With Students

Meet Nafisa M. Jadavji, passionate about scientific research and mentoring!

Dr. Nafisa M. Jadavji is a Neuroscientist. She is an Assistant Professor at Midwestern University, Research Professor at the University of Arizona, and Carleton University. In 2012, she completed her doctoral training at McGill University in Montréal, Canada.  Currently, her laboratory investigates how the brain responds to different biological processes throughout the lifespan. More specifically, her lab studies how the brain responds to changes in one-carbon metabolism, with a specific focus on maternal nutrition contributions to offspring neurodevelopment, neurological diseases (e.g. ischemic stroke and vascular dementia), and aging.

Luba Orlovsky

Meet Luba Orlovsky, Analytical Research Lead, exploring how AI and Machine Learning can help businesses and customers alike!

Luba Orlovsky is the Analytical Research Lead at Earnix, a global provider of intelligent, composable, SaaS solutions for insurers and banks. At age 19, she moved to Israel to pursue her academic aspirations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and a Master of Science in operations research from the Israel Institute of Technology. During her career she’s held different analytics related roles in several companies, from algorithm developer and market analyst to head of analytics in the customer experience department and analytical research lead today in Earnix. 

Archaeologist Patricia Pillay

Meet Patricia Pillay, Archaeologist and PhD Candidate in Anthropology!

Patricia Pillay is a Doctoral Candidate  in Anthropology at the University of Auckland, who is a trained zooarchaeologist. Patricia comes from both a biological sciences and arts background in anthropology and archaeology, which have been foundational to her research. Her research focus is on human-animal long-term interactions to inform on current heritage management and conservation as well as extinction processes.

Jennifer Michaelson - Chief Development Officer, Cullinan Oncology

Meet Dr. Jennifer Michaelson – Researcher, Scientist, Executive, and Dedicated Mentor for Women in Science!

Jen Michaelson has more than 2 decades of experience in oncology, immunology and immune-oncology, and is currently serving as the Chief Development Officer at Cullinan Oncology. Jen has played an integral role in building Cullinan’s diverse pipeline over the years and continues to identify the most promising science in cancer research. Her unique background spans academia and research to pipeline and drug development for biopharma and early biotech companies. Jen is passionate about the work she does for Cullinan Oncology and about giving back in the biotech community. Jen leads by example in both her work and personal life, showing that one can be a successful scientist, raise a family, and give back to the community in more ways than one.

Dr. Judith Eschbach

Meet industry researcher Dr. Judith Eschbach, who uses innovative techniques for drug development!

Dr. Judith Eschbach is an industry researcher and Head of in vivo pharmacology at Inoviem Scientific. Eight years ago, Judith started working at Inoviem, helping identify targets for future therapies, biomarkers, and assisting in repositioning molecules. Previously, Judith worked at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in France and at the University of Ulm in Germany, where she focused on the field of neurodegeneration. She is also the co-author of 12 scientific publications.

Kristen Hege

Meet Dr. Kristen Hege, who is inspiring the next generation of female physicians and scientists to gain strength from nature!

Dr. Kristen Hege, senior vice president of Early Clinical Development, Hematology/Oncology & Cell Therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb, has been at the forefront of drug discovery and translational development for over two decades and is a leader in the burgeoning cell therapy field. Kristen and her team of clinician-scientists are pioneering new therapies that improve the standard of care for people with cancer. Kristen oversees a team of physicians and clinical scientists investigating different treatment modalities, such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, bispecific T-cell engagers, monoclonal antibodies and next-generation small molecules across multiple different cancers.


Meet Heather Eason, an electrical engineer who has the #powertomakeadifference!

Heather Eason has a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, a master’s in business administration, and is a wife, mom, an entrepreneur, a CEO, and a board member. She is taking the road that once was not allowed, is currently less travelled and is blazing the trail for young females and minorities today who are interested in pursuing a STEM centered career.  She believes we all have the #powertomakeadifference.

sarah updated

Meet Sarah DiSalvatore, passionate about bringing gene therapies to patients with rare diseases!

Sarah has more than 25 years of experience in research and development; including scientific research, clinical project management, process development and the implementation and execution of early phase and multi-national clinical trials. Additional roles have included vendor management and relationships, governance structure, business development discussions with potential partners and the engagement of venture capital firms to secure funding.  Most recently, Sarah was employed with Rocket Pharma as AVP, Clinical Operations leading global clinical trials in rare diseases using gene therapy.

Erin Twamley Headshot

Meet Erin Twamley, Award-Winning Author, STEM Educator & Mother of 2 bringing the world of STEM Careers to students!

Erin Twamley is an award-winning children’s book author focused on engaging girls in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM topics. Her publications and encounters are all about promoting gender diversity and sustainability in STEM. As an avid researcher and learner, Erin’s passion lies in educating elementary-aged children about the diverse women and careers behind every facet of STEM.


Meet Dr. Marie Saitou, who was one of the 10% of female STEM-major students at the University of Tokyo, and is now a PI in Norway!

Dr. Marie Saitou is a junior principal investigator at the Centre of Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
She is originally from Japan, and did postdoctoral training in the US, and has opened her laboratory in Norway. She entered the University of Tokyo, the most prestigious university in Japan in 2008, where only 20% of students and 10% of STEM-major students were female. Female professors there enthusiastically encouraged her to study abroad to learn about inclusive and diverse academic environments, which led her to seek my postdoctoral fellowship in the United States. Now Marie has her own research group in Norway, where is one of the most advanced countries regarding gender equality and work-life balance. She is trying to lead the field to promote intellectual diversity and interdisciplinarity.

Dr. Grisselle Centeno at Florida Polytechnic University, where she serves as the director of the Health Systems Engineering program and a professor in the department of Data Science and Business Analytics

Meet Dr. Grisselle Centeno, bridging the gap between women and STEM!

Dr. Grisselle Centeno is director of the Health Systems Engineering program and a full professor in the department of Data Science and Business Analytics at Florida Polytechnic University. Her passion for STEM began at a young age, greatly influenced by her father. Now, Dr. Centeno is leveraging the Health Systems Engineering program to attract more women to the field. As a professor in a leadership position, she is a role model for women who seek to rise in the ranks of academia. In addition to, and often hand-in-hand with her professional endeavors, Dr. Centeno immerses herself in philanthropic causes such as ethical development, mental health advocacy, and women’s leadership development.

Jill Walker

Meet Dr. Jill Walker — collaborator, strategist and nontraditional scientist!

Dr. Jill Walker has 15 years of experience in pharmaceutical research, currently serving as Senior Director of Preclinical Development and Translational Sciences at Horizon Therapeutics. Her work centers on preclinical research into the mechanisms of medicines and molecular targets for the treatment of rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases. She received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

Shyama dusting of animal bones at Athribis (Egypt).

