Lab Members

Current Cooper Lab Members

Imani Bell Headshot



Imani Bell is a master’s student in the Cooper Lab on Crowd the Tap, an EPA-funded citizen science project to inventory water pipe materials across the country. For her thesis, Imani is examining risk of lead-in-tap-water in relation to race and economics, as well as understand how communities organize to address environmental risks. Imani received her Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of South Florida. Before coming to graduate school, Imani did field work studying rare butterflies.

Bradley Allf headshot
Bradley Allf 
is a PhD student in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. His research centers around studying the outcomes of citizen science, specifically how project participation can effect positive changes in conservation, research, and public engagement in science. Before coming to NC State, Bradley worked at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and as a freelance science writer. Bradley studied biology and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and edits science poetry for ILT Review. When he’s not writing or researching you can usually find him climbing rocks or looking for salamanders.

Photo of Elizabeth Jones Dr. Elizabeth Jones is a social scientist and postdoctoral research scholar working with Dr. Cooper on a National Science Foundation research project (“Establishing Norms of Data Ethics in Citizen Science”). Elizabeth studied History and Philosophy at North Carolina State University, then earned her MA in History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University and her PhD in Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Elizabeth is working on her first book, Ancient DNA: The History and Celebrity of a Science, under contract with Yale University Press.

Murry Burgess HeadshotMurry Burgess is a master’s student in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. She earned her B.S. in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture from Mississippi State University. Her current research focuses on examining the effects of sound pollution on urban wildlife using data from existing citizen science projects. Her other research interests include animal behavior and conservation biology. In her spare time, Murry enjoys reading, creative writing, and bird watching.




Lauren Pharr headshotLauren Pharr is a master’s student in the Cooper Lab and is in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program. Her research focuses on noise and light pollution and the effects that they may have on the health and physiology of Passerine birds. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology with a minor in Biology from Wingate University. Lauren’s research at Wingate focused on studying changes in avian harmonics of the Chinese Blue-Breasted Quail (Coturnix chinensis). Lauren enjoys being in nature, loves animals, and her favorite movie of all time is “The Lion King.”  





Lab Members Co-Advised by Lincoln Larson

Sara Futch headshot


Sara Futch is a masters student in Lincoln Larson’s and Caren Cooper’s labs. She is working towards her MS in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology with a concentration in Human Dimensions. She has a BS in Psychology and BA in German from Wofford College. Her current research centers around SciStarter, an online citizen science platform, and investigating the current landscape of citizen science projects.




Lab Alumni

Maria Sharova headshot

Maria Sharova received her M.S. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology after defending her thesis “Next steps in shared management of citizen scientists: understanding project owner perspectives and volunteer connections to science” in 2020. Her research involved learning more about SciStarter participants and project owners to create a community of citizen science. Maria is currently exploring career options in public science program design and implementation.


Brittany Carson (Carson) received her M.S. in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology in 2019 after successfully defending her thesis, “Sense of place in urban neighborhoods and the perception of outdoor sounds.” Her research focused on a citizen science project called Sound Around Town, which assesses the acoustic environment in urban and suburban areas relating to noise pollution and perceptions of sound and noise. Carson is currently an intern at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii.

Suzanne Hartley (Suz) received her master’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology in 2019 after defending her dissertation “Sparrow Swap: testing management strategies for House sparrows and exploring the use of their eggshells for monitoring heavy metal pollution.” Her research focused on Sparrow Swap, a citizen science project aimed at helping bluebirders better manage invasive species and the potential to use invasive house sparrow eggs as bioindicators of environmental contaminants.



Lisa Lundgren headshot


Dr. Lisa Lundgren was a postdoctoral researcher in the Cooper Lab that studied Crowd the Tap and SciStarter. On these projects, Lisa researched how people interact within and learn about science in online citizen science environments. Lisa is currently a Postdoc at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education.




Christine Hawn headshot


Christine Hawn is now as Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. They received their PhD from NC State in 2015 and were a Post-Doc in the Cooper Lab.




Charmaine Pedrozo graduated from NC State in 2019 with an M.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. She was co-advised by Caren Cooper and Lincoln Larson. Her thesis was titled “Candid Critters and Wildlife Conservation Behaviors: Exploring the Broader Impacts of Citizen Science Participation.




Lab group at the Three Minute Thesis competition.


Lab Group photo, fall 2018 (photos by Bradley Allf)



Lab group, fall 2017 (photos by Lauren Nichols)


We spend a lot of time with wild bird eggs that we receive from citizen science volunteers across the US.


and curating…
all behind a glass wall at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences…


on the computer…
managing data…
and designing new citizen science projects!

And having fun!

funny lab photo 2 funny lab photo 1