Our Team


The Lab

Josh Lawler

Josh is the Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the Director of Nature & Health at the University of Washington. He received his AB from Bowdoin College and his MS and PhD in ecology from Utah State University.  Josh is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist driven by applied conservation questions and their real-world applications. He is most interested in how anthropogenic factors affect species distributions, population dynamics, and community composition at regional and continental scales. His research involves investigating the effects of climate change on species distributions and populations, exploring the influence of landscape pattern on animal populations and communities, and climate-change adaptation for natural and human systems. Some of his current work has also begun to investigate the connection between time spent in nature and mental and physical health.


Yian Lin
PhD Student

Yian is a PhD student in the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) program. She is interested in applying statistical methods to support decision making in conservation, urban planning, and sustainability. Her PhD research will center on species vulnerability assessment under climate change. Her previous work focuses on studying the relationship between the surrounding environments and people’s subjective well-being using social media data and sentiment analysis tools. She enjoys working with data, building statistical models, and thinking about the most appropriate way to make an inference and extract useful information from data to answer real-world questions. Yian holds a B.S. in Statistical Science, with a minor in Applied Psychology, from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2017) and an M.S. in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management from the University of Washington (2021).

Sarah Chase
PhD Student

Sarah Chase is a doctoral student co-advised by Josh Lawler and Stanley Asah. She holds a master’s degree in geography from San Diego State University, where her research focused on environmental attitudes and behaviors of natural resource monitoring volunteers.  Before returning to graduate school, she worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on water quality management, as well as for an environmental nonprofit in Missouri.  Her current research interests focus on the design and evaluation of interventions to promote pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors.   For her dissertation, she is evaluating the effectiveness of a mobile app designed to increase children's time in nature and their connectedness with nature.

Julia Michalak
Research Scientist

Julia is a research scientist in the School of Environment and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. She has a PhD in urban ecology and an M.S. in conservation biology. Her research focuses on evaluating climate-change vulnerability and resilience of species, ecosystems, and protected areas to inform climate-change adaptation planning. She works with species and protected areas managers, including the National Parks Service and State Fish and Wildlife Agencies, to develop, synthesize, and apply climate science to management issues with a focus on mapping and managing climate-change refugia and climate connectivity.

Nameeta Prasad
MS Student

Nameeta is a Fulbright research scholar from India where she works for the federal government on its environmental programs. She have specialized in audits of environmental issues like waste management, water pollution, and biodiversity which have had high impacts as the executive initiated changes in governance systems, recommended in the reports. She also led a team that set up a global center of excellence in the field of training on environmental/sustainability issues. There, she designed and delivered training programs on environmental/sustainability issues. She has a degree in environmental law and policy from the National Law School, Bangalore. Her interests lie in conservation, climate change, biodiversity, management of natural resources. My research is in the field of ecosystem services and climate change impacts on the delivery of ecosystem services. She is an avid reader with a preference for espionage novels!

Chris Randels
Post-bac Researcher

Chris is a postbaccalaureate student interested in the intersections of climate change mitigation with urban land use and forest management. His undergradutate thesis examines inequities in climate impacts and access to services between higher and lower income Seattle neighborhoods across travel modes. Future research interests include the changes in forest ecosystems' responses to pathogens due to climate change, city residents' usage and responses to shared mobility services, and city infrastructure gaps that influence the effectiveness of shared mobility as a first/last mile solution. Outside of school, Chris is a member of Eastside environmental organizations seeking to reduce municipal carbon dioxide emissions through revisions in transportation and land use policy. Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Applied German Language and Intercultural Studies from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Lab Alumni

Alumnus                             Position in the lab                      Current Affiliation

Ben Dittbrenner               PhD student                              Northeastern University

Caitlin Littlerfield              PhD student                              University of Vermont

Catherine Means              MS  student                               US Forest Service

D. Scott Rinnan                 MS and PhD student                Yale University

Rosemary Pazdral            MS student                                Oregon Sate University

Aimee Fullerton                PhD student                              NOAA

Michael Case                     PhD and Postdoc                      The Nature Conservancy, WA

Se-Yeun Lee                       PostDoc                                      Seattle University

Maureen Ryan                   Postdoc                                      Conservation Science Partners

Peter Singleton                  PhD student                              US Forest Service

Jenny McGuire                   Postdoc                                      Georgia Tech

Jennifer Duggan                Postdoc                                      California State University, Monterey

Theresa Nogeire                Postdoc                                      Oregon State University 

Julie Hienrichs                    Postdoc                                      Colorado State University

Jessie Langdon                   MS student                                Weyerhaeuser

Christie Galitsky                 MS student                                Blue Ventures, Madagascar

Chad Wilsey                        PhD and Postdoc                      Audubon Society

Carrie Schloss                     MS student                                The Nature Conservancy, CA

John Withey                         Postdoc                                      The Evergreen Sate College

Jorge Ramos                        MS student                                Stanford University

Tristan Nuñez                      MS student                                University of Wyoming

Aaron Ruesch                      MS student                                Wisconsin DNR

Lesley Jantarasami              MS student                                US EPA

Evan Girvetz                         Postdoc                                      CGIAR

Betsy Bancroft                     Postdoc                                      Ganzaga University