Walker Lab
Disturbance and Ecosytem Ecology



Xanthe Walker

Xanthe Walker is an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society. She is an ecosystem ecologist interested in understanding the impacts of environmental change and disturbance on the structure and function of northern terrestrial ecosystems. She has experience in disturbance ecology, dendrochronology, statistics, and the application of stable and radioactive carbon isotopes.

Email: xanthe.walker@nau.edu

Michelle Mack

Michelle Mack is a Regents Professor at Northern Arizona University’s Center for Ecosystem Science and Society. See Mack Lab for more information.

Email: michelle.mack@nau.edu

Research Associates

Weronika Konwent

email: weronika.konwent@nau.edu

Helena Kleiner

email: helena.kleiner@nau.edu

Postdoctoral Researchers

Charles Truettner

Charlie studies carbon emissions from wildfires in the boreal forest of Interior Alaska. He utilizes isotope geochemistry and spatial ecology methods to understand better if the boreal forest is shifting from a net carbon sink to a carbon source. His other research interests include isotope dendrochronology, ecohydrology, and species distribution modeling.

email: charles.truettner@nau.edu

Graduate Students

Nicholas Link

PhD Student

Nick is a second year PhD student studying ecosystem and disturbance ecology across Alaska and the Yukon. Nick’s dissertation work focuses on fuelbreaks; both their variable impacts on the environment and what drives their patterns of revegetation.

Jonas Noomah

MSc Student

Jonas is a second year MSc Student. His research focuses on how fuel breaks impact forest health and bark beetle activity in Alaska.

Anastasia Pulak

MSc Student

Anastasia is a second year MSc student. She is studying how wildfire-induced changes in vegetation impact soil carbon accumulation and turnover. 

Matthew Behrens

MSc Student

Matt is interested in working on questions at the interface of land management and academia. He has experience in fire suppression and management throughout the Western US and Alaska, along with expertise as a field lead in fire ecology programs in AK. 

Savannah Wilson

MSc Student

Savannah is a first-year MSc student and is excited to learn more about boreal forest ecosystems. She is interested in understanding how vegetation responds to disturbance and how post-disturbance successional trajectories are impacted by climate change. 

Felecia Amundsen

MSc Student

Felecia is interested in how wildfires and fuel treatments impact the ecology of our northern hemisphere and the communities that live there.  She is excited about botanizing and has experience working in alpine environments and investigating changing vegetation due to novel disturbances and warming temperatures.


Betsy Black, MSc

Thesis: Drivers of fire severity in western North American boreal deciduous forests

Ellery Vaughan, MSc

Thesis: Nitrogen and phosphorus limitation of plant productivity and ecosystem carbon storage changes with post-fire succession in an Interior Alaskan boreal forest