NCEAS Postdoctoral Associates


Photo: Blake
Rachael Blake
Postdoctoral Associate
Marine oil spills are known to have negative impacts on near-shore ecosystems, but the interaction of these impacts with other stressors is currently less well understood.  Key to predicting changes in near-shore ecosystems is an understanding of how stressors interact over temporal and spatial scales.  My work will examine the relative importance and interaction of multiple stressors and their impacts on ecosystem processes and functions in critical near-shore habitats in the Gulf of Alaska.

blake [at] (Email) | Website | (805) 893-7453

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Photo: Samantha Cheng
Samantha Cheng
Postdoctoral Associate

Increasingly, conservation policy is being made on the assumption that conserving nature has positive impacts on human communities. However, existing evidence for these linkages between conservation and human well-being is incoherent and oftentimes inaccessible to both researchers and practitioners, presenting a major barrier to informing effective interventions. Through evidence synthesis, the SNAP Evidence-Based Conservation group is mapping these linkages and developing tools in order to improve evidence-based decision-making. Specifically, I am interested in exploring these linkages within marine biomes.

cheng [at] (Email) | Website |

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Photo: Froehlich

Halley Froehlich
Postdoctoral Associate

Halley Froehlich is a postdoctoral researcher for the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, involved with the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) Partnership working group evaluating sustainable open-ocean aquaculture around the globe.

Halley received her Ph.D. from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington and B.Sc. in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she took an interdisciplinary approach studying the effects of human and natural-based low oxygen disturbances (i.e., hypoxia) on marine organisms. A key facet of Halley’s graduate and postdoctoral research is linking important ecological questions with conservation and management objectives.

froehlich [at] (Email) | Website | 

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Photo: Ramirez

Aaron Ramirez
Postdoctoral Associate

The SNAP working group on ecological drought involves synthesizing research related to the ecological impacts of drought and highlighting the key interactions between drought and anthropogenic climate change, ecosystem services, and human health and well-being.  We are also focused on engaging stakeholders in co-production of ecological drought research and development of adaptive management strategies for increasing the ability of natural and human systems to thrive in the face of increasing ecological drought.

ramirez [at] (Email) |

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Claire Runge
Postdoctoral Associate

Claire Runge is a Postdoctoral Scholar at NCEAS (her primary location) and holds an adjunct position at the Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions (CEED), University of Queensland, Australia. In her work in the SNAP Better Land-Use Decisions working group she is working to discover how to strategically target conservation investments for biodiversity conservation and protection of ecosystem services. She is also working on projects exploring the impacts of human networks on conservation outcomes; designing cross-disciplinary solutions for better conservation outcomes from infrastructure development; and developing new approaches for conservation planning and prioritisation of nomadic and migratory species.
runge [at] (Email) |  Website |

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Heather Soyka
Postdoctoral Associate

Heather Soyka is a postdoctoral researcher with DataONE, working primarily with Dr. Amber Budden and the Community Engagement and Outreach (CEO) Working Group. As part of the DataONE project, her work is centered on creating, evaluating, and expanding educational resources that focus on research data creation, access, management and use. She completed her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences. Her current research interests include: data reuse and knowledge transfer within professional communities of practice, ethically responsive data stewardship, continuum informatics, and recordkeeping behavior. 

hsoyka [at] (Email) |

Photo: WardColette Ward
Postdoctoral Associate

I am interested in how environmental gradients, especially productivity gradients, influence energy flow in food webs and how this, in turn, influences trophic control and ultimately food web structure.  As a post doc with NCEAS' Gulf of Alaska project, I am evaluating long-term change in food web structure in the Gulf  and Prince William Sound ecosystems, and the relative influences thereon of atmospheric forcing and the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

ward [at] (Email) | (805) 893-7550