Paul Evangelista

Ethiopia desert plants
mountain nylalla in ethiopia
High Mountian Stream
desert cactus in bloom
High mountain homes in Ethiopia


Nicholas Young, Research Associate IV / Lab Manager

Nick’s interest and expertise are in spatial ecology with an emphasis in species distribution modeling, invasive species and mountain systems. He has worked on numerous domestic and international research projects supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Science Foundation and U.S. Geological Survey. Nick has worked in Paul’s lab since 2011 and supports the lab in various capacities including administration, data collection, analysis and publication.

TONY VORSTER, PhD, Research Scientist I

Tony recently completed his PhD in the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology studying landscape-scale impacts of bark beetles on forest stand structure, above-ground biomass, carbon stocks and regeneration natural resource management questions related to managing bark beetle impacts on forests and forest carbon, mapping invasive species. He utilizes GIS and remote sensing to study these issues at landscape scales and mentors the next generation of geospatial analysts as a science advisor for the NASA DEVELOP program. Tony is also an instructor and researcher in the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship program.

Redae Tesfai, PhD, Research Associate

Redae recently completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Redae is from Eritrea and his graduate research was on African wild ass in the Danakil Desert. He continues this work as a member of the IUCN Equid Specialist Group serving as an expert for the last 16 years. Redae is interested in investigating factors that influence the viability of small populations of mammalian herbivores in order to develop effective conservation strategies.

Robert Sturtevant, Research Associate III /Forester

Bob is a forester with 43 years of experience in forest management and forestry extension. After retiring from the Colorado State Forest Service, he served as a conservation specialist in the Peace Corps Ethiopia 2010-2013. He continues to work in international forestry as well as private land management, forestry education and forest research through Colorado State University.

Patricia Tricorache, Research Assistant

Patricia has been tackling the issue of cheetah and wildlife trafficking since 2005, bringing attention to the much-ignored impacts of live animal trade, and promoting increased government involvement in combating wildlife trafficking in the Horn of Africa. Her work has largely centered on Somaliland –a key trafficking route for cheetahs out of East Africa where nearly 200 cheetah have been seized in recent years. In 2021 she published the Global Dataset for Seized and Non-Intercepted Illegal Cheetah Trade –a decade’s worth of incidents, revealing that over 400 cheetahs fall victims to illegal trade every year, whether it is in parts, or live for the tourism and illegal pet industries.

Chris Choi, Research Associate

Chris (Christopher Tsz Hin Choi) is an Ecological Analyst Research Associate who utilizes GIS and remote sensing to study wildfires, carbon storage, and land cover change in the western United States. He earned his BA in Geography and a minor in Geospatial Information Science and Technologies from the University of California, Berkeley and previously worked at the Oregon Department of State Lands as a Natural Resource Specialist to study estuaries, map wetlands, and teach GIS. Since joining the Evangelista Lab in 2022, Chris has enjoyed serving as a science advisor for the NASA DEVELOP Program supporting incoming participants with their projects and finding solutions to real-world problems.


Sarah Hettama, NASA DEVELOP Fellow

Sarah serves as the Fellow for the NASA DEVELOP Program co-hosted by the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and US Geological Survey. She earned her BS in Environmental Sciences from University of California, Berkeley. Sarah manages the day-to-day DEVELOP operations of the Colorado projects and supports the national program’s geoinformatics initiatives. Her research interests lie in wildland stewardship, fire ecology, and conservation.


Mile Innes, Field Coordinator

Miles is completing his BS in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability graduate from the Warner College of Natural Resources. He has worked alongside the Evangelista Team since 2021 on a variety of projects including new technologies for ranchers and leads the field teams and data collection across forest, range, and riparian ecosystems. Miles’ interests surround sustainable land stewardship and geospatial ecological analysis. He is currently completing an undergraduate Honors thesis on the drivers of understory recovery in the Cameron Peak Fire burn scar under the mentorship of the Evangelista Lab.

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