Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Affiliates

The DataLab Affiliates program supports graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and non-faculty researchers with opportunities to grow their engagement in data science research and training to enrich the UC Davis community. Interested in becoming an Affiliate? See the latest call for applicants.

Current Affiliates

Maggie Berrens, Chemistry PhD Student

Maggie Berrens is a Physical Chemistry PhD Candidate in the Department of Chemistry‘s Donadio Lab with interests in computational physical chemistry and atmospheric chemistry. Maggie holds a double major B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound.

Ramon Botigelli, Animal Science Postdoctoral Fellow

Ramon Botigelli is a postdoctoral fellow in Animal Science and holds a PhD in Pharmacology and Biotechnology from São Paulo State University. Ramon’s research explores mammalian embryo development, embryonic cell fate, and adult cell reprogramming into iPSCs.

Nicole Dodd is is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics with a research focus in Arabic, computational psycholinguistics, human language processing of natural and programming languages, human-computer interaction with voice-AI, and low-resource or under-represented languages. Nicole holds an MA in Linguistics from UC Davis and a BA in Linguistics and Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara.[/expand] M.V. Eitzel, Center for Community and Citizen Science Postdoctoral Fellow

M.V. Eitzel is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Community and Citizen Science and holds a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley, focused on statistical ecology. M.V.’s research centers on long-term change in complex social-ecological systems, as well as how participatory data science functions to counteract injustice.

Femi Falade, Animal Biology PhD Student

Femi Falade is a PhD student in Animal Biology focusing on computational animal genetics and breeding in Alison Van Eenanemm’s lab. He holds master’s degrees in Animal Genetics and Breeding and has worked in various capacities along the agricultural value chain. He believes global sustainability and food security can be achieved through the judicious use of big data in solving all agricultural problems.

Pablo M. Flores, Communication PhD Student

Pablo M. Flores is a Ph. D. Candidate in the Department of Communication at UC Davis, where he studies collective emotions, behavioral dynamics, and social communication in online environments. As a computational social scientist member of the C²Lab, Pablo approaches research from an interdisciplinary perspective. Before joining graduate school, Pablo worked as an engineering team leader to develop communication software funded by Conicyt-Chile, and later as an Instructor and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in Mathematics from PUC.

Adam Getchell, Physics PhD Student

Adam Getchell studies quantum gravity using computational models. Adam has a general background in information technology and programming experience (C++, Python, C#, Lisp, Clojure, and F#, among others) and uses the Rust programming language and Foreign Function Interfaces to tie Rust to C++ libraries. Adam has experience with running MCMC (Monte Carlo Markov Chain) and related methods. Adam wants to learn R and more statistics, data science methods, and anything else related to collating/analyzing large data sets. Adam serves as the FARM compute cluster administrator, and contributes to the campus-wide Distributed Research Computing working group.

Ashley Grupenhoff, Ecology PhD Student

Ashley Grupenhoff is a PhD student in Ecology, where she works in the Safford Lab. Ashley’s research is aimed at examining the consequences of altered disturbance regimes on specific composition and ecosystem function. She is particularly interested in the effects of prescribed fire in shaping plant species, populations, and communities and is currently working with CalFire to implement a long-term monitoring program of prescribed fire in California.

Shenwen Gu, Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology PhD Student

Shenwen Gu is a Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology graduate group PhD student in the Zhou Lab with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology. Her research focuses on identifying causal variants for growth-related complex traits in chickens and elucidating the underlying mechanisms. Shenwen holds a BS in Animal Biology from UC Davis. 

Veronica Herrera, Geography Master's Student

Veronica Herrera is a master’s student in the Geography graduate group. Veronica researches the effects of long-term public policy and urban planning in today’s cities, with a particular focus on how different levels of public infrastructure investment historically create unequal patterns of neighborhood-scale economic productivity. Veronica’s experience involves extensive use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) through historical US census data, TIGER/Line shapefiles, loan data, housing data, and banking data for solutions-oriented climate readiness projects that operationalized legislatively mandated regional Sustainable Community Strategies. Veronica also serves as a council member for #maptimeDavis, the Spatial Sciences Research & Learning Cluster at UC Davis. Lastly, she aims to develop her skills in Python and R for spatial and statistical analysis applications in social science research.

Sarah Heuckeroth, Psychology PhD Student

Sarah Heuckeroth is a PhD student in Psychology studying personality psychology. Sarah holds a Master’s in Psychology from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Lisa Johnson, Psychology PhD Student

Lisa Johnson is a PhD student in Psychology studying developmental psychology. Her research interests include positive youth development within the context of early adversity, especially the interaction of environmental and physiological mechanisms underlying trajectories of adolescent adaptive functioning (e.g., self-regulation, coping, peer competence). She earned her BA in Psychology from Temple University, where her thesis focused on the interaction between positive affect and emotional clarity in predicting positive life events during adolescence.

Arthur Koehl, Hydrologic Sciences Master's Student

Arthur Koehl is a master’s student in the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group and a GSR at the DataLab. He is studying methods for the computational analysis of high resolution topographic maps, and his research goal is to develop a classification of valley types based on shape, geology, and climate. 

Richard Kornrumpf, Political Science PhD Student

Richard Kornrumpf is a PhD student in Political Science studying intergroup behavior, social identity, and affective polarization. Richard holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Louisville.

