Dr. Sheila Saia

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Lise Montefiore

SECASC Global Change Fellow & PhD Student

Emine Fidan

PhD Student

Natalie Von Tress

MS Student

Layla El Khoury

Undergraduate Research Assistant


Asterisks indicate an author is/was a graduate (*) or undergraduate (**) researcher in the Biosystems Analytics Lab


Submitted or near submission:

  • NG Nelson, R Muñoz-Carpena, EJ Phlips, Parameter uncertainty drives incongruities between simulated chlorophyll and phytoplankton functional group dynamics in a mechanistic management model, In revision

  • B Doll, J Kurki-Fox, J Page, NG Nelson, J Johnson, Flood Flow Frequency Analysis to Estimate the Potential Floodplain Nitrogen Treatment Resulting from Stream Restoration, Under review

  • MJ Wells, TE Gilmore, NG Nelson, A Mittelstet, JK Böhlke, Determination of vadose and saturated-zone nitrate lag times using long-term groundwater monitoring data and statistical machine learning, Co-author review

  • EJ Phlips, S Badylak, NG Nelson, LJ Morris, RG Chamberlain, LM Hall, JA Hart, C Jacoby, MA Lasi, JC Lockwood, J Miller, Regime shift in the character of phytoplankton blooms in a restricted sub-tropical lagoon: The linkage between benthic and planktonic primary producer dynamics, Co-author review

Technical reports (non-referreed):

  • NG Nelson, S Ward, and D Ward, 2017, Implications of altered freshwater flows on estuarine fish and shellfish: a case study of the Lower Suwannee River. White paper prepared for the Florida Climate Institute, UF Levin College of Law, and UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station.

  • R Muñoz-Carpena and NG Nelson, 2017, Lake George Water Quality Modeling: EFDC and CE-QUAL-ICM Platform Compatibility and Evaluation of Sensitivity Analysis Methodologies. Report to the St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, FL. Contract # 28650.

Teaching and Training

Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates:


  • BAE 495 / 590: R Coding for Data Management and Analysis (fall 2019, distance ed)
  • BAE 590: Environmental and Agricultural Data Analytics and Modeling (offered every spring)
  • BAE 495 / 590: Applied Statistics for Environmental and Agricultural Data Analysis (spring 2018)

Guest lectures:

  • Applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Principles of data visualization
  • Intro to R and reproducible science for curious non-users
  • Intro to local and global sensitivity analysis
  • Challenges and opportunities for application of process-based models and predictive analytics in water quality management decision-making


If you’re interested in broadening your students’ perspectives through podcasts, check out my working list of episodes related to biological and agricultural engineering. Episodes cover topics ranging from water quality to hydrologic modeling, ecosystem restoration, mariculture, and agriculture.

Lab news

More Posts

The grant, supported by the North Carolina Sea Grant Core Research Program, will focus on developing a new forecast and decision-support tool (“ShellCast”) for the NC shellfish mariculture industry. In addition to creating ShellCast, the grant will support additional analysis on historical management and water quality dynamics in shellfish growing areas along the NC coast.


The grant, supported by the newly-established USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) initiative, will focus on developing data-to-decision pipelines for agroecosystem management through high-performance computing and big data analytics. The FACT initiative seeks to catalyze activities that harness big data for synthesizing new knowledge, making predictive decisions, and fostering data-supported innovation in agriculture.


Natalie and Lise traveled to China from July 27 - August 9 along with two other faculty, two graduate students, and six P4 undergraduate fellows to visit China Agricultural University, Zhejiang University, and Zhejiang A&F University and forge new collaborations. Above, the NC State group poses with colleagues at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.


Lise and Emine continue to make the Biosystems Analytics Lab proud! Emine received an Oral Presentation Award in the Natural Resources and Environment System Technical Community for her presentation, “Using Machine Learning and Remotely Sensed Data to Develop Spatiotemporal Maps of Flood Surge and Retreat”, and Lise received 1st Place in the Engineering Ethics Video Competition along with BAE PhD student, Mahmoud Shehata. Congratulations, Emine and Lise!


Congratulations to Emine for receiving a 2019 NC Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship for her project, Using Machine Learning and Remotely Sensed Data to Develop Spatiotemporal Maps of Flood Surge and Retreat!


Natalie Nelson was awarded a grant from the USDA NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Educational Literacy Initiative’s Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates grant program (grant no. 2019-67032-29074/project accession no. 1018043) to create a new REEU program at NC State: Pigs, Poultry, the Planet and Data-Driven Problem-Solving (nicknamed “P4”).


Congratulations to Emine for this prestigious recognition from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program!


Sam is off to Kennesaw State University from Apr 11-13 to present his poster, “Explanatory modeling of dissolved oxygen dynamics across diverse estuarine habitats,” at NCUR.


The Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center selected Lise for a Global Change Fellowship, and the Graduate Student Research Award was granted to her by North Carolina Sea Grant/Water Resources Research Institute for her proposal, “Spatiotemporal Reconstruction of Historical Swine CAFO Spread in North Carolina and Connections to Water Quality.” Many congratulations, Lise!


Drs. Angela Harris, Ryan Emanuel, Mahmoud Sharara, Natalie Nelson, Diego Riveros-Iregui, and Joshua Kearns were awarded a RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation’s Environmental Engineering program for their project entitled, “Assessing chemical and microbiological contamination in environmental waters in Eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Florence.”