Meet the Team

A fine group of undergraduate
and graduate students who study under PhD. Dax Soule at CUNY Queens College.

Undergraduate Students:

Photo of Hema Muni

Hema Muni

B.A Computer Science
Minor: Environmental Studies

Hema Muni is an undergrad at Queens College CUNY. She is in her junior year working towards a B.A in computer science with a minor in environmental studies. At Queens College she became a TA for the Google CSSI program last summer and is interning at JPM & Chase, programming in Java, for the summer. In the outside world, she can be found creating art pieces by painting or embroidering.


Photo of Melissa Celik

Melissa Celik

B.A. in Environmental Sciences

Melissa Celik is an undergraduate student at Queens College, working towards a BA in Environmental Studies. Having had a prior lab experience with marine ecology in 2020, she's currently working with Neanderthal Lab to gain new experiences in another environmental field. She will be helping to create an automated learning module for the lab and plans to build her data analysis and programming skills in the process with the Axial Seamount project. In the future, she hopes her statistical background will help with finding her place in the E.S. industry. Outside of school, she enjoys trying out new recipes and spending time with her cat.


Photo of Danilo Seskar

Danilo Seskar

Marine biology major, Ecology and Evolution minor

Danilo Seskar is an undergraduate at Rutgers University. He is in his junior year majoring in Marine Biology with a minor in Ecology and Evolution. Prior to working in the Neanderthal lab, he had more hands on experience in shallow water, however, when the opportunity arose, he decided to explore deep sea vents. He hopes to broaden his understandings in the field of oceanography and discover new biology in the deep. He spends his time being active playing water polo or generally being out and about.


Photo of Fabio

Fabio Dos Santos

Geology and Computer Science

Fabio is an undergraduate attending Queens College, with an interest in geology and computer science. He does research with professor Dax Soule on the axial seamount project, and is also a peer mentor for geology 101/201. During his free time, he enjoys biking along the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, and playing videogames with his older cousins.


Graduate Students:

Photo of Graduate Student, Diana Garcia Silva

Diana Garcia Silva

M.A. in Environmental and Geological Sciences

Diana is a graduate student at Queens College interested in geoscience education, water quality protection and environmental management. She currently helps create statistical vignettes for student learning. She has interned at the DEP, APEC and the local NYPIRG chapter at Queensborough Community College, where she received her A.S. She hopes to pursue a career in Environmental Management. In her spare time, she enjoys cleaning/organizing, reading, watching anime and spending time with her family, which includes seven dogs and three parakeets.


Photo of Meethila Rahman

Meethila Rahman

M.A. Geological and Environmental Sciences

Meethila is a graduate student at Queens College interested in science communication and sustainable technology. She was a geology peer mentor/lab TA and participated in the Visions '18 expedition to Axial Seamount, Pacific Ocean. She hopes to spark people’s interest in learning about our planet in order to love and preserve it. She also enjoys spending quality time with her family, swimming, hiking and exploring new places.


Photo of Jacqueline Singer

Jacqueline Singer

M.A. in Environmental and Geological Sciences

Jacqueline is a graduate student at Queens College interested in marine geophysics and seismology. She is a lab instructor for introductory labs in environmental science and geology. Currently, her research focuses on analyzing seismic activity using hydrophone data from the Bransfield Strait, Antarctica. In her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys skiing, hiking, and baking.



Photo of Elizabeth Pesar

Elizabeth Pesar

BSc. in Geology
Minor: Math

Elizabeth graduated Summa Cum Laude from Queens College in 2019 earning a BSc. in Geology and Math minor and won the Lt. George C. Gierak Memorial Award from the SEES department. At Queens College, she worked as a Geology Peer Mentor, and as a Geology and Environmental Science tutor. She has worked on visualizing data trends at Axial Seamount volcano, studied the geochemical evolution of Arabia Terra, Mars as a NASA intern, and worked on chondrite meteorite projects at both Queens College and Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. She has presented her work at the AGU and LPSC conferences. She will begin her PhD at the University of Florida in Fall 2020 studying the isotope geochemistry of moon rocks, peridotites, and planetary accretion and formation processes. Following her doctorate, she hopes to complete a post doc, or begin a job focused on research or industry. In her free time, she enjoys crochet, hiking, and video games.

