Current Lab Members and Affiliates


Kiona Ogle

I am a professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems (SICCS) at NAU, and I am an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) and the Department of Biological Sciences. I am also the T3 Program Director. My research and teaching employs an integrative approach that merges ecology, statistics, mathematics, and computing, with the aim of understanding and predicting how plants and ecosystems are affected by, or respond to, environmental perturbations such as those associated with climate change.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Ana Miller-ter Kuile

Ana is a Postdoctoral Scholar in SICCS working with Dr. Kiona Ogle. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Santa Barbara and her B.S. in Earth Systems- Biosphere Track from Stanford University. Her general research interests include modeling and understanding how biological communities are impacted and respond to anthropogenic change, including species introductions and losses, invasive species, habitat change, climate change, and restoration efforts aimed at reversing or directing these changes. Ana has a background in community ecology and combines field, laboratory, and computational approaches in her work. She is also a Software Carpentries instructor and has training and experience with equitable STEM and data science education through an NSF-AGEP Hispanic Serving Institutions Teaching Fellowship and the Environmental Data Science Inclusion Network. 

Brandon Strange

Brandon is a postdoctoral scholar in SICCS working with Dr. Kiona Ogle. He earned his doctorate in Natural Resources and Ecohydrology at the University of Arizona in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment as well as the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research in 2023. His research interests are broadly centered on understanding how anthropogenic climate change impacts forest vitality and function and how this in turn impacts the terrestrial carbon cycle. He uses a variety of techniques for this research including stable isotope biogeochemistry, dendrochronology, and ecophysiological approaches. Brandon’s background also includes training in paleoclimate, eddy-covariance techniques, xylogenesis, and climate-vegetation feedbacks on various spatiotemporal scales. He is currently working on an NSF Macrosystems Biology project quantifying how climate extremes impact forest function on various timescales using tree rings, eddy-covariance fluxes, and stable isotopes within a Bayesian modelling framework.

Google Scholar

Graduate Students

Abraham Cadmus

Abraham is a PhD student in Biology at NAU and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Abraham is interested in providing the community with pragmatic solutions that will help mitigate negative affects on Biodiversity in the increasingly dynamic environments of the Southwest. He is currently working on synthesizing common garden experiments and field measurements of plant physiological processes, to create predictive models that can be used to inform restoration projects of best practice. Email Abraham for more information.

Volodymyr Saruta

Volodymyr is a PhD student in the Informatics and Computing program in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at NAU. His research is primarily focused on terrestrial  ecosystem carbon cycling. In this work, Volodymyr has used a variety of statistical and process-based modeling approaches. Currently, Volodymyr is working on modeling and understanding controls on soil CO2 fluxes using process-based models of soil CO2 production and transport. Volodymyr plans to apply emulation (meta-modeling) techniques to enable faster application of such process based models and for informing such models with data. Email Volodymyr ("Vova") for more information.

Emma Reich

Emma is a PhD student in the T3 program in Ecological and Environmental Informatics in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at NAU and a NASA FINESST recipient. They study plant ecophysiology and ecosystem water fluxes in drylands, and are developing an evapotranspiration partitioning model with eddy covariance flux tower data using both process-based and Bayesian approaches. In 2019 they graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Molecular Environmental Biology and a concentration in Ecology, where they studied blue oak hydraulics and crustose coralline algae susceptibility to rising temperatures.

Alicia Formanack

Alicia Formanack is a second-year PhD student in Kiona Ogle’s Ecological Synthesis lab. Alicia is interested in tree physiology, ecological memory, and how climate change is affecting forest growth and mortality. She completed her Masters in Biology at the University of Central Florida in Dr. Sasha Hararuk’s Ecoinformatics Lab. As a masters student, she developed an individual-based model of tree growth and mortality to determine which pine species would have the highest carbon uptake and storage potential for a given geographic location and timeframe.

