NCEAS Science Advisers

The NCEAS Science Advisers are a group of leading thinkers in ecology and environmental science who will advise the NCEAS Director and senior staff on new projects and initiatives, help us anticipate and cultivate important emerging areas for research, environmental informatics, and training, and help us assess new funding opportunities that will allow NCEAS to continue to serve our research community.

NCEAS supports multidisciplinary collaboration and synthesis research, environmental informatics, and training in open science. We have always relied on scientific advice and guidance from independent advisers. We are grateful to the esteemed scientists that served over the years (1995-2013) on our Science Advisory Board (SAB) while NCEAS operated as a NSF center. The NCEAS Science Advisers supersedes the SAB, whose primary function was review of proposals to NCEAS. The Science Advisers' main role will be to provide counsel, share information, and collaborate on new initiatives.


Stephanie Hampton - Chair

Stephanie Hampton is director of the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO) at Washington State University (WSU) and professor in the School of the Environment. Stephanie was previously Deputy Director of NCEAS from 2006 to 2013 where she promoted data sharing, open science, and the wider adoption of cutting-edge informatics for more effective and transparent environmental research. She led NCEAS’ training efforts to improve computational literacy and access to a robust cyberinfrastructure for environmental sciences. Hampton is still active in these areas and also continues to pursue research topics in freshwater science, including analyzing long-term ecological data collected from lakes as globally diverse as Lake Baikal in Siberia and Lake Washington in Seattle. More>


Jennifer Balch

Jennifer Balch is Assistant Professor in the Geography Department, University of Colorado, Boulder. Jennifer’s research aims to understand the patterns and processes that underlie disturbance and ecosystem recovery, particularly how shifting fire regimes are reconfiguring tropical forests, encouraging non-native grass invasion, and affecting the global climate. Jennifer was a NCEAS Postdoctoral Fellow from 2009 – 2012. During this period she led several Working Groups looking at the role of fire in the Earth System, including the first Working Group collaboration between NCEAS and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. More>



Carl Boettiger

Carl Boettiger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley working on regime shifts in ecology and evolution. His research aims to understand, forecast or manage ecological regime shifts by combining novel approaches to mathematical modeling with tools from informatics and data science. He is a firm believer in open science and the co-founder of the ropensci project which has been actively building software and community to facilitate data science research in ecology and related disciplines. Carl has been a regular collaborator on a number of Informatics projects including conceptualizing an Institute for Sustainable Earth and Environmental Software (ISEES) project and the ABI Community Dynamics Project Workshop. More>


Christopher Costello

Chris Costello is professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara. His research concerns natural resource management and property rights under uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on information, its value, and its effect on management decisions. His research combines theoretical work from economics with empirical analysis, often to inform policy. Since 2001, Chris has participated in a wide range of NCEAS projects from the Serengeti, to decisions for conservation risk management, to fisheries. He is currently participating in the SNAPP Working Group Measuring the status of fisheries and factors leading to success. More>


John Drake

John Drake is Associate Professor for the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia. His research interests include basic and applied population ecology and ecological epidemiology. His research integrates across traditional biological disciplines and also across the quantitative sciences—computer science, mathematics and statistics. His current projects include population biology of West Nile virus in New York City; evolutionary dynamics of avian influenza virus; ecological niche identification and geographic range prediction for disease vectors; and extinction in experimental zooplankton populations. Drake was a Postdoctoral Fellow at NCEAS from 2004 – 2006 working on risk analysis for emerging infectious diseases. Most recently, he led the NCEAS Working Group on Machine Learning for the Environment (2006- 2008). More>

Hillary Young

Hillary Young is Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara. She is a community ecologist interested in cascading effects of wildlife decline and land use change, particularly as they affect human health and well-being. Hillary's research aims to understand the drivers of large-scale changes in community structure and ecosystem functions following biodiversity loss and climate change. Her works at both local and global scales using a range of observational, experimental, and meta-analytical approaches. Her work includes sites in East Africa, Pacific Islands, and coastal California. Hillary is new to NCEAS and brings a fresh perspective for how NCEAS can best serve the community. More>