Research Staff and Graduate Students

Krista Kemppinen, PhD, Adjunct Faculty

IUCN Marine Biodiversity Assessment Lead


Krista oversees our ASU-IUCN partnership projects. In coordination with scientists around the globe, she is primarily responsible for leading our re-assessments of the world’s tunas and billfishes. With training in climate science, forestry and ArcGIS, Krista’s analytical and project management skills are essential for helping with multiple IUCN partnership projects.

Christi Linardich, MSc, Research Consultant

IUCN SSC Reef Building Corals Assessment Lead


Christi oversees our re-assessments of the world’s reef building corals, in collaboration with the IUCN SSC Corals Specialist Group. In this capacity, she helps to manage our team of undergraduate research assistants, performs spatial and other technical analyses to estimate each coral species’ risk of extinction, and also provides professional facilitation for our expert workshops and peer-review processes.

Doctoral Students

Linda Howard

Biology and Society, PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences

Research Interests

Linda’s research interest is in conservation and environmental policy. More specifically, she is interested in assessing the integration of biologic research into the policy-making process. Linda is leading our work on conservation of Sonoran Desert plant species, and has recently been appointed as the Red List Coordinator for the IUCN SSC Sonoran Desert Plant Specialist Group.

Tiffany Lewis

Environmental Life Sciences, PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences

Research Interests

Tiffany is interested in how pollution effects environmental and human health, and how we can come together with communities to implement successful conservation strategies. Tiffany is leading our work on environmental contaminants, biodiversity decline and community engagement in American Samoa.

Erin Murphy

Environmental Life Sciences, PhD candidate in the School of Life Sciences

Research Interests

Erin received her Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology and her Master’s degree in Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is interested in the relationship between marine conservation and human wellness. Specifically, she hope’s to better understand how land-based pollutants can be managed at a local level to preserve important ocean resources for the communities that depend on them. Erin is leading our work on plastic pollution in the Philippines.

Luis Gutierrez

Biology and Society, PhD student in the School of Life Sciences

Research Interests

Luis graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Biological Sciences (Conservation Biology & Ecology) with minors in Sustainability and Spanish. His doctoral research uses IUCN Redlist methodology to conduct ecosystem assessments of coral habitat and coral species. Currently, he is conducting a regional analyses of coral reefs in the Caribbean, and is planning additional field research in Puerto Rico to assess the impacts of local and global threats on coral species, communities, and ecosystem function.

Masters Students

Cassidy Fredette-Roman

Biology and Society, MS student in the School of Life Sciences

Research Interests

Cassidy graduated from ASU’s Barretts Honors College in 2020. For her masters research, she is creating a trait-based risk assessment to plastic ingestion and entanglement for the world’s marine mammals.