


Neha Srinivasan, Masters Candidate Landscape Architecture, received her BS in environmental science from the University of Michigan. She hopes to work on an urban scale to integrate sustainability into the operations of cities and the lives of their residents. Neha sees green infrastructure, ecological restoration, urban infill, and the creation of walkable, engaging communities as important ways to achieve this overarching goal. She would also like to utilize her background in science to help integrate data into design and policy decisions.