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Forest Ecosystem Dynamics Lab People

Current Members


Madeline Franz (PhD student)



Luke Schefke (MS student)



Robbie Andrus (Postdoc)



Amanda Stahl (Postdoc)





Ivy Woltering (BS student)



Sarah Federle (right, BS student)



  • Madeline, a native of Farming, MN, received her MSc in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation from Queen Mary University of London in 2019. In the fall of 2020 she joined the Meddens lab as a PhD student, where she studies the role of fire refugia in the regeneration of plant communities in burned areas. She enjoys backpacking, canoeing and gardening.





  • Luke is originally from the Chicago area. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earth & Space Sciences. In the fall of 2021, he joined the Meddens lab as a master’s student, studying patterns of tree mortality from insect damage. He enjoys baking and hiking (and has been to multiple national parks).




  • Robbie, originally from Chimacum, WA, studies forest disturbances (bark beetles, fire) and the implications of climate change for forests. He received his Ph.D. from University of Colorado in 2019 where his research focused on forest recovery following disturbances and climate effects on forest demography in subalpine forests. He enjoys fly fishing, backcountry skiing, and mountain biking.



  • Amanda received her PhD in Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University in Summer 2020 with a research focus on riparian (streamside) ecology and conservation. She is interested in developing innovative vegetation monitoring strategies using drone and satellite imagery and joined the Meddens lab in August 2020 to study forest disturbances. She enjoys backpacking, kayaking, and gardening. (Photo credit: Tom Schierman)



  • Ivy grew up right here in Pullman, WA before pursuing a bachelors in Earth & Environmental Science here at WSU, where she is set to graduate in May 2022. She worked as an undergraduate research intern for the Meddens lab from summer 2021 – 2022, helping to gather field data and study post-wildfire forest regeneration through satellite remote sensing. She enjoys native species gardening, spending time in nature, and asking (seemingly endless) questions about plant identification.




  • Sarah is originally from Soldotna, Alaska, where she spent her free time outdoors. This translated into the pursuit of a bachelors in Forestry and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at WSU. She is currently working as an intern for the Meddens lab primarily performing drone imagery analysis studying post-wildfire forest regeneration. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, spending time outdoors, and riding horses.


Past Members


Aaron Wold (MS student)



Paige Byassee (Research technician)

Paige Byassee doing field work at Rock Creek Ranch


Anthony Martinez (MS student)

Anthony Martinez doing field work



  • Aaron is from the Tall Grass Prairie of Kansas. He moved to Washington in 2014 where he has been learning and recreating ever since. Aaron joined the Meddens lab as a masters student in the spring of 2020 and is studying the effects of drought on rangelands, while maintaining an interest in wildfires. Aaron is currently working as a Range Planner at the Okanogan Conservation District.


  • Paige earned a B.S. in Ecology and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Appalachian State University and worked as a Reserach Technician from 2019 – 2020 for the Meddens Lab. She explores spatial analysis methodologies for monitoring forest health. She enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, and working in the field.



  • Anthony earned a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Forest Management from the University of Washington, followed by a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho while working as a research assistant with Dr. Meddens. He now works for the US Forest Service as the silviculture forester for the 800,000-acre North Fork Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

Jasper Steenvoorden (MS student)

Photo of Jasper Steenvoorden

  • Jasper earned a Master of Science at the University of Idaho with Dr. Meddens—completing a a thesis on the importance of fire refugia for the persistence of Greater sage-grouse in southeastern Oregon, which was recently published in the journal: Ecology & Evolution. Jasper now works as a teacher for the undergraduate Future Planet Studies program at the University of Amsterdam, which focuses on grand sustainability challenges, such as food production, water quality and quantity, sustainable energy, soils in a changing climate, and quality of life.