ryan murphy

Ryan L Murphy

Researcher 5

Specialization: Nursery management, plant propagation, and Urban & Community Forestry

Email: [email protected]

Ryan’s Research and Interests: Ryan currently manages the Urban Forestry Outreach & Research (UFOR) group. Our main mission is to support Minnesota's community forests through educational programming such as the MN Certified Tree Inspector Program, Tree Care Advisor, Tree Steward, and Team Tree Youth Engagement. He is also a collaborator on the University of Minnesota Elm Selection Program - a longterm project which seeks to identify native MN survivor elms which may have resistance to Dutch elm disease.


Monica Randazzo Headshot

Monica Randazzo

Researcher & Graduate Student

Specialization: Youth education and volunteer engagement 

Email: [email protected]

Monica's Research and Interests:  Monica researches the intersection of environmental education and social movements. She directs the Youth Engagement in Arboriculture program, as well as provides instruction for volunteer outreach programs. 


Nick Neylon

Nick Neylon

Researcher 2 & Graduate Student

Specialization: Arboriculture, urban forestry, and landscape design

Email: [email protected]

Nick’s Research and Interests: Nick is a climbing arborist focused on bringing beneficial greenspaces to cities. He teaches tree care, tree planting, and tree climbing with the UFOR Nursery, and collaborates with lab partners on research projects. His interests center around ecological restoration, habitat creation, and native plantings.


Mirae Guenther

Mirae Guenther

Research and Interests: Mirae is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow developing research to better understand how urban hydrology influences tree success and greenspace resilience. Mirae also assists with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) project promoting improved green infrastructure to support urban watersheds. Her interests include environmental justice, water resource conservation, and ecological restoration and resilience.

Sonja Tosteson

Volunteer & Partnerships Coordinator

Specialization: Volunteer engagement and partnership development

Email: [email protected]

Sonja's Research and Interests: Sonja enjoys sharing her expertise in cultivating partnerships, inspiring stakeholders, and activating solutions through dynamic and meaningful programs. She helps coordinate the Tree Care Advocate program, including Tree Care Advisor and Tree Steward volunteers throughout Minnesota. Her ecological interests include forests, bogs, and birds. Sonja lives in Minneapolis and enjoys rocking out to musical theater and getting her hands dirty in her bouquet garden.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson

Professor Emeritus: Urban and Community Forestry