Meet Shyama Vermeersch, passionate about animal bones of the past, gender equity and diversity!

Shyama Vermeersch is a zooarchaeologist and is currently a PhD student at the University of Tübingen (Germany). Her research focusses on subsistence and agricultural practices during the Bronze and Iron Ages in the southern Levant. Previously, she obtained a B.A. and M.A. in Egyptology from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and a M.Sc. in Archaeological Sciences from the University of Tübingen (Germany). Over the years, Shyama has become more active on issues of gender equity and diversity in science and is the coordinator of the Lise Meitner Society Tübingen, a non-profit organisation working towards gender equity in STEM.


Meet Ayushi Agarwal, an Indian Ph.D. student researching low-power Artificial Intelligence systems – passionate to make a difference!

Ayushi Agarwal is a Ph.D. student in New Delhi, India. She studied a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, before beginning a Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. Her research focuses on bringing Artificial Intelligence to edge devices like smartphones, mobiles, and IoT. Apart from her research, she loves traveling and adventure and is passionate about contributing to bringing social change in the community and bridge the gender gap in science and technology.

Gabriela Raducan and PhD Supervisor

Meet Dr. Gabriela Raducan – Researcher & Wildfires Specialist – passionate to make a difference!

Gabriela Raducan is the founder and director of Tech4Future, a not-for-profit focused on research and education, located in Melbourne, Australia. Gabriela is a physicist with extensive knowledge in Advanced Data Science and ICT and a multidisciplinary background. She completed the PhD degree at RMIT University Melbourne, Australia, where she undertook deep research in the wildfires field. Gabriela is very passionate about research and about mentoring and helping younger generations succeed in life.

Kaylyn Tousignant

Meet Kaylyn Davis Tousignant – communicating the gut microbiome to the public!

Promoting health to others is the biggest driving factor for Kaylyn Davis Tousignant – Scientific Writer with gut microbiome analysis company Microba. Kaylyn is a recent PhD student who has submitted her thesis and is awaiting graduation. She received her Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Biology in 2015 and completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2019. In 2015 she received the Lumen Prize Research Award. She is a Scientific Writer who works hard to stay up to date on the latest research and translates the information into laymen content for a generalist audience.

Dr Nicola Angel

Meet Dr Nicola Angel – heading up an Australian gut microbiome sequencing laboratory!

Dr Nicola Angel wants to see Australian scientists progress to make meaningful impacts globally, particularly in the area of gut microbiome analysis and research guided treatment breakthroughs. Nicola is the Head of Laboratory Operations for Brisbane-based Microba’s production laboratory and NATA accredited clinical test. Her role is busy, complex, detailed and covers many areas of operations which she says are ‘interesting’ and ‘dynamic’. She has a Bachelor of Science with Honours I and a Doctorate of Philosophy. She started her training in immunology and drug discovery and design and went on to work in research, management, consultancy and service provision throughout the career.

Portrait Picture

Meet Neelam Patel, a Canadian Low Vision Specialist competing for Miss Universe Canada 2020!

Neelam Patel obtained her master’s of science degree from Université de Montréal with a specialization in vision rehabilitation and is a certified low vision specialist. She is currently working full time for Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada. She helps visually impaired individuals adjust to their vision loss by educating them on their visual diagnosis, introducing optical and non-optical assistive devices and teaching adaptive techniques. In addition, she is currently competing for Miss Universe Canada 2020 and has designed her platform to focus on promoting higher education and advocating for people with visual disabilities. Since it is 20/20, it is the perfect year to discuss ocular health!

Meet Dr Ipek Saralar-Aras, a Turkish maths teacher conducting research on geometry and educational technologies!

Ipek is a qualified mathematics teacher who works on designing lessons to improve students’ understanding of spatial geometry. She has worked, volunteered and trained in numerous schools in Turkey and England. She graduated from the Middle East Technical University in June 2014 with a BSc and in April 2016 with an MSc in Mathematics Education. She joined the University of Nottingham’s Learning Science Research Institute in September 2015 as an MA student in Learning, Technology and Education. Successfully completing the requirements for her MA degree in September 2016, she continued her studies with a PhD in Education in the same institute. She worked as a doctoral researcher and a research assistant at the University of Nottingham in the School of Education. She successfully defended her PhD thesis in March 2020 and received her doctorate in Education from the University of Nottingham, England. She is currently an academician and an education expert at the Turkish Ministry of National Education.

Daisy with the superconducting solanoid

Meet Daisy Shearer, an experimental quantum physicist finding ways to control the spin state of electrons!

Daisy Shearer is a PhD student at the University of Surrey working primarily within the Photonics and Quantum Sciences group at the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI). She holds an integrated master’s degree in Physics with first-class honours from the University of Surrey (2014-2018). During her degree, she cultivated a passion for experimental physics and quantum technologies. Now, she conducts applied spintronics research by finding ways to carefully control the spin state of electrons in semiconductor materials. Daisy is enthusiastic about encouraging girls to pursue STEM subjects and making science accessible to everyone.

Portrait picture of Christine Bauer

Meet Dr. Christine Bauer, who takes a human-centered approach in researching interactive intelligent systems!

Christine Bauer is an Austrian-based researcher investigating interactive intelligent systems with a focus on context-aware recommender systems. Recently, she concentrates on music recommender systems where she leverages her knowledge and background in music as well as the music business.
Her particular asset are her interdisciplinary background and her in-depth knowledge and experience in the music domain.

Sam Athey, a PhD student at the University of Toronto studying microplastic pollution.

Meet Sam Athey, an environmental chemist studying microfiber pollution!

Sam Athey is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto with a focus in environmental chemistry. She studies the sources and solutions to microplastic and chemical pollution. Sam earned her MSc and BSc with honors in marine science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she conducted research on the impacts of plastic pollution in marine and estuarine ecosystems. Sam is currently a member of the U of T Trash Team, where she spends her free time cleaning up local shorelines and participating in community outreach.

Professor Lubetzki, seminal in her field

Professor Catherine Lubetzki picks up the mantle for prestigious MS Charcot Award!

Professor Lubetzki is professor of Neurology at Pierre and Marie Curie University and head of the department of neurological diseases in Salpêtrière Hospital. She coordinates the Salpêtrière Multiple Sclerosis clinical research centre. Her research focuses on the pathophysiology of MS, notably uncovering the interactions between myelin and axons, showing that the electrical activity of axons induces myelin formation, and that positive or negative axonal signalling can impact the repair mechanism. 

Paula Iturralde-Pólit

Meet Paula Iturralde-Pólit, a PhD student who is interested in studying how the environmental factors influence fitness in species!

