Natalie Nelson

Assistant Professor

Dr. Natalie Nelson is the Principal Investigator of the Biosystems Analytics Lab in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at NC State. She received her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Florida with the support of a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and she has conducted research at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as a Research Affiliate and NSF Graduate Research Intern. Dr. Nelson joined BAE in August 2017.


B.S. 2012

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

University of Florida

Ph.D. 2017

Agricultural and Biological Engineering

University of Florida

Research Description

Dr. Nelson’s research takes a data-intensive, management-focused, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of complex biological system dynamics. Her specific research interests include: using data analytics and integrated models to inform agriculture, aquaculture, water, and coastal resources management; estimating estuarine system futures as a function of local and global change; identifying risks to food security in coastal basins; linking data mining and mechanistic modeling approaches; and investigating spatial and temporal dynamics of socio-environmental systems across settings and scales.


Characterizing fecally-associated bacteria in tidal floodwaters and associated risks to pedestrians
NCSU Sea Grant Program(1/01/23 - 1/31/24)
Harmful algal blooms in the Indian River Lagoon – North
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(10/13/22 - 9/15/23)
Indian River Lagoon Microalgae and Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(10/01/21 - 9/15/22)
Future of Aquatic Flows: Exploring Changes in the Freshwater/Saltwater Interface and its Impacts to Aquatic Species
US Geological Survey (USGS)(10/01/22 - 9/30/23)
Coupling Lake, Watershed, and Estuarine Models to Better Understand the Role of Engineered Freshwater Discharges in Driving the Severity, Location, and Timing of Harmful Algal Blooms
Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)(9/29/21 - 8/28/23)
Towards Real-Time Fecal Indicator Bacteria Monitoring in Coastal Waters
US Army - Corps of Engineers(3/04/22 - 3/04/25)
Developing a Pilot Data Science Extension Program to Advance Data-Driven Soybean Production
United Soybean Board(10/01/21 - 9/30/23)
Leveraging Real-Time Insect Traps and Data Analytics to Improve Corn Earworm Risk Prediction
NC Soybean Producers Association, Inc.(2/01/21 - 1/31/23)
Integrated Decision Support and Management Tools for Adaptive Public Health Practices: An Early Advisement and Reporting System for Recreational and Shellfish Harvesting Waters of the Southeast
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association - SECOORA(7/01/21 - 6/30/23)
Creating ShellBase: The Southeast Shellfish Water Quality Database
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)(1/15/21 - 1/31/22)