Who We Are

Our ecoinformatics group at NAU includes 17 faculty, representing a broad range of expertise from plant and ecosystem ecology to remote sensing to statistics to ecohydrology to disease ecology, among others. The faculty is paralleled by our diverse group of postdoctoral researchers, research support staff, and graduate students.

Faculty Postdoctoral Researchers Research Staff Graduate Students Recent Graduates & Affiliates


Jay Barber
Associate Professor
Bayesian statistics, spatial statistics, ecological and environmental applications
Logan Berner
Assistant Research Professor
Forest ecology, carbon cycling, climate change, satellite remote sensing, geospatial modeling
Chris Doughty
Associate Professor
Climate change, biodiversity loss, forest carbon cycling, remote sensing
Scott Goetz
Regents Professor
Ecosystem responses to environmental change, Arctic biodiversity, remote sensing
Kevin Gurney
Climate change, biogeochemistry, ecology, energy, science policy
Deborah Huntzinger
The carbon cycle, climate change, terrestrial biogeochemistry, modeling of land-atmosphere carbon dynamics, carbon footprint analysis
Patrick Jantz
Assistant Research Professor
Forest canopy structure, geoinformatics, remote sensing, sustainable development
Żaneta Kaszta
Assistant Research Professor
Landscape ecology and genetics, species distribution and biodiversity modeling, decision support systems for conservation, impact of land use change on wildlife and ecosystems, tropical ecology, remote sensing
Nicholas McKay
Associate Professor
Paleoclimatology, data analysis, paleoclimate informatics
Joseph Mihaljevic
Assistant Professor
Ecological informatics, multi-pathogen communities, infectious diseases
Kiona Ogle
Ecological synthesis and analysis, Bayesian applications in ecology, plant and ecosystem ecology
Andrew Richardson
Regents Professor
Terrestrial ecosystems, forest ecology and the carbon cycle
Ben Ruddell
Professor, SICCS Director
Urban ecology, complex systems, networks, macroscale ecology, hydrology and water resources, information theory, data science, food-energy-water
Richard Rushforth
Assistant Research Professor
Adaptive water management, socio-hydrology, water policy
Kimberly Samuels-Crow
Assistant Research Professor
Stable isotope geochemistry, climate change, paleoclimate, hydroclimate, science communication and outreach  
Temuulen "Teki" Sankey
Associate Professor
Remote sensing, desert plant communities, cropland distribution and change
Alexander Shenkin
Assistant Research Professor
Forest structure, tropical ecosystems, carbon cycling, ecosystem and plant ecology, climate change, drought, tree physiology, tree architecture, functional traits, remote sensing, forest governance
Xanthe Walker
Assistant Professor
Ecosystem and plant ecology, disturbance, climate change, northern terrestrial ecosystems

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Postdoctoral Researchers

Pawlok Dass
Carbon cycle; biogeochemistry; terrestrial biosphere; climate change; earth system science; energy; geospatial data science
J. Camilo Fagua
Biodiversity conservation at large scales in tropical ecosystems, spatial analysis and statistics, remote sensing, climate, economics, social systems, hydrology, biophysics
Camille Gaillard
Traits, Functional traits, Trade-offs, DGVM, Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, Science for Society, Climate Change, Anthropogenic Impact, Ecosystem Models, Data Science, Savanna, Vegetation cover change, Tropical ecosystems
Chris Hakkenberg
Landscape ecology, biodiversity, forest structure and dynamics, remote sensing, geospatial analysis, conservation, urbanization
Anna Kato
Climate change, Carbon cycle, Vegetation Phenology, Remote sensing, Geospatial analysis and mapping
Ana Miller-ter Kuile
Wildlife population modeling, community ecology, predator-prey interactions, conservation biology, DNA metabarcoding, global change and biodiversity, data science education and communication
Bhaskar Mitra
Carbon Cycle, Time Series Analysis, Spatial Statistics, Bayesian Analysis
Drew Peltier
Tree physiology under climate change and drought, tree ring syntheses, ENSO ,North American Monsoon, Bayesian hierarchical modelling, non-structural carbohydrates, radiocarbon, drought legacies and memory
Alison Post
climate change, grasslands, precipitation extremes, ecosystem modeling
Geoffrey Roest
Anthropogenic carbon emissions, trace gas emissions, climate change, meteorology, air quality, oil and gas, environmental policy
Yang Song
GIS, remote sensing, environment, transportation, fossil fuel carbon
Jon M. Wells
Earth system modeling, Data-model integration, Global carbon cycling, Bioenergy production
Melakeneh G. Gedefaw
Remote sensing, geospatial analysis, data-sciences, landscape ecology, rangeland degradation, vegetation dynamics,  drought, land use/land cover change, food-energy-water nexus, hydro-informatics, network analysis, and complex systems

