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.

Faculty Affiliates

Kimberly (Kym) Samuels-Crow

Kimberly ("Kym") is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at NAU and the T3 Program Coordinator. Kimberly uses stable isotopes to trace a range of environmental processes, including large-scale atmospheric moisture dynamics and local land-atmosphere interactions. She is currently working on projects related to water sources for drought-stressed trees around the Colorado Plateau,  quantifying antecedent environmental drivers and their time-scales of influence on ecosystem water and CO2 fluxes, and understanding the drivers of evapotranspiration fluxes in semi-arid systems in the Southwest. For more information, please see Kimberly’s CVResearchGate profile , Google scholar, or you can contact Kym via email.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Drew Peltier

Drew received his PhD in Biology at NAU in June 2018, then transitioned to a post-doc in the lab; he was recently awarded an NSF grant in collaboration with Mariah Carbone to apply 14C methods to evaluate drought impacts on non-structural carbohydrate storage in trees experiencing simulated drought in New Mexico. In general, Drew studies tree growth responses to climate, with a focus on understanding responses to drought, associated drought legacies, and the El Niño Southern Oscillation under climate change. He develops and applyies novel Bayesian models to quantify the role of past climate and the time-scales over which past climate affects tree growth (tree-ring widths) in multiple tree species across the West. He compliments this synthesis work with field and lab studies of tree growth inferred from ring widths, tree-ring non-structural carbohydrates, 13C, and radiocarbon. Email Drew for more information, or see his CV or Google Scholar profile.

Graduate Students

Rohan Boone

Rohan is a PhD student in the T3 program in Ecological and Environmental Informatics in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at NAU. Rohan is interested in using quantitative approaches to answering basic ecological questions. His main research interests involve forest ecology with an emphasis on how climate, climate change, and competition interact to affect the growth, ecological memory, and distribution of long-lived tree species, with a focus on the western US. Rohan completed his B.S. in Plant Biology at the University of California, Riverside, and worked as a research assistant in the "Plant population and community ecology in a change world lab," under the supervision of Jeff Diez. Email Rohan for more information.

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.

Emily Palmquist

Emily is a PhD student in Biology at NAU and a student employee with the USGS-Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Emily studies the influences of dam operations, abiotic and climatic factors, and plant genetics on riparian plant community composition and structure. Using a variety of data sets collected along the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead, she will employ Bayesian modeling techniques to examine riparian vegetation community dynamics and help inform adaptive management and restoration of riparian communities. She is also conducting field and greenhouse experiments to evaluate the importance of genetics and to determine how key plant species respond to different flooding scenarios. Email Emily for more information, or check out her Google scholar, or other webpages: USGS , Riparian vegetation project 1 , 2 .

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.

Recent, Past Lab Members

Jessica Guo
PhD Student

Jessica Guo successfully defended her PhD in Biology from NAU in May 2019. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Gabe Bowen's "Spatio-temporal isotope analytics" lab at the University of Utah. As a PhD student in the Ogle Lab, Jessica investigated the temporal coupling between plant water potential, carbohydrate storage, and stomatal behavior. Her field research was conducted at the Desert Botanical Garden on the common desert shrub Larrea tridentata. She applied novel Bayesian models to quantify the timescales over which plant physiological processes respond to internal and external drivers.

Yao Liu
Postdoctoral researcher

Yao received her PhD in Ecology from the University of Wyoming in 2015, where she developed methods for integrating fossil pollen data into ecological models to understand long-term forest dynamics. She subsequently gained experience combining paleoecological data with ecosystem models as a post-doc at the University of Arizona, prior to joining the Ogle Lab in July 2016 as a post-doc. In the Ogle Lab, Yao implemented novel Bayesian statistical models to evaluate the climatic memory of NEE across multiple biomes, and she also implemented Bayesian meta-analyses to quantify the impact of global change drivers on ecosystem carbon dynamics. Yao is currently a post-doc at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she is working with Colleen Iversen and Anthony Walker to apply her meta-analysis and modeling skills to understand fine root traits and global change impacts on belowground carbon pools.

Larissa Yocom
Postdoctoral researcher

Larissa completed her PhD in Forest Ecology in 2011 from NAU, and prior to joining the Ogle Lab as post-doc in 2016, she taught courses in NAU's School of Forestry as a Lecturer and was promoted to Research Associate. Larissa's general interests lie in the area of fire ecology, forest management, and dendroecology. While in the Ogle Lab, she developed Bayesian modeling skills, which she applied to tree-ring data to evaluate the climatic memory of tree growth, with a focus on ponderosa pine spanning a large summer monsoon gradient in the Southwest. Larissa is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources and in the Ecology Center at Utah State University.

Michael (Mike) Fell
PhD student and Research Associate

Mike received his PhD in Biology for the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University in 2017, where he focused on combining large datasets and an individual-based model of tree growth to understand how plant functional traits affect tree growth and mortality. He subsequently worked as a Research Associate (“computing guru”) in the Ogle Lab, assisting with a variety of projects involving development of large databases, Bayesian statistical modeling, parallel computing, and field and lab experiments. Mike currently works for the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems as a Systems Analyst/Programmer and assists SICCS faculty members with a diversity of computing related tasks in support of various research projects.

Past Lab Members

Graduate Students:

  • Jessica Guo, Ph.D. (2019) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, now a post-doc at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Drew Peltier, Ph.D. (2018) in Biology from Northern Arizona University, now a post-doc at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
  • 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 post-doc/visiting faculty member at Colgate University, Hamilton, 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, now a post-doc with Mariah Carbone in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at NAU, self-funded on an NSF grant
  • 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)