Paula is an Ecuadorian biologist, an ecologist, and a bat lover. She completed her Bachelor degree in Biology at Universidad Católica del Ecuador, and she did a M.Sc. in Ecology at Université François Rabelais de Tours, France. During her career she has been actively involved in projects to conserve Ecuador’s stunning biodiversity, including the design of an educational notebook for children with the aim of raising the commitment of people towards the protection of bats. She is currently a PhD student at Universidad de Costa Rica at Chaverri’s Lab where she is learning about bat bioacoustics in collaboration of the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Research Group from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.

Emma diving

Meet Emma Strand, a PhD student studying acclimatization of coral and passionate about science outreach!

Emma Strand is a Ph.D. student at the University of Rhode Island in Dr. Hollie Putnam’s lab. She studies ecophysiology and epigenetics of coral reefs under climate change stressors like ocean acidification and warming waters. Her research focuses on the patterns of gene expression, DNA methylation, and physiological stress response in order to inform effective, long-term coral restoration and conservation efforts. Outside of lab projects, she is an active science communicator and educator.

In Palma (Mallorca)

Meet Eleni Routoula, a passionate researcher about colours and science communication!

Eleni is a chemical engineer that got trained to be a materials scientist. She is currently finishing her PhD in chemical and biological engineering, at the University of Sheffield, looking on how to design, prepare and test novel biocatalyst, focusing on water treatment. Her research involves colour transformations and she honestly did not think she would be so excited to see solutions changing colours. Besides her research, Eleni enjoys “spreading the science” and promoting equality in STEM through public engagement.

Photo taken during my summer in Zurich

Meet Saloni Rose, a passionate neurobiologist from India!

Saloni grew up in Kalpakkam, a small town south of Chennai, India. She completed her masters in biological sciences from the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research, Mohali. She will start her PhD this fall. Her research focuses on learning mechanisms and brain structure in invertebrates. In her spare time, Saloni loves to photograph birds and butterflies. Saloni is very passionate about science communication and outreach. Through her research, she wishes to educate the public with evidence-based factual information and dispell pseudoscientific ideas.

Dr. Isabella Mandl in Moheli, Comoros

Meet Dr. Isabella Mandl, who is working towards protecting animals by understanding their behaviour!

Isabella was born in Austria but spent her early years in the UK. She was awarded BSc in Biology from the University of Vienna, Austria in 2011 and then went on to do a MSc by Research in Animal Cognition and Welfare at the University of Lincoln, UK. Isabellas PhD was co-supervised by the Bristol Zoological Society and awarded by the University of Bristol, UK, in 2018. She currently works for the NGO Dahari in Comoros, where she is a technical assistant to the ecology research team. Isabellas interest in animal behaviour stems from a desire to understand the world around her (some may call it control-issues) and her passion for conservation comes from seeing first-hand what happens to the natural world if we do not protect it.

Meet Amanda Rossillo, a paleoanthropologist studying how we are related to extinct human species!

Amanda is a PhD student in Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University studying human evolution. Her research uses 3D models of fossils to clarify a problem known as “the muddle in the middle,” which describes the poorly understood evolutionary relationships of human species during a time period called the Middle Pleistocene epoch (130,000-800,000 years ago). She is also interested in science outreach and education, especially concerning controversial topics in science.

Arwen in the lab

Meet Arwen Nugteren, Chemistry student, lab assistant and passionate science communicator!

Arwen is an enthusiastic and passionate undergraduate student in the wonderful field of Chemistry with a grand plan to go into research. Until then, she’s working as a lab assistant, preparing samples and extracting DNA in an animal genetics lab. She’s an active science communicator through her science blog, Scientia Potentia Est and on Twitter because she thinks science is fascinating and wants to share knowledge with the world.

Stephanie and Dr. Kay Behrensmeyer at a fossil dinosaur locality, Montana

Meet Stephanie Canington: an anatomist who studies how lemurs eat!

Stephanie is a PhD Candidate in the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She studies the physical and mechanical challenges of foods consumed by lemurs and how the masticatory morphology of primates is adapted for such challenges.  She completed her Bachelors in Anthropology at Auburn University while completing internships at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in the Division of Mammals.

Meet Safiyyah Iqbal, a Functional Morphologist specialised in digital analysis!

Safiyyah is a PhD student at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) situated at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She focusses her research on understanding the form related to the function or vice versa of prehistoric species. This allows her to expand her abilities by studying a variety of species in different environments.  During Safiyyahs research at the ESI, she underwent training on the microCT scanner and helped advice the Palaeontology honour students working with GM methods.

On top of Mauna Kea

Meet Dr. Arianna Piccialli, a planetary scientist studying Mars and Venus atmospheres, and passionate about science communication!

Arianna is a postdoc at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy in Brussels, Belgium. Her research is focused on studying the atmospheres of Mars and Venus. She is originally from the sunny city of Naples, in Italy, of which she misses the beautiful view of the blue sea. She got her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research located in the small village of Katlenburg-Lindau, in Germany. As a researcher and as a woman in science she is convinced of the importance of combining her research activity with that of science outreach.

Meet Monique Wilhelm, a Chemical Hygiene Officer working to keep scientists safe in the lab, passionate about scicomm!

Monique Wilhelm is an academic Lab Manager and Chemical Hygiene Officer.  She has a B.S. in Chemistry with ACS certification in Biochemistry and an M.S. in Chemistry.  She currently holds a position on the board of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety.  Her previous research experience includes organic synthesis and characterization of less toxic dyes to be used to kill cancer as well as biochemical studies of protein-DNA interactions and enzyme kinetics to better understand the mechanism of type I diabetes. Her current career allows her to support multiple scientists who do research on a variety of topics.

Meet Teresa Ambrosio – scientist – woman – advocate!

Teresa is a PhD student in Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. She graduated cum laude from La Sapienza – University of Rome in 2014. Her current research is based on C-H activations and how to develop more sustainable chemical reactions. Teresa runs a YouTube channel (Teresa Ambrosio) where she talks about her research and interesting facts about the periodic table. You can also find Teresa on Instagram @teresa_ambrosio_com and Twitter @teresaambrosio_.

Lab Photo

Meet Dr. Kaitlyn Sadtler, an immunoengineer working on how our body’s defense system can help build new tissue!

Kaitlyn is a TED2018 Fellow who works on how our immune system can help regenerate tissue. She graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2011 with a BS in Biological Sciences, after which she joined a molecular immunology lab at the National Institutes of Health for 1 year of postbaccalaurate training. Going into graduate school at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Kaitlyn continued her work on the immune system and in 2016 earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, on the role of helper T cells in regenerating injured muscle. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Chemical Engineering department working on wound healing and materials used in treatments for type-1 diabetes.

