Our core team leverages years of experience in multiple disciplines and sectors.
In addition to our core science staff, many other support personnel work diligently to sustain CSP as an efficient and agile operation.
Brett Dickson, PhD, President & Chief Scientist
Brett is a conservation biologist, landscape and wildlife ecologist, ecological modeler, and fierce advocate for strong inference. He brings over 20 years of conservation and entrepreneurial experience to CSP. He is an associate research professor with the Landscape Conservation Initiative and the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University; he also co-directs the Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology at NAU. In addition, Brett is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno. A recent David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow with the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Brett serves on the board of directors for the North American section of SCB, as well as the editorial board for the journal Conservation Biology. He brings a wealth of leadership and corporate experience from a previous career in industrial design and product development.
Matt Farnsworth, PhD, Senior Scientist
A conservation biologist, ecological statistician, and disease ecologist, Matt has extensive experience designing studies, analyzing data sets, and providing meaningful insights for policy and land-management decisions. For 15 years, he has collaborated with university researchers, state and federal agencies, and international organizations to solve problems inwildlife and domestic animal populations. He has the ability to see emerging issues and tackle large problems.
Dave Theobald, PhD, Senior Scientist
Dave is a geographer, conservation biologist, and landscape ecologist who specializes in assessing the effects of land use changes on wildlife habitat and biodiversity. He has worked on a variety of collaborative, interdisciplinary projects, including regional-scale resource assessments, inventories of open space and protected lands, species movement studies (at regional to continental scales), and analyses of proposed policy changes on sustainability. He also has experience developing integrated climate and land use scenarios. Dave is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. [PUBLICATIONS]
Maureen (Mo) Ryan, PhD, Senior Scientist
Mo is an evolutionary ecologist, conservation biologist, and dyed-in-the-wool hybridizing experimentalist. Her research focuses on the effects of hydrologic change on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of amphibians — and, more broadly, on climate impacts on wetland ecosystems. Mo enjoys working at the emergent edges of science, policy, culture, innovation, and decision-making with diverse colleagues. She co-leads our Conservation Innovation Lab, as well as the Wetlands Adaptation Group. In addition, she is a research associate at Simon Fraser University and an adjunct faculty member at Western Washington University’s Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Luke Zachmann, MSc, Senior Scientist
A quantitative ecologist, Luke has expertise in study design, applied statistics, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and programming, and a background in plant population, community, and theoretical ecology. Luke specializes in generating inference from large and complex datasets. His diverse project experience has focused on establishing national conservation priorities, forest and wildlife management, plant invasions, land cover classification, and drivers of population dynamics. Luke has worked with many academic, governmental, as well as for-profit and nonprofit entities to advance ecological research and planning.
Meredith McClure, PhD, Lead Scientist
Meredith is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist with training in ecological modeling and statistics. She enjoys conservation planning, disease ecology, invasive species, evolutionary biology, and road ecology. With a primary interest in developing novel methods to address conservation needs, she brings us expertise in landscape connectivity. Meredith also serves as Conservation Scientist for our partner organization, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation.
Rick Scherer, PhD, Lead Scientist
Rick is a population and community ecologist with interests in the demography and spatial distribution of animal populations. He has spent much of his career studying amphibian populations, most recently focusing on birds, snakes, and marine mammals. He has considerable experience with models of capture-recapture and occupancy data. Rick is also a post-doctoral fellow with the Noon Lab for Conservation Biology at Colorado State University.
Christine Albano, MSc, Lead Scientist
An ecologist and conservation biologist, Christine has experience in ecosystems throughout the western U.S. Her research interests include the ecological impacts of climate variability and change, landscape conservation planning and design, and the integration of science into public lands management. Christine also is a research specialist with the John Muir Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Davis, and an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Southwest Climate Science Center.
Jesse Anderson, Lead Scientist
Jesse is an ecologist, spatial analyst, and programmer. His expertise includes automation and advanced implementation of spatial and statistical methods, large-scale data processing, and programming in a variety of languages. He has 13 years of experience in GIS and ecology and over 20 years of experience as a programmer. Jesse has a keen interest in decoupling data and analysis to create solutions that are robust, reusable, and highly customizable to the conservation problem at hand.
