Welcome to our new faculty!
The Department of Biological Sciences was excited to welcome two new faculty members this fall. Both will play a key role in the Environmental Science major and Environmental Studies minor as well as supporting students in our biology program.
Dr. Yingying Xie is a nationally recognized expert on the effects of climate change on fall foliage patterns.
Dr. Yingying Xie, Assistant Professor
My background is plant ecology. I'm interested in the spatial and temporal interactions between plants and the environment. My research focuses on the impacts from global change on plant phenology (i.e., the timing of life cycle events) and associated species interactions and ecosystem processes. Shifts in plant phenology (e.g., flowering time) can have substantial ecological and economic impacts. Understanding how plant phenology responds to environmental variation is critical in assessing the impacts and predicting the future. I work with scientists in multiple disciplines, undergraduate students, and local land managers. I use integrated approaches including natural history, citizen science network, field observation, and a variety of remote sensing techniques (ranging from time lapse cameras to Unmanned Aerial Vehicle systems and satellites) to identify the mechanisms, patterns, forecasts, and consequences. Besides my ecology study, I’m also interested in improving pedagogical knowledge and skills and applying active learning activities in college class teaching and learning. Before I came to the United States in 2010, I got my Master’s degrees in Ecology at Beijing Forestry University in China. Then I finished my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2016 at University of Connecticut. I worked as a postdoc in the Department of Geography in University at Buffalo (2016 – 2018), and in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue (2021 – 2022). I also worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Program in Environmental Sciences at Northwestern University (2018 – 2021).
Dr. Xie was identified as a national expert on the subject of climate change impacts on fall foliage by the American Association of State Climatologists.
Dr. Sydney Oluoch has extensive national and international experience in sustainability and environmental economics issues.
Dr. Sydney Oluoch, Assistant Professor
I previously worked at the Clean Energy and Sustainability Analytics Center (CESAC) at Montclair State University as post-doctoral research assistant. As a new faculty in Biological Sciences, I am excited to join a dedicated team in the environmental science program. Through my work at NKU, I hope to grow and learn and develop new curriculum and research focuses. My research interests pivot around applying quantitative methods such as stated preferences, revealed preferences, econometrics, and modelling to answer key environmental concerns spanning both urban and rural societies, in both developing and developed world contexts.
My research interests pivot around applying quantitative methods such as stated preferences, revealed preferences, econometrics, and modelling to answer key environmental concerns spanning both urban and rural societies, in both developing and developed world contexts. I strive to integrate practical environmental science and management approaches to key research questions on energy transition, renewable energy, energy security, and environmental justice. Specifically, I am interested in exploring how to integrate the public perspective in the development of environmental policies. My focus on sustainability science has a strong emphasis on human-environmental interactions, climate risks and responses, species conservation and natural resource management. During my free time, I enjoy travelling to new places I have never visited and meeting new people, every place and culture has a story to tell and the experiences you get make you understand the true nature of humankind.