Adriana Bankston

Meet Dr. Adriana Bankston, a science policy researcher passionate about data, transparency and systemic change in academia!

Adriana Bankston is a bench scientist turned science policy researcher. She is a member of the Board of Directors at Future of Research, a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion, engage and empower early career scientists with evidence-based resources to improve the scientific research endeavor. Her goals are to promote science policy and advocacy for junior scientists, and to gather and present data on various issues in the current scientific system. Previously, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Louisville. Adriana obtained a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University.

Amy in the lab

Meet Amy Bottomley, a microbiologist working out how bacteria grow and divide!

Amy Bottomley is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the i3 institute, University of Technology Sydney (UTS).  Her research focuses on how bacteria grow and divide, and how this process is regulated under different conditions such as nutrient limitation or during infection.  She is also passionate about developing science careers for young people, including giving a voice to early career researchers, and engaging with a younger audience to get them interested in science.

Meet Annelies Van de Ven, an archaeologist working in the Middle East!

Annelies is a postgraduate researcher looking into the archaeology of the Middle East, and its ramifications in the present. She recently submitted her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and is currently waiting (quite impatiently and nervously) for her examiner reports. Before this, she completed a Masters at the University of St Andrews in Scotland looking at the politics of archaeology in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Annelies thinks that the deep past and its material traces strongly influence how we identify ourselves in the present. These things impact how we engage with our environment and with one another. By better understanding what people did in the past, the complexity of their actions, and how this relates to the present, she believes we can improve our lives and interactions in the present.

Alex Alexandrova

Meet Dr. Alex Alexandrova, a researcher who brings accelerator science to the industry!

Dr Alex Alexandrova was a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow within the Department of Physics at Liverpool University between 2012 and 2015, and she belonged to the LA3NET (Lasers for Applications at Accelerator facilities) training network. She has recently co-founded technology company D-Beam with Head of Liverpool University Physics Department Carsten Welsch. Her goal is to develop better tools to measure particle beams in accelerators, with applications in research, industry and the medical field.

In my office

Meet Jacinta Yap, a particle accelerator scientist working on proton beam therapy!

Jacinta Yap is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow in the QUASAR group of the University of Liverpool, headed by Professor Carsten Welsch, and is based at the Cockcroft Institute, UK. She is also part of the Optimising Medical Accelerator (OMA) training network. She uses her expertise in accelerator science to maximize the healthcare benefits from proton beam therapy, a new type of cancer treatment that is more efficient than current radiotherapy techniques.

Viki Male

Meet Dr. Viki Male, an immunologist working out what NK cells do in the liver!

Viki started her scientific career as a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, where she worked on the development of NK cells in the human uterus before moving to Imperial College London to find out how NK cells develop in mouse bone marrow. After spending a year at home with her baby son, she moved to UCL to start her own research group, which focuses on the development and function of NK cells in the liver. She has recently returned from maternity leave with her second child.


Meet Alex Fitzpatrick, a zooarchaeologist and science communicator who uses social media to increase public knowledge of zooarchaeology!

Alex Fitzpatrick is a zooarchaeologist and PhD student at the University of Bradford, UK. Previously, she received her BA in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology from Hunter College in New York City before moving to England to pursue her MSc in Archaeological Sciences. She is currently a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, with her research focused on investigating animal remains from caves off the coast of Scotland. Alex also runs the social media for Crastina, an international networking platform for encouraging and facilitating science communication between peers as well as to the general public.

Meet Elle Barnes, an urban ecologist interested in the microscopic communities around us!

Elle Barnes is a Ph.D. student in the Biological Sciences Department at Fordham University. Before coming to Fordham to study ecology and evolution, she was an undergraduate in the Environmental Studies program at New York University. As an urban ecologist in New York City, she has researched how humans influence their environment and other organisms living among them—from the largest trees to the smallest microbes in the city. Currently, she is studying an urban salamander species and the role of its microbiome in protecting it from wildlife disease (the chytrid fungus). The long-term goal of her research is to better understand how ecological communities assemble and how this process can impact the function of that community. Working with microbes has allowed her to rewind and playback the process of community formation to seek out why ecological communities vary over space and time.

Meet Dr. Sophie Acton, working in stromal immunology and anti-tumour immunity!

Sophie studied Pharmacology at the University of Bath, before spending a year working at Millenium Pharmaceuticals. She then started a PhD at the Cancer Research UK London research institute, studying mechanisms of metastasis in melanoma. Sophie´s first postdoc position was located at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, working on mechanisms of dendritic cell migration. For her second postdoctoral training, back in London with Caetano Reis e Sousa, she worked on mechanisms of lymph node expansion. Sophie started her own group at the MRC Laboratory for molecular cell biology at UCL in 2016. She was supported through as a postdoc by a Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship, and her lab now is funded by Cancer Research UK and the European Research council.

Victoria on Rebun Island, Japan

Meet Victoria van der Haas, an archaeologist who examines the diet of prehistoric people!

Victoria is an archaeologist working towards her Ph.D. at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta. She graduated with a B.A. in Archaeology and an M.A. in Palaeolithic Archaeology from Leiden University. Her current work is under the auspices of the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project (BHAP) where she investigates the life histories of Mid-Holocene hunter-gatherers from the Cis-Baikal area in Siberia, Russia. She does this through stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on human tooth dentine, allowing her to examine short-term dietary changes.

Meet Dr. Tara Clarke, a primatologist and conservationist passionate about all things lemur!

Tara Clarke is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Evolutionary Anthropology Department at Duke University. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Victoria. Tara is a member of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group Member and has been working in Madagascar for over ten years. She is the Director of Outreach for Lemur Love, Inc. Tara’s research examines the impacts of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the genetic health of ring-tailed lemurs. Most recently, her work aims to understand the motivations driving the illegal pet trade of lemurs within Madagascar. This work employs a multi-disciplinary approach, including conservation genetics, formal and informal surveys with local communities, collaborations with local and international NGO’s, as well as conservation outreach and education initiatives.

Meet Dr. Olga Shimoni, a scientist captivated with nanotechnology who wants to transform it for ground-breaking biomedical solutions!

Olga is Senior Lecturer and NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She graduated with a BSc and MSc from Technion-Israeli Institute of Technology in chemical and materials engineering, respectively. She relocated to Australia to undertake her Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, graduating in 2012. In 2014, she joined UTS as Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow after a relatively short post-doctoral training in the School of Physics (University of Melbourne) in the field of diamonds. She is the founder of the Australian network of researchers working with nanoparticles for brain research (ANNxBBB, nano4brain.com.au). In addition, she promotes evidence-based science awareness, STEMM education, and advocates for women in STEMM issues.

