Research Affiliate

Natalie Ayers is a Research Affiliate and Data Science Intern at CrisisReady, where she assists on several research and reporting efforts alongside our team of researchers.

Natalie Ayers is a PhD student in Harvard’s Department of Government studying quantitative methods and international relations. In her work with CrisisReady, she is developing automated data systems for disaster response and accessible data repositories for policy and humanitarian applications. She is also affiliated with the Institute of Quantitative Social Sciences (IQSS) at Harvard University.

Natalie’s current research focuses on developing and implementing computational methods — including geospatial analytics, natural language processing, machine learning, and large-scale data management — to improve understanding, mitigation, and recovery in conflict settings. She is also focused more broadly on data science applications for social good, particularly in policy and humanitarian settings and for improving the accessibility and equity of data science and analytics.

A key component of her work at CrisisReady revolves around the Climateverse project. Under this initiative, Natalie aims to refine the accessibility and translation of intricate climate data, intending to bolster decision-making processes related to climate change. Furthermore, during times of global crises, she works diligently alongside the CrisisReady team to gather and report on novel data. These collaborative efforts culminate in the generation of comprehensive situation reports on a diverse array of disasters worldwide, emphasizing the team’s commitment to proactive and informed responses.

Prior to her PhD study, Natalie worked as a data consultant, specializing in data engineering and visualization. She has also worked with the Center for Effective Global Action at Berkeley to build accessible geospatial analytics tutorials and with the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office to create a public health dashboard analyzing gunshot homicides and opioid deaths. She obtained her Master’s in Computational Analysis and Public Policy at the University of Chicago.


  • MS, The University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy
  • BA, Kenyon College


  • Geospatial and Computational Analysis
  • Environmental Health
  • Climate Change Action and Policy
  • International Relations and Public Policy

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