Talus Team

Ellie Graeden PhD

Ellie is the founder and CEO of Talus Analytics, bringing a scientific approach to lead high-profile projects that shape the way decisions are made in the fields of global public health, natural disaster planning and response, and risk assessment. Ellie is an accomplished researcher and data expert who has built a unique approach to data analysis, visualization, and computational modeling to inform policy and operational decision making. She earned her PhD in Biology from MIT and undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Oregon State University. In addition to her work at Talus, Ellie is Research Faculty (adjunct) at Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security and co-CEO of a collaborating company, RedZone Analytics.

Justin Kerr PhD

Justin leads research efforts company-wide, managing projects and publishing the results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Justin draws upon his background in biomedical science and a breadth of data analysis, visualization, and computational modeling expertise to address challenges in the global health security, emergency management, and public health emergency response. Justin has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of South Florida, and was previously a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Trae Wallace

Trae leads the development team at Talus, integrating strategy, research, and analysis into software prototypes built on a robust, repeatable platform. Trae has extensive experience in consulting and leading technology startups putting data to work for clients through analysis and powering innovative products. Trae brings a strong business background to Talus, including an MBA from MIT and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Philosophy from Columbia University.

Emily Lord

Emily leads project and process efforts company-wide at Talus, developing strategies and executing projects. Emily has significant experience running organizations and in public health including global preparedness and response, maternal and childhood health, mental health and the opioid crisis. Emily has an MPA focused on business and program management at the George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in political science and communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mike Van Maele

Mike brings to Talus expertise in computational modeling, designs and builds data architectures, including ontology and taxonomy development, and conducts data analysis to support client decision-making. He is a skilled programmer, data analyst, and all-around data guru who has extensive experience working with models used in emergency management and public health preparedness and response. Mike holds both an MSE in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering and an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Kelsey Smith

Kelsey is experienced in public health research and contributes to public health projects across Talus and develops the processes and structures that support Talus projects. With a background in administration, she brings a sense of organization to her work and has a special talent for moving tasks forward, while proving an adept public health researcher. Kelsey earned her MPH in Epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Alaina Case

Alaina is a skilled data storyteller and data detective who digs into details to uncover the most relevant information and solve complex problems. As Talus’ statistical lead and technical developer, she combines her scientific background with her experience as a data scientist to build data structures and transform complicated data elements into compelling stories. Alaina holds a PhD in Neuroscience from University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in Biology and Society from Cornell University.

Nate Bennett

Nate has a BS in Technology, Arts and Media from the College of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, which allows him to combine the worlds of design and technical development in his work. He loves writing elegant code to build out web interfaces and analyze data, and his experience with a range of different projects and platforms gives him the creative know-how to solve a variety of complex problems. At Talus, Nate develops insightful data visualizations and helps design clean, intuitive interfaces for exploring tough research questions.

Briana Thrift

Briana is a trained epidemiologist and data scientist who is passionate about leveraging data and mixed methodologies to highlight meaningful trends in underserved communities. At Talus, Briana conducts epidemiological, infectious disease, and health disparities research to inform decision-makers. Briana obtained her MPH in Epidemiology from San Diego State University, and her BS in Public Health from the University of California, San Diego.

Sarah Orsborn

Sarah holds a BA in International Relations and Global Economics from the University of Southern California, where she gained a foundation in social science research. She enjoys using data management and organization to refine processes, as well as combining statistical analysis and qualitative research to  explore new questions. At Talus, Sarah inventories and manages data, assists in streamlining processes to keep projects up to date, and conducts quality assurance.

Tess Stevens

Tess is a user experience designer at Talus focused on creating visuals that allow data to be thoughtfully investigated. Her work is informed by her interest in systems design, her background in writing and editing, and her commitment to clarity and functionality. Tess earned her MA in Strategic Communication Design from the University of Colorado Boulder and has an undergraduate degree in English from Northwestern University.

Ronit Langer

Ronit is an analyst and developer at Talus, combining her passion for data and policy. She has a BS in computer science from MIT, and most recently was a Scoville Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment where she worked on policy issues at the intersection of cybersecurity and biotech. She is also involved in iGEM, a synthetic biology competition for students around the world, and has represented iGEM at the Biological Weapons Convention and the Geneva Disarmament Platform.

Our Interns
Olympia Hatzilambrou

Olympia is currently an undergraduate at Harvard University concentrating in Integrative Biology, and she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology with a research emphasis on bacterial and fungal microbiology. She has experience in programming and modeling with differential equations. She uses her skills at Talus for database restructuring, interacting with U.S. Census data, and data analysis.

Ciara Patterson

Ciara is a rising senior at Gonzaga University, where she is earning a BS in Applied Mathematics with minors in Computer Science and English. She is a capable programmer and has experience working with health research data. At Talus Analytics, she is strengthening her skills in data science and analytics while helping clients make data-driven decisions.

Hailey Robertson

Hailey has a background in public health research, as she pursues an undergraduate degree in Global Health from the University of Southern California. With a strong policy-oriented skill set, she helps translate quantitative data into qualitative analysis and brings a detail-oriented look to her work. At Talus, Hailey researches domestic and international health policy, provides quality assurance to projects in development, and conducts data analysis to identify trends for clients.

Katie Dammer

Katie is an undergraduate at Georgetown University, where she is pursuing a major in Biology of Global Health and a minor in Science, Technology & International Affairs. She has a background in policy and basic science and is strengthening her skills in programming and data science. At Talus Analytics, Katie researches health policy and assists with data collection, quality, and analysis.