CALS New Hires-August 2023

Trishnee Bhurosy, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Trishnee BhurosyTrishnee Bhurosy is a behavioral scientist with a research focus on improving nutrition equity and food security. She is addressing the behavioral and social determinants of nutrition behaviors underlying chronic conditions such as cancer.

Bhurosy has specific interests in better understanding how mobile technology and the active engagement of community stakeholders can be leveraged in nutritional interventions. Her scholarly work has been published in flagship journals of nutrition education and behavior and behavioral medicine.

Prior to joining UVM, Bhurosy worked as a tenure track professor at Hofstra University in New York. She completed her postdoctoral training and fellowship at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Bhurosy holds a PhD in health behavior from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.

She is originally from Mauritius, an island off the southeast coast of Africa, and speaks several languages fluently, including Mauritian Creole, French, English, and Hindi. In her free time, she loves hiking and cooking with her husband, Craig, knitting, and doting on her very special boycat, Patoufie, also known as Dr. Doom.

Kate Mays, Assistant Professor, Community Development and Applied Economics

Kate MaysMays comes to UVM after a brief stint at Syracuse University, as a postdoctoral researcher in the Autonomous Systems Policy Institute at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

She completed her PhD in emerging media studies at Boston University’s College of Communication, where she was also a graduate student fellow for computational and data-driven research at BU’s Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering.

Her research explores the influence of emerging technologies on social life with a particular focus on social robot design, attitudes about artificial intelligence, and AI governance. She has taught courses in communication theory, research methods, and the social impact of AI.

Fortino Acosta Moreno, Lecturer, Plant and Soil Science

Fortino Acosta MorenoMoreno’s work concentrates on naturalistic design, nature-based solutions, biodiverse cities, and circular economy projects. He is working with cities and businesses to adopt and implement resilient and regenerative strategies on urban and regional scales.

He has a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, a Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK, and industrial engineer degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Tadeu Eder da Silva, Postdoctoral Associate, Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Tadeu Eder da SilvaSilva earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the Federal University of Viosa-MG (Brazil) in 2015, followed by a master’s (2016) and a PhD (2020) in animal science from the same institution. His doctoral and master’s research centered on ruminant nutrition and applying statistical models to enhance animal production.

As an application consultant at Cargill Animal Nutrition from 2018 to 2021, Silva specialized in data analysis, business intelligence, and statistical modeling. He designed applications that empowered customers to make informed, and data-driven decisions.

From January 2021 to July 2023, Silva served as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Drs. Jennifer Van Os and Victor Cabrera. During this period, he concentrated on developing models for estimating impacts of lameness on lactating cows, integrating data and developing decision-support tools, and evaluating dairy farm sustainability.

Commencing in August 2023, Silva embarks on a new postdoctoral phase in the Animal and Veterinary Science Costa lab. His research will concentrate on leveraging data mining and analysis for precision dairy technologies and dairy farm management. He aims to create predictive mathematical models and decision-making tools that enhance dairy cattle welfare, health, and overall efficiency.

Weston Testo, Plant Biology Assistant Professor and Director of the Pringle Herbarium

Weston TestoTesto’s lab will focus on the evolution and distribution of plant diversity, with a focus on ferns and clubmosses in tropical America. As herbarium director, he will oversee the Pringle Herbarium, which includes more than 360,000 dried plant specimens. It is the second largest herbarium in New England and has the largest collection of Vermont plants in the world.

Prior to joining the faculty at UVM, Testo was assistant curator of pteridophytes at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a BA in biology from Colgate University and received a PhD in plant biology from UVM.

Following graduate studies, Testo worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Florida and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, cooking, and botanizing.

Amber Thibodeau, 4-H Outreach Professional, UVM Extension

Amber ThibodeauBefore joining UVM Extension as the Windham & Windsor Counties 4-H educator, Thibodeau was the executive director/instructor of the Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center. The center is located in Wilmington, VT, and works with individuals who have physical, cognitive, and emotional special needs. Prior to that, she worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension as the 4-H plant and animal science educator for Lewis County, NY.

Thibodeau holds an associate’s degree in equine science and management from Morrisville State College. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science/agricultural science education, and master’s degree in agricultural science education, both from Cornell University.

She grew up in the historic New York City watershed in the Catskills, where she helped her grandparents make maple syrup and raise chickens, beef cattle, and sheep. Thibodeau currently lives in Newfane, VT with her husband, their labradoodle Bowden, and her horse Tulsa. As she steps into this new role, she is excited to get to know the 4-H community in Windham and Windsor counties, recruit new members and clubs, and increase 4-H visibility in the southeast region of the state.

More New Hires

Animal and Veterinary Sciences

  • Courtney Collins, Lecturer
  • Abigail Maucieri, Lab and Internship Coordinator
  • JoAnna Platzer, Lecturer

CALS Dean’s Office

  • Taylor Palmer, HR Specialist
  • Jennifer Reardon, Student Success Advisor
  • Gabrielle Trudeau, Student Success Advisor

Community Development and Applied Economics

  • Joseph Ament, Assistant Professor
  • Antonio Golan, Assistant Professor


  • Jacob Holzberg-Pill, 4-H Educator, Special Projects Professional
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