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Research Support Staff

Patrick Burns
Research Associate, Goetz Lab
Earth observation, remote sensing, lidar, hyperspectral imaging

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PhD Students

Bilal Aslam
PhD Student
Remote sensing, Geospatial analysis and mapping, Machine learning, Time Series Analysis, Spatial Statistics
Cameron Bodine
PhD Student
River ecology, fisheries, remote sensing, spatial ecology, machine learning
Abraham Cadmus
PhD Student
Forest tree ecophysiology, community genetics, ecohydrology, plant hydraulics, conservation and restoration.
Jennifer Diehl
PhD Student
Remote sensing, ecological modeling, conservation biology, forest ecology
Alicia Formanack
PhD Student
Dendroecology, Bayesian modeling, natural climate solutions, forest carbon
Kat Fowler
PhD Student
Hydrology and water resources; data integration and harmonization; ecological modeling; climate change
Iván González - Garzón
PhD Student
Ecohydrology, remote sensing, land use change, spatial and quantitative ecology
Xin Huang
PhD Student
Tree growth, bayesian statistics, ecological modeling, software engineering, high-performance computing
Jenna Keany
PhD Student
Biodiversity loss, animal-plant interactions, remote sensing, ecosystem ecology, climate change
Blase LaSala
PhD Student
Hazardous environment documentation, geoinformatics, data interface and visualization, high performance computing
Scooter Nowak
PhD Student
Data manipulation and analysis, software tool development, aquatic entomology, aquatic ecology
Anna Odell
PhD Student
Macrosystems ecology, vegetation response to climate and land-use change, satellite remote sensing
Kathleen Orndahl
PhD Student
Arctic vegetation ecology, climate change impacts on arctic ecosystems, UAV operations, satellite remote sensing
Emily Palmquist
PhD Student
Dryland plant ecology, riparian plant ecology, rare plants, plant genetics, Grand Canyon, river regulation
Jeralyn Poe
PhD Student
Carbon cycling, land-atmosphere interactions, geospatial analysis, Arctic vulnerability
Tomos Prys-Jones
PhD Student
Animals transport of microbes and pathogens, impact of animal extinctions on emergent infectious disease
Colin Quinn
PhD Student
Biogeography, Remote Sensing, Environmental response to climate and human impact, landscape archaeology
Emma Reich
PhD Student
Plant ecophysiology, stable isotope analysis, evapotranspiration partitioning, flux tower measurements
Melissa Rose
PhD Student
Remote sensing, ecological modeling, conservation biology, consequences of biodiversity change
Vova Saruta
PhD Student
Bayesian statistics, emulators, process based models, terrestrial ecosystems, carbon cycle
Shelby Sundquist
PhD Student
Ecological modeling, climate change, and arctic and boreal vegetation
Julia Tatum
PhD Student
Forest ecology, soil moisture dynamics, geospatial analysis, remote sensing, ecological modeling, machine learning
Aaron Teets
PhD Student
Forest carbon dynamics, phenology, woody biomass increment, non-structural carbohydrates, eddy-covariance
Sam Watson
PhD Student
Climate change; forest ecology; phenology; land-atmosphere interactions; data synthesis and statistical modeling
Natasha Wesely
PhD Student
Landscape ecology, fire ecology, abiotic drivers of ecosystem heterogeneity, spatial modeling, remote sensing
Ethan Yackulic
PhD Student
Paleoecology, lake sediments, hyperspectral imaging, water quality, Holocene climate

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Recent Graduates

  • Rohan Boone (2022) MSc in Informatics
  • Andrew Abraham (2021) PhD in Informatics
  • Adam Belmonte (2021) Phd in Informatics
  • Laura Puckett (2021) MSc in Informatics
  • Nancy Peterson (2020) MSc in Informatics
  • Jessica Guo (2019) PhD in Biological Sciences

Recent Affiliates

  • Adrianna Forst, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (GEODE [Goetz] Lab), currently at NCAR Boulder
  • Tim Rademacher, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Terrestrial Ecosystems & Global Change [Richardson Lab])
  • Richard Massey, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (GEODE [Goetz] Lab), currently at BAE systems in Ogden, Utah
  • Bijan Seyednasarollah, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Terrestrial Ecosystems & Global Change [Richardson Lab]), currently a senior data scientist in the private sector
  • Larissa Yocom, former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Ecological Synthesis Lab), currently at Utah State University
  • Yao Liu , former Ecoinformatics postdoc (Ecological Synthesis Lab), currently at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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