EFI Steering Committee

Elections closed on March 15, 2024 for 2 new EFI Steering Committee members

Thank you to all the candidates who ran for the 2024-2025 Steering Committee and thanks to all the EFI Members who voted in the Steering Committee election!

The EFI community elected Korryn Bodner (Unity Health Toronto) and Antoinette Abeyta (University of New Mexico Gallup). The Steering Committee appointed Michael Gerst (University of Maryland, College Park) and Alistair Hobday (CSIRO, Australia).

For future elections, if you are an EFI Member you will receive a ballot at the time of elections. If you are not an EFI Member yet, you can become a member at any time, but if you join before the March 15, 2025 voting deadline you can still vote in the election.

Per EFI’s Operating Principles and Procedures, the community will elect two Members for the Steering Committee and an additional two Members will be appointed by the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee is tasked with developing and facilitating a long-term vision and plan to advance the broader ecological forecasting community. The Steering Committee facilitates the EFI Strategic Plan and makes high-level decisions to support activities that will build our community of practice.

Steering Committee Nomination Process and Terms
Anyone who is an EFI Member is allowed to be nominated or self-nominate to run for election. Nominees will be asked to provide a short (<1 page) statement about their goals for EFI and professional qualifications, which the election subcommittee will distribute prior to the elections. Find examples of previous candidate statements in the newsletters from 2024, 2023, and 2022.

Steering Committee terms are 2 years with the committee meeting once a month with an extended meeting once a year.

If you are not already a member, you are welcome to join the EFI community in this capacity by filling out this membership form.

See the current Steering Committee members below and find details about their terms and backgrounds in this newsletter. Jason McLachlan, Quinn Thomas, and Jody Peters are ex-officio non-voting members.

2024-2025 Steering Committee

Michael Dietze
Boston University

Michael leads the Near-term Ecological Forecasting Initiative and the PEcAn Project. He is the Director of the grassroots efforts of the Ecological Forecasting Initiative and the Chair of the EFI Steering Committee.

Antoinette Abeyta
University of New Mexico Gallup Branch

In order for scientific tools and research to be innovative, the tools and methods need to be accessible to people who have been historically excluded and be culturally relevant. Antoinette is interested in working with historically excluded groups with limited internet access to make forecasting and data science accessible.

Korryn Bodner
Unity Health Toronto

Korryn is broadly interested in combining near-term forecasting with One Health to predict and prevent the emergence and spread of infectious diseases that impact wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

Christopher Brown
University of Maryland

Christopher is interested in developing and transitioning local and regional scale ecological forecasts and systems of the coastal oceans to operations.

Istem Fer
Finnish Meteorological Institute

Istem is interested in forecasting terrestrial ecosystems and improving models through statistical methods.

Michael Gerst
University of Maryland

Michael's application area is in translation of ecological forecasts to actionable science for decision-making. Specifically, Michael has expertise in stakeholder engagement and decision support tool design and testing.

Alistair Hobday

Alistair's research focus is on marine ecoforecasts for pelagic species, at seasonal time scales and marine heatwave forecasting.

Kayode Oshinubi
Northern Arizona University

Kayode's current research deals with the use of data science and machine learning tools for statistical data in disease ecology. Kayode has been able to publish some papers and some in review on forecasting of epidemics.

Anna R. Sjodin
Environmental Protection Agency

Anna is interested in forecasting the risk of viral infection and transmission through space and time.  Anna is the Interim Associate Chair for the Steering Committee.

Jason McLachlan
University of Notre Dame

Jason is using experiments, paleo observations, model prediction, and prior studies in a Bayesian assimilation framework strengthen predictive forecasting of salt marshes. Jason is a non-voting member on the EFI Steering Committee.

Quinn Thomas
Virginia Tech

Quinn works to predict the future of forest and freshwater ecosystems by combining observations and ecosystem models using statistical techniques. He is the PI of the EFI Research Coordination Network and he is leading the NEON Ecological Forecasting Challenge. He is a non-voting member on the EFI Steering Committee.

Jody Peters
University of Notre Dame

Jody is the Program Manager of EFI. She coordinates EFI activities to promote collaboration and communication both within and outside of EFI. She is a non-voting member on the EFI Steering Committee.