Photo of Jacqueline Sarmiento

Jacqueline Sarmiento

B.A Biology
Minors Chemistry and Psychology

Jacqueline Sarmiento is a first-generation college student who currently attends Queens College. She received her associates from Queensborough Community College and is currently a general biology I peer mentor there. She also does Congestive Heart Failure clinical research, patient care volunteering at NY Presbyterian and community service at ‘Spoons Across America’ where she encourages and educates kids on better food choices. In her free time, she likes to powerlift at the gym. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year and then hopes to apply to graduate/medical school.

Photo of Jazmyn Fuller

Jazmyn Fuller

BS Computer Science
Minors: Math, Music, and Interaction Design

Jazmyn Fuller is a first-generation college student interested in Web Development, and Data Engineering/Visualization. She completed CUNY Tech Prep's competitive Fullstack Web development program, became a finalist for NCWIT's Collegiate Award and received full scholarship for the Grace Hopper Celebration. As an alumni of the GOALS Summer Intensive Program, Jazmyn goes back to Intrepid to encourage young women to explore STEM. On the side, Jazmyn teaches piano at her childhood music school, volunteers in her church, and enjoys traveling. Jazmyn recently accepted a job offer with the FAA in Automation.

Photo of Rua Hamid

Rua Hamid

B.A Geology
Minor Studio Art

Rua Hamid was an undergraduate student at Queens College where she worked with Dr. Soule developing geophysics skills. She also did research with Dr. Bracco at QC and with NYC College of Technology and Texas A&M. She was the president of Gen ’19 of The Percy Ellis Sutton Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program. She is now the founder of We are STEM (WSTEM), a nonprofit that aims to inspire, network and enhance NYC’s minorities in STEM. Rua plans to continue her nonprofit and eventually start other businesses involving STEM.

Photo of Aida Gonzalez

Aida Gonzalez

B.S Environmental Science

Aida Gonzalez is a first-generation student. She worked with Dr. Soule and Dr. Bemis at Rutgers University visualizing data trends from hydrothermal vents in the Axial Seamount volcano at the Juan de Fuca ridge collected by the Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar System (COVIS). She created 3D images utilizing her newly acquired skills in MatLab and Python. She produced 3D images that would allow further interpretation of the different dynamics around the hydrothermal vents. In the future, she hopes to work in the coastal and marine science sector in Europe.

Photo of Joshua Sacker

Joshua Sacker

B.S Environmental Science

Joshua Sacker is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors Program at Queens College. He worked with Dr. Soule and Dr. Bemis at Rutgers University analyzing data obtained by the Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS). Currently, he works as a volunteer in the Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) where he maintains animal exhibits, works on park and wildlife maintenance, and assists educators with classes and programs. In the future, Joshua hopes to continue working with APEC and later in the government, either in the Parks Department or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Photo of Miguel Castillo

Miguel Castillo

B.A Math and B.S Geology

Miguel Castillo is an undergraduate at Queens College interested in subsurface geophysics. He became a geology peer mentor and participated in the 2020 BRAVOSEIS expedition to Antarctica. Using data science to compliment his geology background, he hopes to further Dax’s research. After graduation, Miguel would like to find a job in the industry or go to graduate school.


Photo of Lauren Schmahl

Lauren Schmahl

B.S. in Geology

Lauren is an undergraduate at Queens College interested in marine geology, bathymetry, and marine seismology. She received her associates at Queensborough Community College. At Queens College, she became a geology peer mentor and participated in the 2019 and 2020 legs of the BRAVOSEIS expedition in Antarctica and the Visions'19 oceanographic cruise off the coast of Oregon. In the future, Lauren would like to continue with her masters and potentially a doctorate degree.


Photo of Melissa Crouch

Melissa Crouch

B.S Geology

Melissa Crouch is a 2nd degree undergrad student at Queens College, having received her first degree in Applied Meteorology. Now going for her second degree in Geology, she is currently under the machine learning training of professor Dax Soule in GeoMapApp, Unix, and Python in the hopes of using that training towards her interest in the structure of the Bransfield Strait in Antarctica. Outside of academia, Melissa could be found volunteering as a water quality monitor of various New York sites during the summer months, and catching up on her favorite TV shows.


Photo of Emilio Tesin

Emilio Tesin

B.S Geology

He is an undergraduate Geology student at Queens College CUNY with interest in studying the intersection of submarine topography and geology through analysis with Python, R, and GIS. In the world outside of his math homework, he can be found riding the subway to Brooklyn.

Let's Connect

Interested in learning more about our projects? Feel free to contact us or check out our Github Repository!