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Our Team


The Lab

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Josh Lawler

Josh is the Orin and Althea Soest Professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, the Director of Nature & Health, and the Faculty Director of the UW Botanic Gardens 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.


Aji John
Postdoctoral Researcher

Aji earned his PhD from Biology department at University of Washington, where he was co-advised by Janneke Hille Ris Lambers and Ka Yee Yeung.  Aji explores microclimatic patterns in forest understories and studies phenology of wildflower meadows using high-resolution satellite imagery. His work in the lab currently focuses on identifying climatic refugia. His research is aided by a desire to develop open source instrumentation for environmental sensing and plant physiology. He also actively works in developing workflow solutions to analyze large datasets in Cloud.

Lety Santillana
MS Student

Lety is a Master's student in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. She earned her B.Sc. in Marine and Conservation Biology from Seattle University in 2019. Prior to joining the Landscape Ecology lab, she worked on endangered wildlife monitoring and conservation research, specifically with alpine birds, California condors, sea turtles and Mojave desert tortoises. Her current research focuses on using agent-based models to understand the effects of interacting stressors, such as climate change, habitat loss and fire, on at-risk species populations. Her research interests lie in wildlife conservation, traditional ecological knowledge, and how climate change disproportionately impacts marginalized communities and the wildlife and land they depend on.

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.

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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.

Fern Crossway
MS Student

Fern is an MS student and Bridging the Gap fellow in the School of Environment and Forest Sciences (SEFS) at the University of Washington. Her thesis research involves evaluating how at-risk species respond to multiple, interacting stressors. Specifically, she is exploring how the Endangered Taylor's checkerspot butterfly will respond to continued shifts in habitat quality and quantity using spatially explicit, agent-based modeling. Fern’s research interests include endangered species conservation, habitat loss and fragmentation, and other anthropogenic threats to wildlife. She is interested in untangling multifaceted ecological problems and complex interactions between wildlife, their habitats, and humans. When not working with wildlife, she also dabbles in the realms of ecopsychology, ecofeminism, and the human-nature connection. Fern holds a B.S. in Conservation Biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and has conducted rare plant and wildlife monitoring and mark-recapture studies in the northeastern and western US.

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Lab Alumni

Alumnus                             Position in the lab                      Current Affiliation

Julia Michalak                   Postdoc/Research Scientist     WA Dept. Fish and Wildlife

Yian Lin                              MS student                                University of British Columbia

Nameeta Prasad              MS student                                Indian Government

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                                US Forest Service

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

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