Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Chelsea Nagy


Program Manager/ Research Scientist

Research Interests

I am a terrestrial ecologist and biogeochemist with a PhD from Brown University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am currently the Interim Director of Earth Lab and the Associate Director of ESIIL.

I'm interested in how drivers of global environmental change (e.g., climate change, invasive species, land use and management practices) affect ecosystem functions and services like carbon storage and species diversity and composition. One of my current research projects integrates lidar, hyperspectral, and plot level plant cover data to explore the relationship between forest structural and functional diversity to biotic resistance to invasion in U.S. forests. My dissertation examined the influence of land use and management practices on riparian forest structure and composition, secondary forest regrowth, and soil carbon storage in the Brazilian Amazon. In my research, I use a combination of geospatial analysis, remote sensing, ecosystem modeling, and field studies.

Current Research

I am the founder of the North Central Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (NC RISCC) network. The goal of the NC RISCC is to develop a network of researchers, managers, policymakers, and other stakeholders that will co-produce the priority research needed for management of invasive species in a changing climate. My current research explores ecosystem transformation due to the combined effects of invasive grass species and altered fire regimes and the impacts on carbon storage and biodiversity across the North Central U.S. 

Research Categories

Biology and Ecosystems, Climate and Weather
Invalid date


Invalid date -


Invalid date


Invalid date

About CECA

CECA connects and creates a supportive environment for graduate students and postdocs who come from various academic units to do research in CIRES.