Michael Livanos, Computer Science PhD Student

Michael Livanos is a Computer Science PhD student. Their research is in the field of fairness and explanation in machine learning. They develop new algorithms and approaches for understanding how and why black box machine learning models make the decisions they do, and how to best use them for performance and equity.

Connor Mitchell, Sociology PhD Student

Connor Mitchell is a PhD student in Sociology.

Anahita Pochiraju, Electrical and Computer Engineering Master's Student

Anahita Pochiraju is a master’s student in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Tara Pozzi, Ecology/Environmental Science and Policy PhD Student

Tara Pozzi is a PhD student in Ecology and Environmental Science and Policy. Her research focuses on behavior and decision-making processes that influence a community’s adaptive capacity and resiliance to hazards. Tara has an interdisciplinary background in engineering, ecological science, and social science and holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Santa Clara University and a Master’s in Human-Environment Systems from Boise State University.

Sophie Preckler-Quisquater, Veterinary Genetics Lab Postdoctoral Fellow

Sophie Preckler-Quisquater is a postdoctoral fellow in the Veterinary Genetics Lab‘s Mammalian Ecology and Conservation Unit and holds a PhD in Ecology with an emphasis in Genomics and Genetics from UC Davis. Sophie incorporates traditional ecological field methods with genomic tools to investigate how both natural and anthropogenic drivers influence evolutionary processes including speciation, hybridization, adaptation, and shifting range dynamics.

Aryana Razmara, Immunology PhD Student

Aryana Razmara is a dual degree DVM/PhD Candidate in Immunology who is interested in small animal medicine and comparative oncology research.

Dino Sbardellati, Microbiology PhD Student

Dino Sbardellati is a PhD student in Microbiology in the Vanette Lab interested in understanding how microbial ecology shapes macroscale ecology. His work deals with studying the bacteriophage (viruses that target bacteria) communities associated with the bumblebee gut and how phages shape gut microbial communities. He received a BA in Biology from Sonoma State University and an MS in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Cory Schlesener, Microbiology PhD Student

Cory Schlesener is a PhD student in Microbiology in the Weimer Lab. Cory’s research utilizes population genomics to explore diversity of microorganisms and their interactions with hosts, with a particular focus on evolution and population dynamics of pathogens and their traits. Cory holds a dual BS in Microbiology and Biochemistry from University of Texas at Austin and a Professional Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics from Harvard.

Daniela Soto, Genome Center Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniela Soto is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Genome Center‘s Dennis Lab with a PhD in Integrative Genetics and Genomics from UC Davis. Daniela’s research interests include bioinformatics, data science, omics integration, and women in STEM. Daniela holds an MS and a Bachelor’s in Biological Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

S. Hayley Steele, Cultural Studies PhD Student

S. Hayley Steele is a PhD student in Cultural Studies with a wide range of research interests from environmental humanities to analog game and critical code studies, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and a dual BA in English and Interdisciplinary Studies from Fairhaven College, Western Washington University.

Marcos Martínez Sugastti, Agricultural and Resource Economics PhD Student

Marcos Martínez Sugastti is a PhD Candidate in Agricultural and Resource Economics studying social protection programs in Latin America and East Africa. He is affiliated with the Markets, Risk, and Resilience (MRR) Innovation Lab. He holds a BA in Economics-Mathematics from Columbia University. 

Breanne Weber, English PhD Student

Breanne Weber‘s research explores 16th and 17th century British literature via the intersections of early scientific and material epistemologies, book history, and the digital humanities. She is a PhD Candidate in English with an emphasis in Science and Technology Studies. She holds an MA in English and a dual BA in English Literature and History from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Breanne is the current Digital Communications GSR at DataLab.

Liza Wood, Ecology PhD Student

Liza Wood is an environmental social scientist, earning a PhD in Ecology with an emphasis in Computational Social Science. She studies innovation systems and policies related to agricultural seeds. Her research looks at how plant genetic material is accessed, used, and managed to understand agricultural systems’ readiness for climate change. Liza holds master’s degrees in Sustainability Science and Organic Farming and has conducted food systems research from a variety of disciplines. She is interested in network analysis, computational text analysis, and teaching the R programming language. Liza is the current TA for DataLab’s 2-quarter Adventures in Data Science course.

Sydney Wood, Psychology PhD Student

Sydney Wood is a PhD candidate in Quantitative Psychology with a Designated Emphasis in Computational Social Science. They received a joint Bachelors and Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology in 2017 from CUNY: John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Their research investigates the impact of incentive structures in science on the cultural evolution of social science research practices. They work towards enhancing research methodology education to improve the efficacy of scientific practices in academia. They have collaboratively developed the curricula for this workshop as part of their Professors for the Future Fellowship project to support data scientists and data-driven researchers in developing more equitable and just practices.

Andrea Yang, English PhD Student

Andrea Yang is a PhD student in English studying early modern literature at the intersections of gender, race, and science. As a digital humanist, she experiments with reading texts using computational methodologies, and is interested in how computational tools can be used to explore premodern and contemporary cultural and literary archives. Andrea holds a dual BA in English and Computer Science and an MEng in Computer Science from Cornell University. Andrea participates in DataLab’s Digital Humanities research and learning cluster and was an intern in 2021.


Past and Alumni Affiliates