Past Lab Members

Graduate Students:

  • Emily Palmquist, Ph.D. (2022) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, now an Ecologist at USGS, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Jessica Guo, Ph.D. (2019) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, now a data scientist at CCT Data Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Drew Peltier, Ph.D. (2018) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, will be starting a faculty position at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
  • Michael Fell, Ph.D. (2017) in Biology from Arizona State University, now an application systems analyst and programmer at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Heather Kropp, Ph.D. (2015) in Environmental and Life Sciences from Arizona State University, now a faculty member at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
  • Colin Tucker, Ph.D. (2013) in Ecology from University of Wyoming, now a research ecologist at the US Forest Service, Northern Research Station on the Michigan Tech campus
  • Darren Gemoets, Ph.D. (2013) in Statistics from the University of Wyoming (co-advised with Dr. Jarrett Barber), now a visiting assistant professor of Biostatistics at West Virginia University
  • Kimberly Garvie, M.S. (2011) in Botany from the University of Wyoming.

Postdoctoral Researchers:

  • Drew Peltier, Ph.D. (2018) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, will be starting a faculty position at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
  • Yao Liu, now a post-doc in the Climate Change Science Institute & Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
  • Larissa Yocom Kent, now an assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University
  • Edmund (Ed) Ryan, now a post-doc in the Landcaster Environment Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Jessica Young-Robertson (formerly, Cable), now a research assistant professor in the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK
  • Richard Lucas, was an assistant professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Derek Sonderegger, now an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Northern Arizona University
  • Sharmila Pathikonda, now research support staff at Texas A&M University
  • Lisa Patrick Bentley, now an assistant professor in the Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA
  • Greg Barron-Gafford (summer 2012 post-doc), now an associate professor in the School of Geography & Development at the University of Arizona

Research Scientists/Assistants:

  • Joshua Uebelherr (2009-2013), subsequently finished a PhD student in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University
  • Nicholas Glover (2012-2013), planned to pursue medical school
  • Karla Sartor (2003-2010), subsequently worked for Los Alamos National Lab and the Nature Conservancy in New Mexico
  • Bill Cable (2006-2007), subsequently completed a Masters degree somewhere in northern Europe
  • Brenda Thompson (2008), took a job as an actuarial analyst at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
  • Kimberly Garvie (2008-2009), was a research assistant and M.S. student in Botany at the University of Wyoming

Undergraduate Researchers:

  • Alexander Bentley (fall 2019-summer 2020, NAU)
  • Riley McWilliams (fall 2019-summer 2020, NAU)
  • Phiyen Ngoc Nguyen (spring 2017-fall 2019, NAU)
  • Michelle Wilson (spring 2017-spring 2018, NAU)
  • Michael Bangs (spring 2017-summer 2018, NAU)
  • Linnea Gear (spring 2016-summer 2017, NAU)
  • Christian Weaghington (spring 2016, NAU)
  • Ryan Bishop (spring 2016-spring 2017, NAU)
  • Joan Kwamboka (spring 2015, ASU)
  • Samantha Daly (fall 2014-spring 2015, ASU)
  • Logan Monks (summer 2013-fall 2015, ASU)
  • Sam Teegarden (fall 2014-fall 2015, ASU)
  • Brian Lopez (fall 2014, ASU)
  • Abraham Cadmus (spring 2013-summer 2014, ASU)
  • Truman Combs (summer 2013, ASU)
  • Ian Blackburn (summer 2012-spring 2013, ASU)
  • Clint Clarkson (summer 2012-spring 2013, ASU)
  • Emily Alvarez (summer-fall 2011; fall 2012-spring 2013, ASU)
  • Debra Groves (spring 2012-summer 2012, ASU)
  • Brett Ignatowski (summer 2012, ASU)
  • Wendy Sanchez (fall 2011, ASU)
  • Lana MacDonald (summer 2010-fall 2010, UW)
  • Christy Bell (summer 2010, UW)
  • Jacob Arvizu (summer 2007-spring 2008, UW)
  • Corbin Haugen (spring 2008-fall 2008, UW)
  • Cassie Hurley (spring 2007, UW)
  • Patrick Juancorena (fall 2007-spring 2008, UW)
  • Jessica Strickert (fall 2007, UW)
  • Nikalous Tolman (fall 2008-spring 2009, UW)