WHO WE ARE

Contributor

Linh Anh CAT

From Orlando, FL, Linh Anh obtained her two Bachelor's Degrees in Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies (Environmental Policy, Planning, and Values) from the University of Central Florida. She then moved west and obtained her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Irvine, studying the ecology of airborne fungal disease dispersal in the environment. After serving at Capitol Hill as a Public Policy Fellow for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and a stint as a postdoc at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Linh Anh is now Chief of Resources Management and Science at the National Park Service. 


Linh Anh has been a science writer with bylines at Forbes and acts as the co-creator and the Science Policy Coordinator of Reclaiming STEM, an inclusive workshop on science communication and science policy that reaches diverse and under-represented graduate and undergraduate students; outside of science, she has won 1st Princess at a pageant--Miss Vietnam of Southern California, and enjoys buying edible souvenirs like snacks or tea in pretty containers when she is traveling.

Contributor

Beth BARTEL

From Kirkland, WA, Beth obtained her B.A in Geology (Honors), Spanish Language and Literature from Whitman College, and M.S. in Geophysics from Indiana University Bloomington. She has worked for UNAVCO (the independent non-profit that operates the National Science Foundation’s geodetic facility which supports scientists making high-precision measurements of the earth’s surface) for over 15 years, first as a field engineer and data technician, and after obtaining an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication - Print and Broadcast from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as the Science Communication and Outreach Specialist. Beth once performed in a lounge act in McMurdo Station, Antarctica; she is also a pop-up book fan, especially sciency ones.

Contributor

Nicole E. FÉLIX VÉLEZ

From Isabela, Puerto Rico, Nicole is now an undergraduate majoring in Biological Engineering at Cornell University after two years at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Passionate in Immunology, Immunoengineering and Cancer Biology, she is a PR-SPAN Ambassador for Ciencia Puerto Rico and an NPR Scicommer as a face of the Puerto Rican scientific research community. Before going into science and engineering, Nicole wanted to be a fashion designer and took four years of fashion design and sewing classes.

Contributor

Pike SPECTOR

From Los Angeles, CA, Pike graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology. He spent a year working as a fishery observer on commercial fishing boats, and a summer diving with the National Park Service, before earning a M.S. in Biology from San Diego State University. During his time at SDSU, Pike worked on an NSF funded project in the Aleutian Archipelago, and conducted field work for his thesis from Monterey, CA, to Baja California. He is passionate about ecology and ecosystem resilience during the Anthropocene, science communication, and outreach and education (see Pike's blog). Currently, Pike is a California Sea Grant state fellow with NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary where he works on policy and sanctuary management, and outreach and education. Pike is passionate about field work, and once crossed the equator off of the west coast of Africa on a Russian icebreaker. In his free time, Pike loves to surf, rock climb, and play the banjo."  

Contributor

Adam PASCALE

Born to Italian immigrants in Melbourne, Australia,  Adam is the Chief Technology Officer at the Seismology Research Centre, where he has worked since graduating from RMIT University in 1991 with a degree in Computer Science (Instrumentation). Apart from general observational seismology, most of Adam's research work has been in the design of earthquake recording and data analysis tools, with a focus on user interface to make the tools accessible to students and other inexperienced operators. Adam is a father of an adult son with autism, while he enjoys sports cars, motorcycles, graphic design, and baking  in his spare time. 

Contributor

Sydney SUNNA

From Phoenix, AZ and raised in Indonesia, Sydney obtained a double major in B.Sc in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science and Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Arizona. She is now a Neuroscience PhD student at Emory University, analyzing the different proteomes of different cell types in nervous-tissue. Sydney has a handsome tuxedo cat named Vonnegut. 

Contributor

Jamie MITCHEM

From rural South Carolina southwest of Spartanburg, Jamie obtained his B.S. in Geophysics and Seismology from University of South Carolina, M.S. in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology from North Carolina State University, and Ph.D. in Geography from South Carolina. After serving as an Assistant Professorship at California University of Pennsylvania and Gainesville State College, Jamie is collaborating with University of South Carolina and University of Central Florida on a multi-state study of evacuation behavior of coastal residents during Hurricane Matthew as a Professor of Geography/ GIS at University of North Georgia. Jamie still holds the double dutch jump rope record at his elementary school. 

