Biographical Profiles of Current Ph.D. Students
Margot is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Science Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) cluster, jointly advised by Jesse Jenkins and Michael Oppenheimer. Prior to coming to Princeton, Margot received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, where she discovered a passion for energy and power systems. Now, Margot is interested in the technical and regulatory trends of transmission and power systems, both in the United States and abroad. While at the University of Washington, Margot completed three computer vision and autonomous robotics internships with the Office of Naval Research and a regional transmission planning internship with the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). In her spare time, Margot enjoys running, weight lifting, watching movies, and eating at fun restaurants.
Avery is from Kingston, Jamaica, and graduated from Grinnell College in 2021 with a major in physics and concentrations in technology and environmental studies. Her interest in energy systems flourished during her time at college when she interned at Emera Caribbean Limited in Barbados which made her realize the importance of communication between technocrats and policymakers. Following this experience, Avery was able to assist a rural village in Nepal to build a solar-powered water pump after the village's water supply was disrupted by the 2015 earthquake. These two experiences have allowed Avery to understand that community engagement and interest, as well as boundary-spanning between private and public institutions, are important for the transition to clean energy systems. During her time at Princeton, she hopes to assess the factors which would enable energy systems to be implemented in a society without disrupting the sociocultural fabric of the society. Outside of academics, during her undergraduate years, Avery was involved in improving equitable and safe-spaces by informing faculty and administration of necessary policy changes to assist in the retention of black students in the sciences. Furthermore, in her free time, Avery enjoys playing the harp, reading, and exploring new places.
Tom is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program, advised by Professor Michael Oppenheimer. His research uses tools from econometrics and data science to investigate the causal impacts of weather and climate change on economic and social outcomes. Prior to coming to Princeton, Tom worked as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Climate Impact Lab at the University of Chicago, and as an economist in the U.K. government. He has a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree from LSE.
Yemi graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Georgetown University and received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include group dynamics in the context of intrastate conflict in Africa. During her undergraduate degree, she completed a thesis on how different forms of threat impact the likelihood of an individual relinquishing their civil liberties. For her independent research paper as a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, she studied the importance of third-party mediation and its suitability for mitigating the internal conflict in Ethiopia. Prior to her graduate studies, Yemi had the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow for Check & Connect, an intervention program aimed at increasing graduation rates in different school districts throughout the United States. She has also had the opportunity to intern at the Association for Psychological Sciences and work as a graduate researcher for the Active and Accessible Team at the Department for Transport.
Captain Merlin Boone is an active-duty officer in the United States Army. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Security Studies program at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. His research interests include great power politics, international political economy, and Northeast Asian security. Previously, Merlin served as a Civil Affairs Team Chief in Alpha Company, 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Special Operations) (Airborne). He has served overseas in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific.