Meet Our Team

We are a team of research professors, undergraduate students, and recent graduates dedicated to understanding the campus community's relationship with SSBs, environmental impacts of our consumption, and social inequities that come along with unsustainable partnerships. 


David A. Cleveland

UCSB HBI Research Group Director

David is a Research Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and Department of Geography at UCSB. Check out his Website.


David A. Cleveland is a Research Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He has worked with small-scale farmers and gardeners around the world, including in Ghana, Mexico, Pakistan, California, and Indian country (Hopi and Zuni). His latest books are Food Gardens for a Changing World (2019) and Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture (2013).


His research and policy focus is how we can change our food system and diets to increase their mutually reinforcing contribution to human and community nutrition and health, climate and environmental stability, and social justice. His current research is on the contribution to this change of localizing food systems, increasing the proportion of whole plant foods in the diet, replacing sugar sweetened beverages with tap water, and integrating food, climate and health policies. He is a member of the UC Nutrition Policy Institute’s Research Consortium on Healthy Beverages and the UC Healthy Campus Network (HCN) Advisory Team, and leads the HCN Healthy Beverage Research Group at UCSB.

Kyle Meisterling

Research Scientist

Kyle Meisterling is an experienced life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioner and sustainability science researcher. He has been an author or co-author on several highly-cited publications on food systems, fuel cycles, and transportation options. His work has included a deep-dive into the environmental implications of agriculture and biomass use, including biomass waste utilization. Kyle earned his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, and he has worked with corporations, national energy associations, and regulators at the state and federal levels. His current research focuses on developing science-based tools to make LCA models and data more accessible.

Jacklyn Vo

Research Assistant, Undergraduate Student in Environmental Studies

Jacklyn is a 4th year UCSB student, pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minors in Earth Science and Professional Writing. She has previously served as a Coal Oil Point Reserve Water Quality Intern and Invertebrate Monitoring Volunteer, Zero Waste Committee Co-Chair, and Chapala Gardens Intern. She has also volunteered with Costa Rica’s Ministry of the Environment and Telecommunications to monitor nesting sea turtles, San Jose’s Turning Wheels for Kids, and the American Diabetes Association. In the near future, she aspires to continue working on initiatives that focus on the intersection of public health and environmental issues, and highlighting the voices of low income communities and communities of color. Check out her website.

Hallie Brown

Research Assistant, Environmental Studies, B.A. Graduate 2020

Hallie graduated with a B.A. Environmental Studies in June 2020. She is interested in health and well-being and how those are intertwined with our current food system. She has previously done field research on social-ecological health and sustainability in food systems in Chile and in the Solomon Islands. She is working as the AmeriCorps VISTA Environmental Technician and Economic Development Specialist for the Kodiak Area Native Association in Kodiak, Alaska. She hopes to work in public health on initiatives/projects that focus on the well-being of social and ecological systems, and decreasing health disparities in the US and abroad.


Marie Tumbleson

Research Assistant, Environmental Studies, B.A. Graduate 2020

Marie graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from UCSB in June 2020. Marie’s interests are plant ecology with focuses in environmental management and environmental education. She is interested in garden-based learning and farm-to-school approaches that help children and families connect to nature to understand where their food comes from and how their food choices can impact their health, the environment, and their community.

Kelly Garvey

Research Assistant, Environmental Studies, B.A. and Anthropology, B.A. Graduate 2020

Kelly graduated with a double B.A. major in Anthropology and Environmental Studies with a Medical Humanities certificate in June 2020. She is interested in how water and food insecurity influences community and population health outcomes. While furthering research on groundwater management and the HBI, she plans on pursuing a Masters in Public Health this next year. She is passionate about improving access to resources for underserved populations by volunteering with Doctors Without Walls/ Santa Barbara Street Medicine and working with the Santa Barbara Foodbank.