I am a plant and forest ecosystem ecologist with deep technical roots. In the early 00's I shifted my focus from electrical and software engineering to applying my skills to address contemporary ecological challenges. I had worked for Lockheed Martin and others on designing and building prototype high speed satellite communications hardware. As software took off in the San Francisco Bay Area in the '90s, I moved a few miles north to participate in the exciting, fast-moving dot-com industry by building backend tools for the emerging companies there.

Conservation has always been a core value of mine, and after seeing the complex challenges that real conservation faces during a period spent as a volunteer in Kalimantan, the dire situations our ecosystems face became clear. It also occurred to me that there probably weren't many engineers contributing their skills to tropical conservation efforts. The rest is history; almost two decades later finds me applying my skills to better understand tropical forest dynamics, and how they may respond to contemporary environmental change. You can check out more of what I've been up to here.


I am an Assistant Research Professor at Northern Arizona University's School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, in the Ecological and Environmental Informatics cluster. I also hold a position as an associated scientist in Oxford's Ecosystem Lab within the Environmental Change Institute. Check out my CV here.

[some ongoing projects]

Understanding tropical tree architecture and function

Pioneering work by the likes of Francis Hallé in the 1970s have advanced our understanding of the range of variation of tree architecture and the phenotypic development patterns that underlies that variation. Nonetheless, the science on tree architecture has been largely starved of data, and hence has struggled to advance. New developments in terrestrial laser scanning and processing and modeling algorithms are, all of a sudden, allowing us to expand our scales of understanding by orders of magnitude. I am working with colleagues from UCL, Sonoma State, Arizona, and elsewhere to scan and model hundreds, maybe thousands, of trees from around the tropics. These 3D scans of trees capture twigs as small as millimeters, and trunks as big as trucks. Here is a small theoretical model of one of the branches we measured in Malaysia. By advancing our understanding of tree architecture, we hope to better understand why trees have the shapes they do, how they pack themselves into forests, and what implications these architectural rules may have for how trees, and forests, respond to climate change.

Leveraging Gaming to Construct Virtual Forest Laboratories

In collaboration with The Glasgow School of Art, Oxford University, and UCL, I am leveraging gaming engines technology to build functional 3D models of real forests. We scan the forests with terrestrial LiDAR instruments, extract individual trees from the resulting point clouds, and fit cylindrical models to them, resulting in topological models. We are applying hydraulic, photosynthetic, respiration, and mechanical models to these structures to investigate the role of structural complexity in resilience to climate change. This framework will also serve as a virtual laboratory for other researchers and as a teaching tool for educators.

Seeing Components of the Forest Carbon Cycle from Above

In collaboration with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory at Stanford University and Oxford University’s Global Ecosystem Monitoring network, I am using airborne hyperspectral imaging to detect the underlying components of the forest carbon cycle that result in the net carbon source vs. sink function of forests. This work will lead to scaling up understanding of forest function across entire landscapes, and will provide the foundation for the type of process-based models necessary to predict forest carbon cycle responses to future climate change.


It's all pretty hush-hush at the moment, but I am working to spin out some of my research into a company. It will offer services to the carbon market, and we hope it will spur tropical reforestation projects to significantly expand. We also hope it will serve to advance research on commercialization of ecosystem services to the benefit of the future of natural ecosystems. The ARC Accelerator published a small interview about it here.

Post-doc and PhD openings

multispectral orthomosaic

Come work with us on a first-of-its-kind tree stress monitoring program across all of Arizona funded by Arizona Board of Regents. You'll be part of a team funded for 3 years (1 Ecology/RS postdoc, 1 high-throughput computing postdoc, 1 PhD student, 5 faculty) at Northern Arizona University's SICCS and its ecoinformatics cluster using field-collected data coupled with PlanetScope, Sentinel-2, ECOSTRESS, and other data to monitor tree stress across novel scales: individual trees, 10's of millions of hectares, daily frequency. Many science questions to be asked and answered, policies to be affected, and public, private and institutional users to be served.

Please share. See for listings.

Closing dates: applications will be reviewed upon submission. Computing closing date: April 13th. Ecology/RS closing date: April 27th. PhD closing date: contact me directly ASAP for summer/fall start. Postions will remain open until filled.

With Michael Gowanlock, Christopher Hakkenberg, Chris Doughty, and Scott Goetz. Please reach out with questions.


I am an Assistant Research Professor at the School of Informatics, Computing and Cybersystems at Northern Arizona University, and a research scientist in Oxford's Ecosystem Lab. I work on plant and forest ecosystem ecology, and have strong interests and experience with merging social, anthropological, and political perspectives of ecosystems and conservation. I employ novel field techniques coupled with modern statistical methods to address long-standing questions about nature at a range of scales; my experience in electrical and software engineering enables me to push the frontier where technology meets ecology. My research focuses on two principal themes: (1) ecosystem responses to management, disturbance, and climate change, and (2) the roles of an ecosystem’s structure in its function, assembly, and response to disturbance and stress. I focus on forest ecosystems in the tropics but my interests are global. As a post-doc in ECI’s Ecosystems Lab, I am currently conducting research relating the scaling of tree and forest canopy traits to ecosystem structure and carbon cycling.

My doctoral work, in the Putz lab at the University of Florida, investigated the role of important contemporary environmental change (logging, drought, and fire) in tropical forest dynamics, and their implications for future forests. My current work on traits, structure, and function focuses on testing the metabolic scaling of tree structure, using terrestrial, airborne and satellite hyperspectral imaging spectroscopy and LiDAR to scale forest carbon cycles from leaves to trees, to landscapes, and to the globe. Forest structure affects function partially through its effects on microenvironments. So, I am also investigating the role of vertical light profiles on forest function with a novel vertical light profile sensor. Further initiatives include 3D modelling of forest and function to better predict response to a changing climate, using remote sensing to identify spectral signatures of individual tree crowns, advancing our understanding of the role of tree respiration in the carbon cycle using high-resolution LiDAR, and investigating the evolution of tropical tree crown shapes.



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Name Description Price
Item One Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
Item Two Vis ac commodo adipiscing arcu aliquet. 19.99
Item Three Morbi faucibus arcu accumsan lorem. 29.99
Item Four Vitae integer tempus condimentum. 19.99
Item Five Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99


Name Description Price
Item One Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99
Item Two Vis ac commodo adipiscing arcu aliquet. 19.99
Item Three Morbi faucibus arcu accumsan lorem. 29.99
Item Four Vitae integer tempus condimentum. 19.99
Item Five Ante turpis integer aliquet porttitor. 29.99


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