Meet Dr. Lucille Bellegarde, an applied ethologist passionate about making a difference for farm animals!

Lucille is an applied ethologist who wants to make a real difference for farm animals! After her MSc at AgroParisTech (France) in Animal Production, she did her PhD in Edinburgh on farm animals’ emotions. Lucille currently works as Food Business Manager at CIWF France, an animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the welfare of farm animals and implementing better animal welfare solutions across all sectors of the food business industry.

Meet Dr. Emily Messer, a Primatologist studying social behaviour!

Emily is a primatologist who studies behaviour in monkeys and children and is passionate about science communication. Emily loves studying social behaviour and learning in monkeys and children as they provide the most interesting study species, with never a dull day! She finds that one of the major joys of working in a zoo with monkeys, and schools, and museums with children, is that your research is in the public eye, this gives Emily lots of great opportunities to talk about science with lots of different people, something that she also really enjoys spending her time doing. So it is no surprise that her current postdoctoral position at the University of St Andrews allows her to combine these things through helping to develop some science resources to engage with others about different research themes in Psychology and Neuroscience, making science more accessible for all.

Meet Katie Peterson, a biologist excited about science education, invertebrates, and her burgeoning botany skills!

Katie Peterson is currently pursuing a PhD in Biology at the University of Idaho. She is from White Bear Lake, Minnesota and received her BA in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Masters in Natural Resources at the University of Idaho and an environmental education certificate. She is passionate about the field of ecology and evolutionary biology because it is so diverse and exciting with endless possibilities and questions to explore. Katie’s research system is located in Southern Idaho where she uses a naturally fragmented system to explore its effect on communities.


Meet Susan Rapley, a behavioural neuroscientist and science communicator, passionate about sharing knowledge!

Susan has recently finished her PhD work at the University of Canterbury (NZ) where she studied a novel signalling system in the brain and how it is affected during memory loss. Susan earned her BSc and Honours degrees in Psychology before completing a Master’s in behavioural neuroscience, all of which has turned her into more biologist than a psychologist. She is currently between jobs and waiting to defend her Ph.D., but intends to work in Science Communication and combine her passions for teaching, data, and teaching about data.

Meet Charlene Ronquillo, a nursing informatician/implementation scientist interested in figuring out how to develop and implement digital health technologies!

Charlene is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia School of Nursing and an Associate Research Fellow in implementation science with the PenCLAHRC at the University of Exeter. Her PhD work investigates the factors that influence nurses’ decisions and behaviours related to the adoption and usage of mobile technologies as part of their work. Her work with the PenCLAHRC is focused on understanding the science of implementation in health systems and all its accompanying complexities.

Meet Tasleem Hassim Sayed, a researcher on resilience! What is your forte?

Tasleem Hassim is a lecturer at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2009, an honours degree in Psychology in 2010, a master in Social Work in 2012 and a master in Positive Psychology in 2016. Tasleem has been acknowledged for her 75% and above achievement as well as the golden key international honour society. Tasleem considers herself a passionate and dedicated person in terms of teaching and learning, and she would like to pursue her career with a specific interest in students and the use of technology in the classroom. Her interests in resilience started back in 2011 during her master’s degree. Tasleem always wanted to know what makes some people grow and flourish despite challenges in their lives.

Meet Meghan Barrett, a cognitive ecologist and science communicator who got her start by singing to bees!

Meghan Barrett is a Ph.D. student at Drexel University, studying cognitive ecology in a variety of arthropods. She earned her B.S. in Biology and English/Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo in Upstate New York, where she first bowled for bees. Her senior thesis was on the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer; she has also studied intracolony relatedness in Formica pergandei and caste differences in the brains of paper wasps. In her free time, she enjoys science communication, particularly through poetry, plays, and narrative non-fiction, and learning about evidence-based teaching for undergraduate STEM education.

Meet Dr. Noushin Nasiri, a passionate young researcher, inspired by the thrill of discovery and committed to making a difference in the world!

Noushin Nasiri is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the ARC Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels (IDEAL) and the Initiative for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD). She has received her Masters of Engineering in Materials Engineering from the University of Tehran in Iran and then pursued her research at the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory of the Australian National University (ANU) where she received her Ph.D. in Nanotechnology, in 2017. Her research lies at the intersection of science, technology, and engineering as she is focusing on early stage detection of diseases just with a puff of human breath.

Meet Dr. Sibyl Anthierens, a primary care sociologist passionate about qualitative research and converting people to become antibiotic guardians!

Sibyl is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for primary care medicine, Department of Interdisciplinary and Primary Care, University of Antwerp, Belgium and a core member of the University Center of Qualitative Health Research Antwerp. She is a primary care sociologist specialized in researching prescribing behavior with a focus on the way in which evidence based treatments and management strategies are used or not used in everyday practice by both patients and professionals. She also leads projects looking at new ways to support the frail elderly and their caregivers. She has used a wide range of research methodologies, but with a particular focus on qualitative research. She supports several national and international Ph.D. students on the qualitative research components of their research.

Meet Dr. Caitlin Looby, a biologist passionate about the tropics, climate change, and science communication!

Caitlin Looby is a microbial ecologist and science writer with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. in Biotechnology Science from Kean University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Irvine. Much of her work focuses on how climate change affects soil in a cloud forest in Costa Rica. As a science writer, Caitlin work includes scripts for radio, feature articles for magazines, and an op-ed article for The New York Times. Her bylines include: Association for Women in Science Magazine, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Cultures Magazine, Mongabay, the Loh Down on Science, Pacific Standard, and SUP Magazine.

Meet Dr. Olivia Hurley, an accredited sport psychologist passionate about all things sport and performance psychology related!

Olivia is a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and an accredited Sport Psychologist with the Sport Ireland Institute (SII). She completed a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, an MSc and a Ph.D. in Sport Psychology in UCD. Olivia works as an assistant Professor of Psychology and Sport Psychology in the Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT, in Dublin). She is a Guest Assistant Professor in UCD also. Olivia has published a number of academic papers and book chapters. Her new book on Sport Psychology and Cyberpsychology will be published in 2018. Olivia is a former international sprinter and passionate about all things sport and performance psychology related.

In Yosemite Valley

Meet Dr. Rosana Zenil-Ferguson, a statistician that fell in love with plants and evolution!

Rosana is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Idaho working in the development of phylogenetic comparative methods. She creates statistical tools to understand how and how quickly chromosome numbers and genome sizes change in angiosperms. She is interested in developing tools that allow for statistical inference of difficult biological datasets and collaborates with students and researchers in diverse topics in Ecology and Evolution. Rosana advocates for a diverse and inclusive academic environment where women and URM students can be integrated and respected.