Miranda Gray, MSc, Scientist
Miranda’s background in mathematics, statistics, and spatial analysis has led to her interest in ecological modeling — in particular, modeling landscape connectivity for ecological processes. She has used concepts from graph and circuit theory to model wildlife and wildfire connectivity across large landscapes. She enjoys looking at the landscape and its inhabitants as an interconnected network and using this view to address questions of landscape change and opportunities for conservation
Nicole Shaw, Research Specialist & Graduate Research Assistant
Nicole is a conservation biologist with 15 years of experience in wildlife research and monitoring. She is pursuing a graduate degree in geography at the University of Nevada, Reno, while providing research support at CSP. Nicole’s studies and work focus on remote sensing and geospatial analyses and modeling, applied to conservation biogeography and landscape ecology, particularly in riparian systems.
Jesse Lewis, Postdoctoral Scientist
An applied ecologist and conservation biologist, Jesse uses modeling, space-use estimation, and habitat evaluation to understand the relationship between animal populations and landscape characteristics. He has worked with medium- and large-sized carnivore populations that persist in landscapes featuring major roadways with varying levels of urbanization. As a post doc working with CSP, he is studying the population ecology of wild pigs across the U.S. to investigate management strategies.
Mary Forsyth, MBA, Business Manager
Mary has extensive experience as an accounting, business, and office manager. She has been a licensed California real estate broker, both residential and commercial, with experience in sales, due diligence, marketing, database management, contracts, titles, and HOAs. An active member of local community organizations, Mary has served as an events promoter, regional commissioner for a local nonprofit sports group, and high school soccer coach.
Graduate Research Assistants
Matt Millar.Coming from a previous career in wildland firefighting, Matt has developed a passion for preserving the landscape-scale ecological processes that transcend arbitrary land management boundaries. A graduate student at NAU in Environmental Science and Policy, he was recently named a Wyss Scholar for the Conservation of the American West. Matt’s studies focus on applying cutting-edge conservation science approaches to resource management planning.
Jackie Holm. Jackie’s background is in natural resource management and outdoor education. She has worked on multiple wildlife and wilderness conservation efforts in the West. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy at NAU, focusing on the application of camera trapping and citizen science to questions related to the occupancy patterns of mule deer on the Kaibab Plateau.
Dylan Harrison-Atlas. Dylan is an ecologist with a background in spatial analysis. His research blends aspects of landscape and freshwater ecology to assess linkages between terrestrial and river systems — including linkages that contribute to ecosystem services. He supports large-scale analyses for CSP and is actively involved in research to assess landscape-level vulnerability to climate change. Dylan is a PhD candidate in the Ecology program and an I-WATER IGERT Fellow at Colorado State University.
Doris Duke Conservation Scholars
Allison Donine, an environmental policy major at Pitzer College, is passionate about creating opportunities for individuals on the front lines of climate change to become involved in decision-making that impacts their everyday lives. After studying in Nepal, she became interested in how environmental policy can address socio climatic impacts while building capacity in vulnerable communities. Her other interests include the relationship between climate science and public policy.
Ari Himber is a student at the CUNY Macaulay Honors College and CUNY BA for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. In addition to conducting research on the spatial distribution of lichens, climate change impacts on hydrology, and urban food access, he has studied “arcology,” the sustainable design theory of visionary architect Paolo Soleri. His background includes public policy, urban planning, and the environmental and social sciences.
Our associates represent an exceptional team of scientists that provide us with additional capacity to directly connect our clients with core staff, while extending the reach of our network. These individuals include…
Jonny Armstrong, PhD
Arriana Brand, PhD
Michele Crist, MS
Liana Joseph, PhD
Theresa Nogeire, PhD
Raina Plowright, PhD
Jeff Su, PhD
Sue Townsend, PhD
Leah Samberg, PhD