People

William (Bill) Anderegg

Bill is the Director of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy and a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah. He received his bachelors and Ph.D. from Stanford University and did a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship at Princeton University. He received the Alan T. Waterman Award and CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the National Laureate in Life Sciences from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, and the Early Career Fellow from the Ecological Society of America.

Postdocs

Libby Blanchard

Libby received her PhD in geography from Cambridge University in 2020 where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her research broadly aims to inform climate mitigation policy to make it more effective and equitable, and specifically focuses on the use of forests in climate mitigation strategies. Her current work follows two tracks: i) examining the use, prevalence and implications of carbon offsets in net zero commitments; and ii) informing the design of proposed ‘contribution models’ to conserve forests for the climate and co-benefits forests provide.

Meng Liu

Meng received his PhD from Texas A&M University in 2022, studying forest dynamics (biomass change and fire activities) with remote sensing data. His research interests are using remote sensing tools to capture forest disturbances like fire and drought and analyze forest carbon change. He is working on forest sensitivity change in response to drought stress under the warming climate.

German Vargas

I am a plant ecophysiologist focusing on plant responses to environmental change. I combine methods in plant ecophysiology, Bayesian statistics, ecosystem ecology, and modeling. As a post-doctoral researcher in the Anderegg lab at the University of Utah, my work focuses on developing an ecological forecast framework to predict forest ecosystem responses to drought stress. Working across scales from leaves to ecosystems, I combine data on tissue-level plant physiology with meteorological information to inform mathematical models for predicting plant water status, drought-related xylem damage, and net primary productivity. Before joining the lab, I studied the ecological factors shaping drought tolerance traits in tropical plants and linked these traits to ecosystem-level responses to extreme drought. I enjoy cycling, hiking, camping, cooking, and listening to records during my free time.

Chao Wu

Chao received his PhDs at Tsinghua University and University of Exeter in 2019. His research aims to better understand the interaction and feedback between disturbances, vegetation, and climate. He is currently contributing to the effort to quantify the potential for and risks facing forests as natural climate solutions at both regional and global scales.

Linqing Yang

Linqing received her PhD in Ecology and Conservation Biology from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include estimating land surface parameters with remote sensing data and machine learning methods and understanding the impacts of climate variability on terrestrial ecosystem function and land surface dynamics. Now she is working towards quantifying the climate mitigation potential of forest carbon offset as nature-based climate solutions.

Cedric Zahnd

Cedric received his PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2023. As a postdoc in the Anderegg Lab, he explores how the changing climate, particularly droughts, impact autumn phenology of deciduous trees, and how shifts in leaf phenology in turn affect the carbon household of trees. He combines field experiments with modelling approaches to answer these questions.

Graduate students

Jaycie Fickle

Jaycie received a Bachelors and a Masters from California State University, Bakersfield. She is interested in understanding plant responses to drought through interspecific and intraspecific plant variation. Particularly, she is interested in combining modeling approaches with this plant variability to strengthen predictive power for tree mortality.

Tegan Lengyel

Tegan received her bachelor’s from the University of Utah in 2022. As an undergraduate, she worked with Dr. Jim Ehleringer to use stable isotopes to understand variations in Encelia ecophysiological traits. In the Anderegg Lab, Tegan is interested in studying the impact of climate change on forest biodiversity and carbon sequestration, as well as understanding how scientific research can be used to inform policy decisions.

Annapurna Post-Leon

Purna received her Bachelor’s from Reed College, where her research focused on exploring factors that affect drought responses of bigcone Douglas-fir in southern California. In the Anderegg Lab, she is interested in further investigating impacts of climate change on forests, focusing specifically on the physiological effects of drought and wildfire on western US tree species.

Lab Alumni

Grayson Badgley, departed for postdoc at Columbia U

Antoine Cabon, departed for SNF Swiss Postdoctoral Fellowship

Steve Kannenberg, departed for Assistant Professor at West Virginia University

Kelly Kerr, departed for postdoc at UC Santa Barbara

Xiaonan Tai, departed for Assistant Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology

Anna Trugman, departed for Assistant Professor at UC Santa Barbara

Kailiang Yu, departed for postdoc at LSCE

Nicole Zenes, departed for scientific programmer at NOAA