Contributor

Vidya BALASUBRAMANYAM

From Bangalore, India, Vidya got her B.Sc. in Environmental Science, Chemistry and Botany from St. Joseph's College, and completed her M.S. in Natural Resources at University of Missouri-Columbia. She now works as a Coastal Specialist for the Illinois Coastal Management Program at the University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute. Like a lot of people, Vidya is at her most creative when eating, and the holiday season is her favorite.

Contributor

Leni KRSOVA

From Hradec Králové, Czechia, Lenka "Leni" Krsova obtained her B.A. in Theatre Theory and Critics in the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and followed up with an M.A. in New Media Studies from the Charles University in Prague. Her research focuses on social networks, data privacy and information flow. Now a Ph.D. student in Information Science and Technology at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, Leni analyses data despite failing Math since 3rd grade.

Contributor

Rutuja DHAMALE

From Nagpur, The Orange City of India, Rutuja received her Master's Degree in Conservation Project Management from the University of Kent, and is now a Research Associate for the Wildlife Conservation Trust, headquartered in Mumbai, India.  

Contributor

Sabah UL-HASAN

From Salt Lake City, Utah, Sabah obtained her three Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental & Sustainability from University of Utah, and completed her M.S. in Biochemistry with a Marine Science focus in University of New Hampshire. After recently finishing Ph.D. in Quantitative & Systems Biology at University of California, Merced, with research interests centering on the biotic interactions plant or animal hosts and their microbes, Sabah is transitioning into a new role as a dual Applied Bioinformatics Lecturer and Postdoctoral Scholar at the Scripps Research Institute. Sabah is an American who enjoys eating Vegemite (an Australian delicacy) every day for breakfast and her favorite animal is the spiny lumpfish. She is also part of The Biota Project, a science outreach and education organization. 

Contributor

Roisin CONNEELY

From London, UK, Roisin obtained her B.Sc.in Biology at Queen Mary University of London, and her M.Res. in Biodiversity, Evolution, and Conservation at University College London. Despite her varied research interests, Roisin remains particularly interested in evolutionary genetics. Roisin is a self-described "tea addict", and has four cats. She also co-runs the Seeking Science blog.

Contributor

Bradley van PARIDON

From Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Brad got his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Lethbridge in Parasitology and Molecular Biology. He studied the parasite Dicrocoelium dendriticum, a liver fluke of mammals famous for taking control of its ant intermediate host. Since graduation, Brad has been one half of the Two Brad for You podcast and a freelance writer for publications including Scientific American. Living in Marburg, Germany, he is an avid music lover and retains his stereotypical Canadian love of ice hockey.

Founding Contributor

Michelle NEIL

From Redland City, QLD, Australia, Michelle “Shell” Neil graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemistry/ Forensic Science. She is now a forensic analyst in Queensland, performing screening and quantitation of biological samples for drugs. Outside of science, Shell plays the saxophone in a 20-piece big band, has a regular guest spot on local podcast RadioRED, volunteers her time with local schools as part of CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools, is a keen science communicator and is the volunteer Social Media Moderator and Secretary of Australian Citizen Science Association. 

Contributor

Ying-He Celeste LÜ

From Shanhaiguan, Hebei Province, China, Celeste obtained her B.S. in Physics from Peking University and is working on her Ph.D. in Physics - Astronomy and Astrophysics in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, understanding active galactic nuclei feedback in the cores of galaxy clusters. Celeste has an unhealthy obsession with dairy products from different cultures; while in high school, she obtained the nickname “Queen of Theorems” as she would always remember the names of mathematicians the theorems are named after.

Contributor

Sneha DHARWADKHAR

From Vadodara, Gujarat, India, Sneha graduated from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and obtain an M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from Bharathidasan University. Working for the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Sneha coordinates and implements Wild Shaale, an environmental and conservation education program that aims to foster interest and build awareness in rural children living in proximity to wildlife. Additionally, she leads a citizen science project on the freshwater turtles and tortoises of India, including the surveying of the Leith's softshell turtle in Maharashtra. Outside of tending to herps. Sneha is an avid birder and painter.


