Sasha C Reed, Ph.D.

Dr. Sasha Reed is an ecologist focused on understanding how our planet's ecosystems work and what factors determine the services they provide. The study sites and methods Sasha uses are diverse, and with each of her projects she strives to provide scientific information that helps our nation address challenges, solve problems, and maximize opportunities.


Sasha seeks to provide useful information for land managers, policy-makers, and the general public. Sasha uses both basic and applied scientific approaches to improve our understanding of the fundamental controls over ecosystems, to determine how these systems respond to change, and to explore solutions for addressing relevant problems. Sasha works closely with a range of collaborators - including federal agency partners (BLM, NPS, DOE, DoD, BIA, USFS, USFWS) - in designing research studies, conducting information and technology transfer, and performing outreach activities. Some of her primary research interests include understanding how drought and increasing temperatures affect ecosystems, exploring a diversity of energy options for meeting national demand, assessing the consequences of exotic plant invasion and ways to combat them, and establishing novel management options for increased effectiveness and efficiency in restoration and reclamation. Sasha attempts to conduct research that is innovative, collaborative, and useful. 

Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry, the University of Colorado at Boulder (August 2002-May 2008)

  • Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR), Boulder, CO.  Co-advised by Alan R. Townsend and Steve K. Schmidt.

B.A. in Organic ChemistryColgate University (August 1993-May 1997)

  • Department of Chemistry, Hamilton, NY. Graduated magna cum laude.  Advised by David A. Modarelli.

Professional Experience

  • Research Ecologist, USGS, Moab, UT, May 2008-present.
  • Research Ecologist, USGS-SCEP Program, Moab, UT, 2005-2007 summers only.
  • Fellow, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Awarded April 2003; deferred until September 2005-May 2008.
  • Fellow, NSF IGERT Fellowship, Carbon Climate and Society Initiative (CCSI). August 2003-August 2005.

Honors and Fellowships

  • Elected Member-At-Large, Ecological Society of America (ESA). Elected by the members of the ESA to help lead the Society. August 2020-August 2022.
  • Ecological Society of America (ESA) Early Career Fellow. ESA nominates and selects early career fellows for making and showing promise of continuing to make outstanding contributions to the ecological sciences. March 2016.
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers. October 2011.
  • Star Awardreceived for outstanding work with the Department of the Interior. October 2010, May 2000.
  • Graduate Student Research and Creative Works Award, University of Colorado at Boulder. One of two of the University’s graduating Ph.D. students whose dissertation was selected by faculty members from all disciplines as representing outstanding research and creative work. May 2008.
  • USGS Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) Fellowship. Supported in creating a research project to model how soil gas fluxes in dryland ecosystems will vary under altered climate regimes. June-August of 2006 & 2007.
  • Student Policy Award, Ecological Society of America (ESA). Graduate student chosen and funded by ESA to meet with members of Congress regarding national scientific funding. September 2006.
  • AAAS Program for Excellence in Science. Nominated by the University of Colorado Vice Chancellor of Research to participate in a program rewarding praiseworthy graduate students working in the life sciences. August 2006.
  • Lawrence Award, awarded to one student annually for superior performance in organic chemistry. April 1996.
  • Phi Ea Sigma University Honor Society Awarded Membership, chosen for academic excellence. April 1994-May 1997.
  • Phi Eta Sigma Aid Committee Selected Board Member, elected for superior research to a board that selected student grant applications for funding. September 1995-May 1997.
  • Barry Goldwater Award Nominee, nationally nominated by Colgate University for academic distinction. November 1994.