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 and Chief Scientist
Brett is a conservation biologist, landscape and wildlife ecologist, ecological modeler, and fierce advocate for strong inference. The recent recipient of a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship with the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), he serves on the board of directors for the North American section of SCB and the editorial board for the journal Conservation Biology. Brett brings over 20 years of conservation and entrepreneurial experience to CSP. He also is a research faculty member in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability and co-director of the Lab of Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology at Northern Arizona University. Brett brings additional 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]
Yaguang Xu, PhD, Senior Scientist
Yaguang is an award-winning spatial data analyst and a highly skilled GIS builder. He not only solves complex ecological problems using cutting-edge technologies but he also develops geospatial products and software for image processing and analysis. Yaguang manages the development of CSP’s cloud-based computing infrastructure (the “HUB”). He serves as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.
Luke Zachmann, MSc, Lead Scientist
Luke is a population and community ecologist and spatial analyst. He brings us skills in the areas of ecological modeling, statistical and spatial programming, database development, and project management. His extensive expertise with novel computer algorithms allows CSP to conduct data-intensive analyses at large spatial and temporal scales. Luke has worked with many academic, governmental, and nonprofit entities to advance ecological research and planning.
Meredith Rainey, PhD, Lead Scientist
Meredith is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist with training in ecological modeling and statistics. She enjoys working in conservation planning, disease ecology, invasive species, evolutionary biology, and road ecology. She is primarily interested in developing novel methods to address conservation needs and brings us expertise in the understanding, measurement, and conservation of 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.
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.
Ericka Hegeman, MSc, Scientist
An ecologist with a background in both aquatic ecosystems and water resources management, Ericka has over 5 years of experience researching threatened mountain yellow-legged frogs in the High Sierra and freshwater mussels, salmonids, and bull trout in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, she has 5 years of experience in CEQA and environmental and water resources planning. Her interests include species distribution modeling and large-scale spatial analysis.
Nicole Shaw, Administrative and Research Specialist
Nicole is a wildlife ecologist with over 10 years of experience in study design, avian demography and behavior, and benthic macroinvertebrate and stream habitat surveys. She also brings us several years of experience as a program coordinator and database manager — experience that has honed her organizational skills. Nicole is interested in integrating the disciplines of conservation biology and landscape ecology with her extensive field experiences.
Willow Fierro, Administrative and Research Specialist
Willow has over 15 years of experience working with geospatial data and specializes in 3D terrain modeling, aerial photography, and satellite imagery analysis. She comes from a professional land surveying background and has an education based in GIS, remote sensing, and natural resource conservation, and reclamation sciences. She also spent several years managing projects in both the public and private sectors. Willow is interested in GIS and mapping as applied to conservation efforts on both large and local scales.
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…
Michele Crist, MS
Cerissa Hoglander, MS
Raina Plowright, PhD
Jeff Su, PhD
Sue Townsend, PhD
Liana Joseph, PhD