People

Current team Members

Peter N Dudley

PI: Peter N Dudley, PhD peter.dudley (at) noaa.gov

Dr. Dudley is an ecological modeler focusing on extending biophysical, organismal-based ecology to a population level using agent-based frameworks in spatially explicit habitat models. After completion of his PhD in 2014, Dr. Dudley joined the Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP) at UCSC as a NOAA Fisheries Affiliate. In the FCP, Dr. Dudley focuses on endangered winter-run Chinook salmon and threatened green sturgeon. He both uses existing and develops new agent-based models to assess the effects of habitat on winter-run Chinook, oversees the green sturgeon research, and uses various modeling methodologies to support these works, including biophysical computational fluid dynamics modeling and habitat selection modeling.

Postdoc: Kwanmok Kim, PhD kwanmok.kim (at) noaa.gov

Dr. Kim is interested in applying various aspects (behavioral, theoretical, community) of ecology to test real-life questions. His main research question is 'How does change in habitat complexity affect species diversity?' While habitat complexity generates nooks and crannies for multiple species, we are losing these structures globally from climate change and anthropogenic activities. Currently, he is working to see how habitat change in the Sacramento River may affect the salmonid population. Here, he is developing an individual-based mechanistic feeding model of juvenile salmonids. Outside of science, he is interested in photography, bird watching, tennis, and running.

Postdoc: Theodore Hermann, PhD theodore.hermann (at) noaa.gov

Dr. Hermann is a fish biologist with a diverse scientific background. Having studied biogeochemistry as an undergraduate, he transitioned to fisheries science in graduate school, where he used otolith microchemistry to deduce the migratory behaviors of giant Amazon catfishes. His current research focuses on modeling the effects of habitat alterations on the life-history stages of threatened salmonids and sturgeon in the Sacramento River. He resides in Berlin, Germany, and enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, running, programming, cooking and homebrewing.

Researcher: Jesse A Black, MS jessee.black (at) noaa.gov

Jesse Black is a Midwestern aquatic ecologist and aspiring amateur photographer. He earned his BSc in Molecular and Cellular Ecology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 and his MS in Biological Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2020. His research background includes microbial ecology of hot springs, marine microplastics, and deep-sea fish growth. Currently Jesse is a research associate with the Fisheries Collaborative Program with the University of California at Santa Cruz working on modeling salmon and sturgeon metabolism.

Application Programmer: Chris John, BS chris.john (at) noaa.gov

Chris John is a software engineer with a range of experience from indie games to AAA games, startups to big tech, as well as edtech and consulting. He has a strong background in web and server development as well as building and optimizing complex systems. He is excited to be applying his software development expertise to improve scientific models. He enjoys video games, board games, and spending time with his family

Specialist: Brian C. Battaile, PhD brian.battaile (at) noaa.gov

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Postdoc: Stephanie G. Diaz, PhD sdiaz24 (at) ucsc.edu


Dr. Diaz is broadly interested in wildlife movement and spatial ecology, with a particular focus on using spatially-explicit models to explore how human activities may alter landscape connectivity and wildlife spatial use. Born and raised in Florida, she completed her PhD at the University of Miami where her dissertation focused primarily on developing and validating an individual-based model to simulate African elephant movement and spatial use. She is currently working on modeling habitat selection of juvenile salmonid and green sturgeon to ultimately assess how alterations to river habitats may impact salmonid population dynamics. Stephanie recently moved to Eugene, Oregon, and enjoys hiking the many trails and parks outside of the city.

Past Team Members

Postdoc: Alli N Cramer, PhD allison.cramer (at) noaa.gov


Dr. Cramer is a Marine Ecologist specializing in Ecoinformatics. Her research focuses on organismal spatial ecology, particularly how animals respond to environmental variation and how to interpret individual responses in light of whole populations. Current projects include modeling the movement of green sturgeon to their spawning ground, developing a crossdisciplinary framework of population connectivity, and working with the wider team to develop a fish forecasting model.

NERTO Intern: Nicholas Coleman ncoleman (at) umces.edu

Nicholas Coleman is a graduate research assistant at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL). At CBL, Nick is working on his master's under the supervision of Dr. David Secor on a project that uses acoustic telemetry and sonic imagery to estimate the fall spawning run of Atlantic Sturgeon in the Nanticoke-Marshyhope system. Nick is also a NOAA Living Marine Resource Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) Fellow which facilitated a summer internship in the NOAA Santa Cruz Lab during the summer of 2021. During his internship, Nick and Peter worked on a project using DIDSON data collected from 2010 to 2019 to understand habitat use and annual variations in spawning run size of sDSP green sturgeon in the Sacramento River.