Meet Dr. Willa Huston, a microbiologist passionate about Chlamydia and how we can better treat and diagnose it to improve women’s health and even save the koala!

Willa is a Senior Lecturer and Research Group Head at the University of Technology Sydney. Her lab works on Chlamydia, how the infection causes serious problems like infertility in some cases, and how we can better diagnose and treat chlamydial infections in humans and animals (including Koalas). She is also passionate about learning and ensuring students get to learn the most up to date material in active and fun ways in the classroom. Willa and her lab group are passionate about outreach so the wider community can see the benefits of STEM (including by school visits and outreach activities) and they have work experience high school students in the lab and several undergraduates do research projects within the team each year.

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Meet Vasso Kalaitzi, a political scientist passionate about communicating science!

Vasso studied at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Athens University of Economics and Business. She works as an EU Projects Communications Officer. Her professional interests lay in the alignment and promotion of Open Access policies, Open Science and the engagement of relevant communities, to make scientific research and data accessible to all levels of society. She believes that Open Science is the key to improving the transparency and validity of research, and the best way to communicate scientific knowledge. Vasso originally comes from Greece and lives in the Netherlands.

Meet Dr. Megan Sebben, a hydrogeologist and science communicator, passionate about STEM outreach and closing the science gender gap!

Megan is a hydrogeologist and science communicator with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (Honours), a Diploma of Language (German), and a Ph. D. (Groundwater Hydrology) from Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. She now resides in Melbourne and works for the water and environmental services firm, CDM Smith. Megan advocates for gender equity in STEM, and has appeared as a guest on ABC TV News Breakfast, in print, and in broadcast media coverage across Australia. She also mentors for programs such as Curious Minds and Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools, and is a founding member of Flinders University’s STEM: Women Branching Out.

Meet Dr. Celeste Donato, a microbiologist studying virus evolution!

Celeste Donato earned a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and PhD from La Trobe University, Australia. After two years at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore she returned to Australia as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Laboratory of Virus Evolution at Monash University. Her research combines clinical, experimental and computational approaches to study the evolution of RNA viruses; in particular rotavirus, influenza B and enterovirus 71. Celeste is passionate about science outreach and communication, in particular encouraging female high school students to pursue careers in STEMM.

Meet Morgane Merien, an entomologist working on the various reproductive modes of stick insects!

Morgane is a postgraduate honours student at the University of Auckland. She has come straight from finishing a BSc also at UoA. Morgane currently lives in New Zealand, and has for the past 10 years. She is originally from New Caledonia and English is her second language. Morgane is passionate about biology and especially insects because it allows her to quench her curiosity by asking questions, and then trying to answer them! Insects are pervasive throughout our planet, and there is still so much we don’t know about them!

Meet Mary Burak, an ecologist passionate about understanding how humans and carnivores can coexist in landscapes!

Mary Burak is a Ph.D. student at Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Providence College and comes from a research background that integrates wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, and population genetics (i.e.: landscape genetics). She currently studies human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania, using genetics to infer how human activity can both help and hinder wildlife conservation. Mary is passionate for both applied research and bridging the natural-social science gap. Outside of work, her interests include thrift shops, Stranger Things, and finding ways to eat chocolate for every meal.

Meet Tamara Robertson, Host of “The Feeding Tube” and “Mythbusters: The Search” Finalist, passionate about Outreach and Inspire Kids to the pursuit of S.T.E.M.!

Tamara Robertson is an Engineer turned Science Communicator working to inspire young children in the pursuit of S.T.E.M. She received her Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering degree from N.C. State University in her home state of North Carolina. Following graduation, she spent a little under a decade working in Plant Designs, Vaccines Development, Additive Development and Packaging Design before moving into a role as an Engineer Consultant so that she could pursue Outreach and Science Communication Full Time in 2015. She remains passionate talking to kids across the nation about the exciting world of Science and showcasing to them that where their journey started doesn’t define where it ends.

Meet Dr. Kathleen Grogan, a geneticist and behavioral ecologist who studies genetics of behavior, survival, and reproduction!

Katie grew up in Kentucky, surrounded by a zoo of pets, including dogs, cats, turtles, snakes, birds, even a baby raccoon for a day! After finishing her undergraduate education at Vanderbilt University, Katie completed a Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology, with a minor in Genetics, from Duke University, where she studied genetic diversity and fitness in ring-tailed lemurs. From there, Katie transitioned to studying gene expression in white-throated sparrows as a postdoctoral fellow in the IRACDA Fellowship in Research and Science Teaching at Emory University. This fall, Katie will be starting a position as a postdoctoral fellow studying human genetics at Pennsylvania State University.

Meet Diana Lucia, a developmental neuroscientist and science communicator, passionate about engaging the public with science and inspiring the next generation of scientists!

Diana is in the final year of her PhD in developmental neuroscience at the School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Australia. Her research is focused on the impact of maternal alcohol consumption around the time of conception on cognitive outcomes in offspring. Along with her research Diana is also a science communicator and is the founder of a science communications and consultancy firm. Her work has featured online, in print and on the radio with her interests and expertise stretching across several areas: neuroscience, promoting scientific inquiry and STEM education, advocating for women in science and examining the important issues of science in society.

Meet Dr. Jacki Liddle, an occupational therapist passionate about increasing life quality for older people and people with neurological conditions!

Jacki Liddle is an occupational therapist and research fellow. She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland exploring the needs related to driving cessation for older people, and developed a clinical program to help improve outcomes. She is involved in research focussing on quality of life and life transitions for older people and people living with neurological conditions. She is currently working on co-development of technology to support communication with people living with dementia.

Meet Dr. Rachel Buxton, a conservation biologist studying the effect of noise pollution on wildlife and the importance of natural sounds!

Rachel Buxton is a conservation biologist at Colorado State University. She did her MSc. in Canada (where she is originally from) studying seabirds in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Having fallen in love with remote oceanic islands, Rachel then got her Ph.D. studying island restoration in New Zealand. Her postdoctoral research at CSU involved the ecology of sound – how we can use natural sounds, like bird song, to study biodiversity; and how human sounds affect wildlife. Having done fieldwork from Antarctica to Africa, Rachel is passionate about conserving the natural world.

Meet Dr. Chelsea Magin, a biomedical engineer passionate about innovative solutions to healthcare challenges!

Chelsea Magin earned her BS and Ph.D. from the University of Florida and then went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After a four-year term working in the industry, she got her dream job! Chelsea is currently an Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Colorado, Anschutz. Her research focuses on inventing new materials to help us discover ways to better treat lung diseases. She is passionate about education, outreach, and innovation with a focus on improving human health.