Contributor

Karmela PADAVIC-Callaghan

From Omišalj, Croatia, Karmela obtained her B. A. in Physics and a B. S. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and is currently wrapping up her Ph. D. in theoretical physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Karmela's research centers on the intersection of theoretical condensed matter physics and atomic, molecular and optical physics. More plainly, she is interested in emulating or simulating properties of physical systems by using ultracold atoms. She is also interested in the basic properties of such ultracold atomic systems in novel and complex geometries, for instance, having been involved with work discussing ultracold atomic bubbles currently being studied aboard the International Space Station. Karmela has been to almost as many Iron Maiden concerts as has been to American Physical Society conferences. In a given semester, she goes through eyeliner and scratch paper at a comparable rate.

Contributor 

Silvia SECCHI

From Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, Silvia has made many stops around the world, including the Italian-Slovenian border, the United Kingdom, and the Midwestern United States. Currently serving as an Associate Professor in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa, Silvia's research focuses include the environmental impacts of agriculture, water sustainability, and floodplain policy. Silvia and her daughters used to volunteer at a wildlife rehab center. They fed vultures, bald eagles, and lots of owls. They also released rehabbed animals on their property. 

Contributor

Carrie WEIDNER

From Austin, TX, Carrie obtained her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is currently a postdoc in Jacob Sherson's group at Aarhus University in Denmark. She currently carries out experiments in ultracold atomic physics (especially quantum gas microscopy), does theoretical work in quantum optimal control, and develops quantum-related games and tools for citizen science and other educational efforts. Carrie was born two months premature and weighed in at 4 lb, 8 oz (about 2 kg). Her parents bought her doll clothes to wear and had to order special diapers because she didn't fit into anything sold at normal stores. 

Contributor

Sushant MEHAN

From Punjab, India, Sushant graduated with B.S. and M.S degrees from Punjab Agricultural University in Soil and Water Engineering. He then completed his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University and is now a senior agricultural engineer and hydrologist for Formation Environmental LLC in Sacramento, California. Sushant is passionate in hydrologic modeling and solving issues related to water crises of various scales, and uses high-level programming languages to understand and simulate current and future climate. Interestingly, Sushant can write and speak poetry on any topic at any instant in 3 different languages.

Contributor

Michael EVANS

From Louisville, KY, Michael graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in Chemistry in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the First-Year Chemistry Laboratory Coordinator at Georgia Tech, researching into mechanistic reasoning by organic chemistry students. Michael once met a future Nobel laureate in chemistry and decided not to join his research group. Also, at his wedding, the table “numbers” were pharmaceutical drugs. Guests had to match up the name on their card with the structure on the table. 

Founding Contributor

Harry TAM

From Hong Kong, Harry has a B.S degree from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He researches in theoretical condensed matter physics, fulfilling his grade school dream of becoming a physicist. He is fascinated most by the entanglement and emergent phenomena in interacting electronic systems (such as superconductivity), as well as the topological phases of matter. Harry also enjoys collaborations with experimentalists, as theories and experiments integrate rapidly in his field. Despite all the forward-thinking research, Harry tends to be old-school. Once his friends wondered whether he comes from the Chinese Qing dynasty (300 years ago); now they figured out that he must have belonged to the Tang Dynasty (1300 years ago).

Contributor

Lewis STAGNETTO

Gibraltar native Lewis graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BSc (Honours) in Computer Science and the University of Southampton with a BSc (Honours) in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography with 1st Class Honours. He is now is a Ph.D. student within the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences, at the University of Gibraltar, presently researching how changes in carbon chemistry, prompted by increases in atmospheric CO2, will alter the ability of Coccolithophore species to calcify. He also volunteers for The Nautilus Project and has a monthly column at The Gibraltar Magazine

Contributor

Matt WILKINS

From Huntsville, AL, Matt Wilkins obtained a BA in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Spanish Linguistics from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has now returned to Vanderbilt as a postdoc fellow with research interests in birdsong evolution, sexual selection and STEM education. Matt can walk on his hands and did standup open mics during grad school.

Contributor

Meredith SCHMEHL

From Enola, PA, Meredith got two B.S. degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Duke University. Her research investigates how sensory experience guides behavior, and explores neural circuits and computation. Meredith has played the cello since 8 and was a Girl Scout for 13 years; up to this date she still has a lifetime Scout membership and enjoys participating in orchestras or chamber ensembles. 

Contributor

Whitney WEIGEL

From Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Whitney graduated from the University of Louisville with a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa after having completed a previous postdoctoral fellowship at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany. Her current postdoctoral research focuses on understanding the role of the microbiome and virome in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. When not working in the lab, she enjoys bird watching. When she moved to Germany, she bought a CD detailing 50 songs of the local birds so that she could identify them by sound alone.

