Gund Graduate Fellow, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Kate is a PhD student in the Nutrient Cycling and Ecological Design lab at UVM. Her research focuses on the use of ecological engineering to address environmental issues at the water-food-energy nexus.

Recently, Kate has worked with an interdisciplinary team of professors and private industry members to evaluate the potential to recover and reuse phosphorus from anaerobically digested dairy manure as part of the ongoing Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge—a statewide initiative to identify technologies that could help mitigate the impact of phosphorus runoff in the Lake Champlain watershed.

Kate is also interested in using life cycle analysis and geographic information systems to identify opportunities to improve nutrient cycling in U.S. agriculture more broadly. 

Advisor: Eric Roy

Gund Graduate Fellow Kate Porterfield

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Nutrient cycling, ecological engineering, sustainable agriculture, phosphorus recovery and reuse


  • BA, Conservation Biology, Middlebury College