Meet Dr. Lysanne Snijders, a behavioural ecologist passionate about understanding animal behaviour to contribute to their welfare and protection!

Lysanne finished a Bachelor and Master in Biology at Utrecht University and Wageningen University, respectively. Last year (2016) she finished her PhD in Behavioural Ecology (Wageningen University & NIOO-KNAW), studying the role of personality in the social networks of great tits (Parus major). During this time, Lysanne contributed to development of the EdX MOOC ‘Introduction to Animal Behaviour’ of Wageningen University and is now working on a project studying the social network dynamics of Trinidadian guppies in the wild at the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB-Berlin). Animal behaviour continues to fascinate Lysanne throughout her life. By understanding animal behaviour and sharing the knowledge she hopes to contribute to improving animal welfare and to the protection of individual animals and animal species.

Meet Melissa Marquez, a shark scientist passionate about the diverse representation of sharks, their relatives, and the scientists that study them!

Melissa Cristina Marquez is a Latina marine biologist and wildlife educator with a BA (Hons) in Marine Ecology and Conservation degree from New College of Florida, USA and an MSc in Marine Biology from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ. She is a freelance environmental contributor, and founder of The Fins United Initiative (TFUI), a program that brings attention to the unusual and diverse sharks (and their relatives) of the world and their researchers. Marquez also regularly hosts #STEMSaturdays on Twitter to provide career guidance and advice to young women in STEM worldwide.

Meet Marion Leary, a resuscitation scientist passionate about saving lives from sudden cardiac arrest by integrating technology and digital strategies!

Marion Leary is the Director of Innovation Research for the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Course Director for the Research Residency Program and the Innovation Specialist at the Penn School of Nursing. She is also an Instructor in the Penn Master of Public Health program and a consultant with the Penn Medicine Digital Health Lab. Marion is a contributor to the Huffington Post and is also on the board of Start Talking Science a free public event to increase the public awareness of — and interest in — cutting-edge, local research. Furthermore, she is the founder of the ImmERge Labs, focusing on using mixed reality platforms to improve training and education for emergency response conditions.

Meet Dr. Susanne Brander, an ecotoxicologist researching the effects of environmental stressors in marine and estuarine organisms!

Susanne is an ecotoxicologist and endocrinologist (for fish at least). Her Ph.D. is from the University of California, Davis and her M.S. is from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Susanne received her B.S. from a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania – Elizabethtown College, about 2 hours west of where she grew up in Philadelphia. Susanne currently works as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington but is moving to Oregon State University (in Corvallis) in the fall to start a position in the OSU Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology.

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Meet Dr. Manuela Rossol, an immunologist researching human blood monocytes to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis!

Manuela is an immunologist, who is working on human blood monocytes, cells of the innate immune system, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. She studied Biology and received her Ph.D. in Immunobiology at the University of Leipzig in Germany. Recently, she finalized her postdoctoral research with the habilitation thesis and now holds a faculty position in the „Experimental Rheumatology“ group at the University of Leipzig.

Meet Dr. Claire McCarthy, a toxicologist and science-writing enthusiast!

Claire McCarthy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 19, 1989. She attended Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio and graduated summa cum laude in May of 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Biomedical Humanities. She began doctoral studies in Toxicology at the University of Rochester in July of 2011. During her first year of graduate school, Claire joined the laboratory of Dr. Patricia Sime and began researching the toxicological effects of dung biomass smoke inhalation. She passed her qualifying exam and received her Master of Science degree in Toxicology from the University of Rochester in October of 2013. She was awarded a Toxicology Training Fellowship from 2012-2016.

Meet Dr. Circe Verba, a geologist passionate about STEM education and science-based LEGO!

Dr. Circe Verba is a research geologist for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. She has a Ph.D in geology with a focus in civil engineering (University of Oregon and Oregon State University). Dr. Verba specializes in studying wellbores in carbon sequestration settings, oil-gas shale petrophysics in unconventional systems, and characterizing rare earth elements in coal and respective by-products. She is passionate about STEM education and building science based LEGO sets.

Meet Rachel Harrison, a primatologist focusing on behavioural flexibility, innovation and social learning!

Rachel is finishing a Ph.D. on behavioural flexibility, innovation and social learning in chimpanzees and human children, at the University of St Andrews, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and an MSc in Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology. For her Ph.D. research, she worked with chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland and the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia. She is currently working at the University of Birmingham, on a project examining the impact of educational television programmes on children’s problem-solving skills.

Meet Laurie Winkless, a physicist, science writer, and author of Science and the City!

Laurie Winkless is a physicist and science writer with a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics from Trinity College Dublin, and an MSc in Space Science from University College London. As an undergrad, she received a scholarship to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. She then joined the Functional Materials team at the National Physical Laboratory, where she investigated topics from nanotubes to thermoelectric energy harvesting. Since leaving the lab, Laurie has worked as a science communicator and writer. She has had her work featured in print, online, as well as on radio and TV, and is a regular contributor to Forbes. Laurie’s first book, Science and the City, was published worldwide by Bloomsbury in 2016, and she is working on her second book, called Sticky.

Meet Dr. Genevieve Crowle, a forensic scientist turned materials chemist, passionate about scicomm!

Genevieve obtained a Bachelor of Forensic Science from Deakin University, followed by an Honours year working on novel biomaterials for bone regeneration. This experience in materials chemistry led Genevieve to undertake a Ph.D. through CSIRO and Deakin University studying the dyeing behaviour of cotton, which she completed earlier this year. Genevieve is currently working as a research assistant at Deakin University producing silk-based materials for applications in textile treatments. Genevieve is also passionate about science communication and its importance in breaking down the barriers between scientists and the public. Genevieve’s interests outside of science include roller derby, pole dancing, and baking.

Meet Dr. Jillian Garvey, a zooarchaeologist who is interested in the role of native fauna in past and modern diets!

Jillian is an Australian Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. She also graduated with a BA/BSc Honours (1999) and Ph.D. in Zoology (2005) from La Trobe. Jillian has combined her training in zoology and archaeology to focus on ‘zooarchaeology’ the role of animals in Indigenous Australian archaeology. Currently she is involved with several research projects, but her main interest is in ‘native bush tucker’ where she is undertaking a series of modern butchery/economic utility experiments (to determine how much meat, fat, and marrow a particular animal will provide) coupled with its nutritional quality (how healthy it is for you to eat). She is building up the most comprehensive database of its type which can be used for interpreting the archaeological record as well as helping to inform on our own modern diets.

Meet Kimberleigh Tommy, a palaeonathropologist focussing on functional morphology and the evolution of upright walking!