Contributor

Toby SANTAMARIA

From South Tucson, Arizona, Toby has a B.A. in biology from Kenyon College and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecosystems Science and Management at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the movement and storage of carbon at the ecosystem level, especially in response to climate change or human management. Toby didn’t learn to drive until she was 23, and she accidentally once ate Minke whale at the behest of a Venezuelan fisherman in Norway.

Founding Contributor

Chun Man CHOW

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering Science. He then completed his M.Phil. in Advanced Chemical Engineering at Cambridge as one of fifteen 2016 Churchill scholars and is now a Ph.D. student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dan works at the intersection between chemical and environmental engineering and is developing novel electrochemical systems for water treatment and environmental remediation.

Contributor

Adriana ROMERO-OLIVARES

From Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, Adriana obtained her B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Molecular ecology and Biotechnology from the Autonomous University of Baja California. Soon afterward, she moved across the U.S.-Mexico Border and received an M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine. Adriana now serves as a Diversity and Innovation Scholar at the University of New Hampshire and will start her lab at the New Mexico State University beginning in August 2020; she focuses on the ecosystem-scale consequences in biogeochemical cycles of fungal adaptation to global climate change. Adriana has a tattoo a litter composer on her leg, and she has stayed at 5'9 tall since 12 years old.

Contributor

Daniel INAFUKU

From Honolulu, Hawaii, Daniel obtained his B.S. in Math and Physics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is working towards his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He conducts research in the fields of mathematical biology and biophysics, in particular, devising models of complex enzymes, such as the ribosome, polymerases, and ion channels, and understanding how they process information and perform computations. Daniel is an avid book reader, tennis fan, and traveler; surprisingly, he has never surfed before.

Contributor

Laurie LUCKRITZ

From Warrensburg, MO, Laurie obtained a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Central Missouri with a Minor in Religious Studies and is now pursuing her M.S. in Biological Sciences with a research focus on frog species richness and the chytrid fungus impact on population levels. She is a Science Communication Fellow for the National Centre for Science Education. Laurie  I plays the guitar and has a cute Chihuahua-Japanese Chin mix named Gizmo.

Contributor

Eve FRANKEL

From Warsaw, Poland, via New York State, Eve obtained a B.A. in Literature from American University, and is now the Director of Strategic Communications for The Nature Conservancy  (TNC) in Vermont, United States. As chief storyteller, Eve works with the TNC's science, policy, and philanthropy teams to develop their collective “outside voice” to build support for a future where both people and nature thrive in the face of a changing climate. She also lead presentations and workshops on “The Science of Storytelling” throughout the New England region. As an immigrant, Eve didn't learn English until she was seven; she is a nordic ski enthusiast concerned about the increasingly volatile winter seasons in Vermont.

Contributor

Orad RESHEF

From Montreal, QB, Canada, Orad obtained his B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Physics at McGill University.  He then obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Harvard University, joining Prof. Eric Mazur to work on photonic titanium dioxide, integrated zero-index metamaterials, and their applications in nonlinear optics. Currently, Orad is a Banting postdoctoral fellow under Robert Boyd in the CERC group at the University of Ottawa. He is interested in scalable integrated photonic devices, and on engineering nonlinear interactions and devices that are not typically found in nature by structuring materials on the nanoscale. Orad's Erdős number is 4, and his favorite food is probably poutine. 

Contributor

Ana ZAMBRANA

From Montevideo, Uruguay, Ana graduated from University of the Republic (Uruguay) with an Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a Master's degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology.  She researched in iron biofortified rice at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Switzerland) within the department of Plant Molecular Biotechnology, and now focuses on Type 1 Diabetes. Ana is part of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Public Outreach Committee, the Board of Directors of the Movimiento Scout del Uruguay (Uruguayan Scout Movement), and is a founding member of "Bardo Científico". 

Contributor

Wendy BOHON

From Maryland, Wendy graduated from James Madison University in 1998 with a degree in Theatre and Geology. She then spent 7 years working as the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Pasadena, CA. After that, she completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D in Geology at Ohio State University and Arizona State University respectively, specializing in paleoseismology and earthquake geology. Giving birth to twins two months after finishing her Ph.D., Wendy is now the Science Communication and Informal Education Specialist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. 

