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RDA/US Fellows

RDA Data Share program's objective is to encourage adoption of best practices of data sharing established through RDA and enhance early career engagement with the alliance. The program selects and awards fellows to engage with, study and contribute to the RDA. Their work includes working on the proposed projects and collaborating with one of over 50 working groups and interest groups in RDA. The Fellows receive stipends and travel support to attend RDA’s bi-annual plenaries and an orientation event.

Cohort 2016 Cohort 2015 Cohort 2014    

RDA/US Data Share 2016 Fellows

Jacob Bloom

Jacob Bloom, Software developer, Chemical Semantics, Inc.

Jacob Bloom is working on web tools to increase the accessibility, interoperability, and provenance tracking of research data.  As a Data Share fellow, he will focus on the creation of an ontology that covers computational chemistry while recruiting chemists to contribute their knowledge for inclusion in the ontology.  Jacob holds a PhD in computational chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Elise Dunham, Data curation specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Elise Dunham holds an MLS from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science where she specialized in archives and metadata. As a Data Share fellow, Elise will be developing an organization-wide curation strategy for the RDA/US.

Jillian Dunic

Jillian Dunic, Masters student at University of Massachusetts Boston

Jillian is a marine ecologist who is interested in drivers of biodiversity change and how these drivers affect marine foodwebs. In her research she has found that access and selection of open datasets in ecology can be challenging. To alleviate this problem, Jillian will create a catalogue of community-curated open datasets commonly used in marine science analyses and help develop a data access package using the statistical programming language R.

Christopher Eaker, Data curation librarian, University of Tennessee Libraries

Christopher Eaker ( is Data Curation Librarian at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), Libraries. As an RDA Data Share Fellow, Christopher will conduct a qualitative research project to learn about intrinsic and extrinsic motivations related to building a career as a researcher and how we can leverage those motivations to encourage data sharing among researchers within and across disciplines. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in information science from UTK.

Ahmed Eleish

Ahmed Eleish, Doctoral student, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Ahmed is a Multidisciplinary Science PhD student in the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With a background in computer science and a recent MSc in Information Technology, Ahmed's research lies in the areas of knowledge discovery and representation. Ahmed is working on developing existing data-related terminologies and vocabularies and exploring their integration and dissemination through a service oriented architecture.

Faraz Faghri

Faraz Faghri, Doctoral student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Faraz Faghri is a PhD Candidate in Computer Science at the UIUC. He received his BS in Applied Mathematics and MS in Industrial Engineering. He has worked as both engineer and researcher building large-scale big data cloud platforms and analyzing high volume (and velocity) Internet, health, and genomic data. These days, he is using big data to unravel the mystery of various diseases. As a Data Share fellow, Faraz is working on the development and integration of a user-centric data dissemination and distribution system to enable scalable data sharing. 

Thomas Gillespie

Thomas Gillespie, Doctoral student, University of California, San Diego

Tom Gillespie is a PhD student in the Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the representation, communication, and classification of scientific protocols and methods. For his Data Share fellowship he will be working to create an open system for identifying scientific protocols so that they can be tracked and cited independently alongside the scientific literature.

Adam Kriesberg

Adam Kriesberg, Postdoctoral fellow at University of Maryland/ USDA National Agricultural Library

Adam Kriesberg is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies and the USDA's National Agricultural Library. He received his PhD in 2015 from the University of Michigan School of Information. As a RDA/US fellow, his project with the Interest Group on Agricultural Data and the Libraries for Research Data Interest Group studies how organizations collaborate on agricultural metadata standards and semantics, and the ways in which this ongoing work intersects with research data curation practice.

Kai Li, Doctoral student, Drexel University, Metadata Research Center

Kai Li is a PhD student in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. He is a graduate research assistant working in Metadata Research Center at Drexel University. As a Data Share fellow, Kai will work with Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group and Data Citation Working group, investigating how metadata standards can facilitate citation, sharing, and reusing of software in scientific studies. 

Lindsay Poirier

Lindsay Poirier, Doctoral student, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Lindsay Poirier is a doctoral student in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her dissertation research involves an ethnographic study of the Semantic Web community. She is also the lead architect for the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography (PECE), a digital humanities platform.  As a Data Share fellow, Lindsay conducts an ethnography on the barriers to adoption of RDA standards in the humanities.

Stephanie Simms

Stephanie Simms, Research data specialist, California Digital Library, University of California Curation Center

Stephanie provides technical and policy-related support for the DMPTool, in addition to working with the 10 UC campuses and other stakeholders in the U.S. and abroad to promote data management and open scholarship initiatives. She holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Boston University and was a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA. As a Data Share fellow, Stephanie engages with the Active Data Management Plans Interest Group to reposition DMPs as living, machine-readable documents. 

