We like to say that the D-Lab is graduate student-driven because it is! By this we mean the majority of our staff are graduate students (although we are lucky to have some intrepid undergrads, well, amazing postdoctoral researchers, and faculty on our team as well.) In 2019 D-Lab introduced a new Data Science Fellows program as a way to include more graduate students in the D-Lab community. These folks are on the cutting edge of the use of data science tools and techniques within their academic disciplines. 

For example, D-Lab Fellow Aniket Kesari, a PhD student in Berkeley Law's Jurisprudence & Social Policy program, gave a presentation as part of the D-Lab Fellows talk series about his work on the use of natural language processing and machine learning to explore whether state data breach notification laws improve cybersecurity. Sergio Castellanos, a postdoctoral researcher with the CA Institute for Energy & Environment and the Berkeley Energy and Resources Group, gave a D-Lab Fellow’s talk and wrote blog posts on the use of satellite imagery and remote sensing devices to explore air pollutants and environmental justice issues. Emily Graboskwi, a PhD student in Linguistics who consults and teaches machine learning workshops at the D-Lab, wrote a blog post on her innovative work involving speech perception and machine learning.

Our fellows readily share their knowledge with the broader campus community as D-Lab workshop instructors, working group coordinators, consultants, and researchers. They also provide a tremendous amount of energy, enthusiasm and new ideas, something we can all benefit from, especially right now!

Our current fellows are listed below. Take a look at their profiles by clicking on their names to see the diverse ways in which they apply data science methods to their areas of interest and participate in the D-Lab.

Ilya Akdemir

JSD Candidate, Berkeley Law


Sergio Castellanos

Postdoctoral researcher,  CA Institute for Energy & Environment

Pelagie Elimbi Moudio

PhD student, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Caroline Figueroa

Postdoctoral Scholar,  School of Social Welfare

Emily Grabowski

PhD student, Linguistics


Aniket Kesari

PhD student, Berkeley Law


Gift Kiti

MPH Candidate,  School of Public Health

Su Li

JD student, Berkeley Law

Avery Richards

MPH Candidate, School of Public Health

Jae Yeon Kim

PhD Candidate, Political Science



Adam Bouyamourn

PhD student, Political Science



Drew Hart

Senior Fellow, 

PhD Candidate, Environmental Science, Policy and Management


Chris Kennedy

Senior Fellow, PhD student, Biostatistics


Alexander Sahn

Senior Fellow, PhD Candidate,  Political Science

Isabelle Cohen

Senior Fellow,  PhD Candidate, Economics

We are quite fortunate to have these graduate students and postdocs on our team. If you have questions or a desire to learn about an area in which they excel, sign up for a consultation or workshop with them. If you see these folks at the (virtual) D-Lab or online, say “hi” and introduce yourself!

If you are inspired to become a D-Lab Fellow, you can read more about the program here. We will post a new call for fellows sometime later this spring or in the summer  - so sign up for our mailing list to stay apprised.


Patty Frontiera

Dr. Patty Frontiera is the D-Lab Data Services Lead and a geospatial data scientist.  She is the the official campus representative for ICPSR, the Roper Center, and the Census State Data Center network, and serves as the Co-Director of the Berkeley Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC).  Patty also develops the geospatial workshop curriculum, teaches workshops and consults on geospatial topics.  Patty has been with the D-Lab since 2014 and served as the the Academic Coordinator through Spring 2017. Patty received her Ph.D.