Contributor

David COYLE

From Harmony, MN, the "Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota", David received his B.A. in Biology from Luther College, M.S. in Entomology and Forestry in Iowa State University, and Ph.D. in Entomology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an Assistant Professor of Forest Health and Invasive Species at Clemson University, he focuses on insects, fungi and invasive plants across the Southeastern United States. David used to model clothes and tools for Gemplers, a horticultural supply company; he also had a pet cow when he was younger and won a trophy at a 4-H fair. 

Contributor

Bethann Garramon MERKLE

From Choteau, MT, Bethann obtained her B.S. in Environmental Studies, Fine Art and Wilderness Studies from the University of Montana, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Wyoming where she is now an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Zoology and Physiology. Bethann co-founded the Communication and Engagement Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and is also the founding editor of the Communicating Science department of The Bulletin, ESA's oldest journal. Bethann used to be deathly afraid of spiders (and anything that seemed like a spider), until her first illustration commission required hours at a microscope, drawing aquatic, benthic macroinvertebrates. 

Contributor

Priya SHUKLA

From San Rafael, CA, Priya graduated from University of California, Davis (UCD) with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Management, pursued a M.S. in Ecology in San Diego State University, and returned to UCD for her Ph.D in Ecology. Her dissertation focuses on the influence of climate change stressors on shellfish aquaculture. Priya is a PAGE fellow with Imagining America, and a National Science Foundation Research Trainee in the UCD Sustainable Oceans Program, and a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine

Contributor

Sara CANNON

Sara grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in rural Maryland and obtained a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She obtained her B.Sc. at University of British Columbia at Vancouver (UBC) and is now a Ph.D. student, Vanier Scholar, and Ocean Leaders Graduate Fellow there. Sara splits her time between UBC, and the Republic of Marshall Islands, attempting to understand the ways that people affect the health of coral reefs, and how the health of coral reefs affect people. 

Contributor

Adam BODLEY

Originally from Devon in the UK (but born in Stoke-on-Trent), Adam graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc (Honours) in microbiology and virology. He followed this up with a Master’s degree by research in environmental science from Coventry University, while working as a research assistant. Following a stint in public health for a few years, Adam decided to have a change in career and re-trained as a biology teacher, obtaining a Master of Arts in Education from the Open University in the UK. Adam is a keen traveler, photographer, and scuba diver, and in 2017 he achieved every biologist’s dream when he visited the Galapagos Islands.

Contributor

Krista MELGAREJO

From Davao City, Philippines, Krista is “your friendly neighborhood marine scientist currently based in Quezon City, Philippines.” (We would agree with that statement) Obtaining an undergraduate degree in food technology from University of Philippines (U.P.) Mindanao, Krista has since switched her career track, and is currently in her final year of obtaining a Master’s Degree in Marine Sciences at the U.P. Diliman. Her graduate research study covers how environmental stresses affect marker genes on endangered giant clams.  While not focusing on her studies, Krista is also an ambassador in her home country for CitizenScience.Asia. 

Founder and Editor

Alex IP

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Alex is pursuing his B.S. in Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Proud to be a first-generation college student, Alex is an HKSES Scholar, Lee Hysan Memorial Scholar, and Climate Reality Leader trained by former VPOTUS Al Gore. He has been selected to 10×10×TECH by Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, and the Millennium Fellowship. Outside of school, you might find him on the basketball court, at the church, or inside a museum.

 

Story Source

Luna ZAGORAC

From Belgrade, Serbia, Luna obtained her B.A. from Colgate University in Physics/ Astronomy and Anthropology. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in Physics at Yale University, researching theoretical particle cosmology and ultra-light dark matter. Luna can read and write Latin and Middle Egyptian; she is working to get on a roller derby team. 

Featured Scientists

Wild Green Memes for Ecological Fields

Founded in 2017 by a group of University of Florida Wildlife students, Wild Green Memes (WGM) has become argubly the world's largest group of wildlife and ecology enthusiasts. With over 100,000 members around the world, WGM has maintained a presence in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their podcast Wild Green Streams, changing the world one meme at a time.


Moderators interviewed include (in alphabetical order) Rhett "The Modfather" Barker, Megan Ellis-Sansone, Iona Hennessy, Gary Sansone, Curtis Sarkin, and McKenzie Toth.