Welcome to


UrbanPRism Research Group

Advised by Dr. Chandana Mitra,

Department of Geosciences

Auburn University


Meet the Current Research Student Team

Megha Shrestha

  • Earth System Science, PhD Candidate

Born and brought up in the country of Himalayas – Nepal, helping people using geospatial technologies is her passion. She is trained as an engineer and a geographer. Through her years of training and experiences she has learnt to merge her knowledge and passion and now is training to use geospatial and web 2.0 technologies with social science research to help urban dwellers live a better and sustainable life. She moved to Auburn, Al to pursue her masters in geography in Department of Geosciences, Auburn University in 2017 and now is working towards her PhD in Earth System Science from the same department. Her focus is understanding and communicating sustainability for small and medium size cities and create a platform that can help the small and medium size cities citizens better know their neighborhood and live better and sustainable lives.

Kristin Youngquist

  • Earth System Science, PhD Student

Prior to continuing her education, she worked for three years as a program analyst at the Georgia State Senate Budget and Evaluation Office followed by three years as the Director of Administration for the Georgia Secretary of State. Before working in policy and finance, Kristin completed a year in a technical temp position at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and managed many aspects of the Habitat for Humanity-DeKalb local affiliate, including serving as Interim Executive Director and as a member of the board.  Kristin holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Georgia State University, Master of Science degree from Columbus State University, and a BA in Astrophysics from Agnes Scott College.  She enjoys spending her free time playing outside with her husband, Trevor, and daughter, Jacky.

Sukanya Dasgupta

  • Earth System Science PhD Student under NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 

After completing her Bachelor’s Degree at University of Memphis and Master’s Degree at Auburn University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sukanya is continuing her education in getting her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Earth System Science program in the Geosciences department at Auburn University. Her research focus is in urban agglomeration, climate modeling, urban heat islands, geospatial data, urbanization, remote sensing, and data science concepts, such as data mining, machine learning, and coding in Python and R. She has a passion for photography, hiking, traveling, cooking and playing with puppies.

Brandon Ryan

  • Geography Master’s Student under NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 

Brandon is a current master’s student in the Department of Geography, here at Auburn University. He previously studied at the University of Louisville, receiving a B.S. in Atmospheric Science and a certificate in Applied Geo-Spatial Technologies. Before attending Auburn, Brandon worked at the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute conducting research on greenness and public health. He is currently working alongside Dr. Chandana Mitra to Analyzing Climate Change and Extreme Weather Event Impacts on Human Migration and Vulnerability in the SEUS (2004-2018). Brandon’s areas of interest are: Urban Systems, Green Infrastructure, Natural Hazards & Vulnerability, Climatology, Meteorology. Brandon is originally from Long Island, New York, but calls Louisville, Kentucky his home. In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, kayaking and baseball.

Check out Brandon’s 3 Minute Research video here

Syeda Nazifa Tasneem

  • Geography Master’s Student

I am Syeda Nazifa Tasneem from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have completed my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geography and Environment from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. My area of interest is urbanization, climate change, environmental pollution, GIS and Remote Sensing. Currently, I am pursuing my Master’s in Geosciences Department (Geography concentration) at Auburn University.   

Hang Song

  • Earth System Science PhD Student under NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 

Hang Song is currently a 1st-year Ph.D. student in Geoscience Department, Auburn University. He got 3 master’s degrees in Nature Resource Management, MBA, and Industrial & Organizational Psychology. He can use R studio, ArcGIS, and Python. From 2016 to 2020, He worked in Psychology Lab and GIS Lab as a research assistant. He has working experience in data analysis, interview design, and TA training.


Subhasis Ghosh

  • Earth System Science PhD Student under NASA Project

Subhasis is an inquisitive early career researcher and a published author. He grew up in the fascinating lateritic landscape of eastern India (Bolpur-Santiniketan, WB) that intrigued him to study geography in his life. He is a Geographer, Geospatial engineer, and an Urban Planner by training. He earned his Master’s degree in Geography from Visva-Bharati University, India in 2018 with a specialization in Terrain Evaluation (Applied Geomorphology). In addition to his master’s, he has also earned two Post Graduate Diplomas in Geoinformatics, and Urban Planning and Development respectively. Prior joining Auburn University for his PhD, he worked as a Project Scientist at the West Bengal State Council of Science and Technology, Govt. of West Bengal, India, and was engaged in a national level geospatial project of the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Similar to his background, he possesses an interdisciplinary research interest, focused broadly on climate change, sustainability, and regional development. He is passionate about applying his skills and knowledge in understanding, addressing, and solving both environmental and socio-spatial issues aiming to ensure a better tomorrow. Besides his doctoral studies in Earth System Science, he is also assisting Dr. Chandana Mitra on a project investigating global urban agglomerations funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In his spare time, he enjoys playing volleyball, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and going out to relish the dazzling nature. He also feels immense pleasure in teaching and mentoring young talents.

Miranda Silano

  • Geography Master’s Student under the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) 

Miranda Silano has a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology from the University of Florida. Her undergraduate research background is in vertebrate paleontology, paleoclimatology, and paleoecology. Her past research has involved using stable isotope geochemistry to help piece together past climates and ecosystems. Learning about the past has fueled an interest in the situation with current climate change, and how humans are involved. She is excited to start research with Dr. Chandana Mitra on climate change and urban sustainability and working with others to help make the Earth a healthier home. 

Olivia Ainooson

  • Geography Master’s Student

Olivia is a graduate from the University of Education, Winneba who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Social Studies (minor). She hails from Agona Swedru in the Central Region of Ghana and her research interest lies in Developing Effective Waste Management Strategies, using the concept of the 3R’s ( Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).

Dr. Murat Atasoy

  • Post-Doc

Dr. Atasoy’s research interests focus on anthropogenic activity, urban growth, climate science and Remote Sensing applications with GIS. In particular, he offers courses in environmental science, GIS, urban ecology, environmental sociology, ecosystem services and management and climate change dynamics. In order to tie together the environmental disturbance and urban geography, he has worked extensively to enhance and extend the applications of Land Use/Land Cover change, urban growth dynamics, climate change and resiliency. He employs an integrated approach using GIS-Remote Sensing techniques, statistical analyses and urban growth models to disperse the knowledge in dynamics of human-environment interactions. Dr. Atasoy’s present research projects are associated with the determination of Land Use/Land Cover change, urban heat island estimates and estimating human-environment interactions in relation to public health and sociology. His current project focuses on the urban growth and its correlations with health conditions of minorities in the US. Another aspect of his experimental study is to investigate different ethnic origin individuals’ public green space accessibility using GIS-remote sensing techniques and statistical analyses. The prospective outcomes of his research will help global cities develop a necessary complement to facilitate better understanding of human-environment interactions, anthropogenic disturbance and landscape quality. His future objectives include conducting research with interdisciplinary fields to examine urban heat islands, climate resiliency and sustainable urban growth model development. As a result, his research team will disseminate these findings through K-12 education and implicate STEM-based teaching techniques to utilize the empirical results with students and extension services.


– Alamin Molla, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2020.

– Shihab Nur, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2020.

– Megha Shrestha, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2019.

– Austin Bush, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2018.

– Seth Greer, Master of Science, graduated in fall 2017

– Tracy Bowen, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2016.  

– Xia Li, Master of Science, graduated in spring 2015.

– Andrew Hug, Master of Science, graduated in fall 2014.

– Mahjabin Rahman, Master of Science, graduated in summer 2014.