Natalie Nelson, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator & Assistant Professor

Sheila Saia, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Lise Montefiore

PhD Candidate & SECASC Global Change Fellow

Emine Fidan

PhD Student & Former NC Space Grant Fellow

Mariella Carbajal Carrasco

PhD Student, Co-Advised by Dr. Mike Boyette

Natalie Von Tress

MS Student & NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Megan Carr

MS Student, Co-Advised by Dr. Lucie Guertault

Stanton Parham

ShellCast Web Developer


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





Submitted and Under Review:

  • Tiffany Messer, Trisha Moore, Natalie G. Nelson, Laurent Ahiablame, Eban Bean, Chelsie Boles, Sonja Cook, Steven Hall, John McMaine, and Derek Schlea, Constructed Treatment Wetlands for Agroecosystems: A Synthesis for Nutrient Removal, Submitted (Feb 24, 2020)

  • Martin J. Wells, Troy E. Gilmore, Natalie G. Nelson, Aaron Mittelstet, and JK Böhlke, Determination of vadose and saturated-zone nitrate lag times using long-term groundwater monitoring data and statistical machine learning, Submitted (Apr 15, 2020), discussion open for comments

  • Samiul Haque, Edgar Lobaton, Natalie Nelson, Craig Yencho, Kenneth Pecota, Russel Mierop, Michael Kudenov, Mike Boyette, and Cranos M Williams, Computer vision approach to characterize size and shape phenotypes of horticultural crops using high-throughput imagery, Submitted (Jul 9, 2020)

  • Alice Alonso*, Natalie G. Nelson, Simeon Yurek, David Kaplan, Maitane Olabarrieta, and Peter Frederick, Estimating the influence of oyster reef chains on freshwater detention at the estuary scale using Landsat-8 imagery, Submitted (Aug 5, 2020)

Peer-Reviewed Extension Fact Sheets

  • Natalie G. Nelson, Layla El-Khoury***, and Mike Boyette (2020), Interpreting Freeze / Frost Probabilities from the National Centers for Environmental Information, NC Cooperative Extension, Fact Sheet AG-873

  • Sheila Saia* and Natalie G. Nelson, Rainfall and Shellfish Harvest Closures Along the North Carolina Coast, NC Cooperative Extension, Fact Sheet, Under review

  • Sheila Saia* and Natalie G. Nelson, Getting Data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Using R, NC Cooperative Extension, Fact Sheet, Under review

  • Natalie Von Tress** and Natalie G. Nelson, Detecting Blue-Green Algal Blooms with Satellite Imagery, NC Cooperative Extension, Fact Sheet, Under review

Teaching and Training

Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates:


  • BAE 495 / 590: R Coding for Data Management and Analysis (offered every fall, distance ed)
  • BAE 565: 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
  • Intro to local and global sensitivity analysis
  • Big data and biological & agricultural engineering
  • Challenges and opportunities for application of process-based models and predictive analytics in water quality management decision-making
  • Tracking environmental change from space (for 3rd-5th graders)


If you’re interested in broadening your students’ perspectives through podcasts, check out this 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

More on the Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowship.


Congratulations to Natalie for receiving a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!


As a 2020 USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center Science to Action Fellow, Lise will spend time at the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center in Massachusetts this fall to develop an interactive web-based decision-support tool as part of the last chapter of her dissertation, which focuses on estimating estuarine vulnerability to water quality change under potential future climate and land use scenarios. Many congratulations, Lise!


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!