People

Christopher Zahasky

chris zahasky headshot

Dr. Christopher Zahasky (he/him) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geoscience and the Principle Investigator of the Subsurface Hydrophysics Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has affiliate faculty appointments Geological Engineering and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Chris completed his undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Minnesota and his graduate work at Stanford University in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Science, and his postdoctoral training at Stanford University and Imperial College London.

In his free time, Chris enjoys fly fishing, canoeing, and cycling through the bucolic landscapes of his home state of Wisconsin.

Vy Le

Vy Le (she/her) is a third-year MS/PhD student in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her Environmental Geoscience B.A. degree and a minor in Chemistry with honors (summa cum laude) at DePauw University in 2019. Her research is currently focused on developing and utilizing novel experimental methods for characterizing, predicting, and preventing bacteria groundwater contamination.

Collin Sutton

Collin Sutton (he/him) is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his B.S. degree in Geology at the University of Tennessee at Martin and his M.S. degree in Geology at Auburn University.  Prior to coming to UW-Madison, Collin worked as a hydrogeologist in the environmental consulting industry.

Will Gnesda

Will Gnesda (he/him) is a second-year MS/PhD student in the Department of Geoscience. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2019 with a Hydrogeology degree and Watershed Sciences minor. He then worked with the U.S.G.S. Spectroscopy Group of the Rocky Mountain Region for two years before pursuing graduate school. His research involves characterizing PFAS contaminants in the subsurface. He is also interested in computational science applied to geosciences.

Outside of academics, Will enjoys long camping trips and bike tours around the Western United States.

Sophia Thompson

Sophia Thompson (she/her) is a forth-year undergraduate student majoring in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is researching bacteria transport and fate in fractured bedrock aquifer systems. She was awarded a prestigious Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship titled ‘Measurement of bacterial transport and immobilization in fractured bedrock aquifers of Wisconsin‘ for this work in April 2022.

Group Alumni

Liam Warren (2022 Water@UW Summer Scholar), undergraduate student from Beloit College

Zitong Huang (2019-2022, senior thesis completed 2021), graduate school at Stanford University. Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship recipient in 2021.

Nader Abdullah Alhanaya (2020-2022, senior thesis completed 2022), employment at Saudi Aramco

Ziyu Chen (2020), graduate school at Northwestern