Andrea Thomer, Doctoral student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Andrea Thomer is a doctoral candidate at the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research centers on biodiversity and museum informatics, data curation, and information organization.  As a Data Share fellow, she will survey the completeness and coverage of existing natural history physical sample databases.
Arika Virapongse

Arika Virapongse, Courtesy faculty, University of Florida

Arika Virapongse is a social ecologist and is currently courtesy faculty at the Tropical Conservation and Development program of University of Florida. Arika earned her doctoral degree in interdisciplinary ecology in 2013 from the University of Florida. She completed a master's of science degree in pharmaceutical botany at Khon Kaen University in Thailand and bachelor’s of science degrees in zoology and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Florida. Arika joins the RDA Data Share fellowship program to work on a project aiming to identify opportunities for improving data access for city and natural resource planners.



Ayoung Yoon

Ayoung Yoon, Assistant professor, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Ayoung Yoon is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing (IUPUI), Department of Library and Information Science. Her research interests include data curation, data sharing and reuse, open data and citizen science. As a Data Share fellow, she will investigate how community researchers share and reuse data for community development and decision-making. 

RDA/US Data Share 2015 Fellows

Morgan Daniels Morgan Daniels, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University
Morgan develops services to help researchers manage and share their research data. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan School of Information, where she studied the data management, reuse, and curation practices of several research communities. As a RDA/US fellow, Morgan conducts an ethnographic study of data sharing in an interdisciplinary team of researchers in the physical and social sciences.
Bowen Deng, Research Scientist at Montana Tech University

Bowen Deng, Research Scientist, Montana Tech University

Bowen received his Ph.D. in material science from University of Florida, Florida Laboratory for Advanced Materials Engineering Simulation. As a RDA/US Fellow, Bowen works on the project on Materials Science and Engineering Resource Registry.

Devan Ray Donaldson

Devan Ray Donaldson, Assistant Professor of Information Science, Indiana University

Devan Ray Donaldson researches within the domain of digital curation, examining digital repositories, preservation management, preservation metadata, users and issues of trust and trustworthiness in a digital preservation context. He holds a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan, a M.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Corey Jackson

Corey Jackson, Doctoral Student, Syracuse University

Corey Jackson is a PhD candidate in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, working on his dissertation proposal studying how data from crowdsourcing is integrated with existing data and workflows of professional scientists. Corey’s research concerns the impact of social computing systems in organizations and society. As a RDA/US fellow, he focuses on gathering data about the current state of policies related to data sharing, privacy, and ethics in online citizen science projects.

Sarah Ramdeen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sarah Ramdeen, Doctoral Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sarah is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before starting her PhD program, Sarah worked as a geologist at the Florida Geological Survey. As a RDA/US fellow, Sarah works with the Preservation e-Infrastructure and the Data in Context Interest Groups, investigating what other groups are working on “content standard[s] of all the materials that needs to be preserved along with the data in order to make the data re-usable”.

Cheryl Thompson, PhD Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cheryl Thompson, Doctoral Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cheryl A. Thompson is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on how organizations develop data expertise and services to support eScience. Through a case study approach, her dissertation investigates how exemplar geoscience data center and academic library have built data expertise and staff roles into their data service models.

Matthew Turner, Research Software Developer, University of Idaho

Matthew Turner works on projects to develop web-based data and science sharing tools, focusing on the issues of data interoperability and metadata. As a RDA/US fellow, Matthew works with the Metadata Interest Group on a project that seeks to enable discovery of interdisciplinary data. Specifically, he explores linking Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata records with metadata records in DataONE repository as a test case.

Nicholas Weber, Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Washington

Nicholas Weber, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Washington

Nic Weber is a Postdoc in the Data Lab at the University of Washington's iSchool. He conducts research on the sustainability of data, software, and computational infrastructures as public goods, focusing on how science policy - at both a national and international level - impact the adoption of open science practices. He is also an early career fellow with the Earth Science Informatics Partners (ESIP), and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Open Humanities Data (

2014 RDA/US Fellows


Rachael Black, Arizona Geological Survey.

Rachael received her MLIS from the University of Washington in 2013. She is based out of the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) where she is a project coordinator on the National Science Foundation’s EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance project. As an RDA/US fellow Rachael investigated how and why individuals, or institutions, choose to become involved in the Research Data Alliance as well as how RDA members integrate what they learn from RDA into practice in their work.


Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Brandon holds a doctorate in Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). As an RDA/US fellow, Brandon conducted ethnographic study of data practices in many of the fields represented in the RDA.


John Kratz, California Digital Library

John is a CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation at the California Digital Library, where he works on issues in research data publication, such as data quality assessment and data citation. As an RDA/US Fellow, John participated in the RDA/WDS Publishing Data and Long Tail of Research Data interest groups and the Publishing Services working group.


Sarah Ramdeen, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Sarah Ramdeen is a PhD student in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a RDA/US fellow, Sarah worked with the Preservation e-Infrastructure Interest Group, investigating what other groups are working on “content standard[s] of all the materials that needs to be preserved along with the data in order to make the data re-usable”. 


Anne Thessen, Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship.

Anne Thessen received her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She is currently a Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship and is the owner and founder of her own data management company, The Data Detektiv. As an RDA/US fellow, she focused on developing standards for reporting information about species.