Kimberleigh is a Masters student at the Evolutionary Studies Institute (ESI) at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa where she also earned her undergraduate degree. Her current research interest focuses on functional morphology in the context of palaeoanthropology and the evolution of upright walking. She is passionate about exploring our shared common origins, our African roots and using the palaeosciences to encourage unity and conservation. She is also passionate about science communication and encouraging the pursuit of the sciences as a career choice in African women.

Meet Dr. Lauren Griffin, a sociologist studying how the media shapes people’s perceptions of climate change!

Lauren Griffin earned her BA from Purdue University and her Ph.D. from the University of Florida. She currently manages the Journal of Public Interest Communications, housed in the College of Journalism and Communications (CJC) at the University of Florida. She is also the director of external research for Frank, an organization in CJC at UF. She’s passionate about climate change communications because of the massive threat climate change poses to people and ecosystems, and the unalterable link between environmental justice and racial, gender, and economic justice.

Meet Dr. Lisa Komoroske, a conservation ecologist using molecular tools to understand human impacts on wildlife!

Lisa is a postdoctoral fellow at NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. Her research integrates conservation genomics, physiology and ecology to understand how wildlife are affected by the natural environment and human activities. As a curious kid always wanting to be outdoors and figure out how things work, Lisa caught the science bug after spending middle school summers at science camp and has been hooked ever since. Lisa’s work has included understanding pollution impacts and population genomics of sea turtles, and climate change impacts on coastal fishes. She is also passionate about improving science communication and literacy and works closely with educators to integrate inquiry-based learning into K-12 classrooms. Lisa completed her Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, and will soon embark on a new adventure as an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in fall 2017!

Meet Dr. Maribeth Latvis, a botanist studying patterns of plant biodiversity!

Maribeth obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2005. She worked as a research assistant at Oregon State University and as a lab manager at Harvard University, before returning to graduate school at the University of Florida, where she earned her Ph.D. in Biology in 2013. Since then, she has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Idaho, and will begin a tenure-track faculty position at South Dakota State University in 2017. Maribeth loves being outside and gets a lot of inspiration from exploring new places, hiking, and learning about natural history. She has made a career out of understanding patterns of plant biodiversity. This allows her to do field work, spend time in a molecular lab, and learn new computer skills. Maribeth is also passionate about teaching, public policy, and getting others excited about biodiversity.

Meet Andrea Paz, a biologist focusing on species distributions and diversity in neotropical amphibians!

Andrea is currently a Biology Ph.D. student with a focus on ecology, evolution, and behavior at the City University of New York. She earned her BS and MS in Biology at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. Andrea is amazed by biodiversity and loves spending time in the field, especially looking for frogs. Currently, her research focuses on patterns of species distributions and diversity and its potential causes with a special focus on amphibians in the Neotropics.

Meet Francesca Gissi, an environmental scientist trying to minimize human impacts on the environment!

Francesca is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wollongong and the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), based in Sydney, Australia. Her Ph.D. project is entitled “Development of new risk assessment tools for nickel in tropical marine environments”. The aim of this project is to contribute to the development of ecologically relevant risk assessment tools such as water quality guidelines to manage and minimize the impacts of mining activities on tropical coasts. Francesca began her career over 10 years ago at the University of Technology Sydney where she did a Bachelor of Environmental Science. As a big animal lover Francesca had planned on doing veterinary science but didn’t get the marks, so she opted for environmental science and discovered her true passion for doing research that contributes to minimizing human impacts on the environment.

My Bright Club comedy performance

Meet Dr. Kirsty Graham, a primatologist trying to decipher meaning in primate communication!

I’m a psychologist studying animal communication and cognition. I did my undergrad at Quest University Canada, a small liberal arts university in Squamish, British Columbia. Then I worked as a field assistant for 6 months before starting my PhD at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. During my PhD, I studied how wild bonobos use gestures to communicate. Now I’m starting a postdoc at the University of York, England, where I’ll be working with Sulawesi crested macaques in Sulawesi, Indonesia. My job is pretty amazing – getting to travel and spend a lot of time in forests with cool animals, finding ways to study how they think and communicate with one another. My favourite way to communicate my research so far has been performing stand up comedy with Bright Club! Sharing knowledge and having a laugh!

Meet Martha Milam, passing on her love for chemistry to the next generation!

Martha earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Furman University and my Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She began her career as a chemist at Michelin Tire Corporation in Dothan, Alabama. After moving with her husband to Texas, Martha realized she missed the teaching days of my graduate school years, and in 1995, she began teaching school at Cypress Creek High. In 1999, Martha started her family, and she stayed home for nine years with her daughter and two sons. She started working again in 2008 at East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Georgia. Martha teaches chemistry and coaches Science Olympiad. She tells her students that science drives all innovation and that effectively communicating science can create a positive impact on our future.


Meet Melinda Ashcroft, a Computational Microbiologist interested in scicomm!

Melinda uses the computer to study the DNA of bacteria to try to understand their virulence mechanisms and overcome antimicrobial resistance. She completed her undergraduate degree in Applied Science (Biotechnology) and a Master of Biotechnology in 2013. Mid-way through her masters, Melinda realised it was possible to combine her two passions, computers and biology and in 2014 decided to undertake a PhD in computational microbiology at the University of Queensland in Australia. In addition to her research, Melinda is both a tutor and mentor and is an Australia Society of Microbiology communications ambassador. Melinda is most passionate about science education and communication.

Emerging from the forest on a survey

Meet Steph Halmhofer, a Bioarchaeologist on the Southwest Coast of British Columbia!

From Steveston, BC, Steph is a bioarchaeologist in southwestern British Columbia, Canada.  Bioarchaeologists are archaeologists with specialized training in excavating and analyzing human skeletal remains.  Think of the skeleton as a book written in a language bioarchaeologists can understand and translate.  Though skeletons bioarchaeologists can look at what life was like in the past, including diets, population movements, pathologies, and occupations.  Steph holds an Associate of Arts degree in criminology (Kwantlen Polytechnic University), a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology (focused on bioarchaeology) and Indigenous studies (University of Alberta), and is nearing completion of a Master of Arts degree in archaeology (University of Toronto).  In addition to working with archaeological companies in BC and Ontario, she is also part of the shíshálh Archaeological Project.

Meet Leanne Paterson, a computational chemist passionate about understanding experimental results at the molecular level!

Leanne uses computer modeling and calculations to visualize and help understand why reactions or material, behave in a certain way. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, where she did her Bachelors degree in chemistry. Leanne moved to Germany to do her master’s degree in molecular science, focusing on computational chemistry to understand the processes happening in a nanostructured photocatalyst for the water splitting reaction. She is now a Ph.D. student at the Max Planck Institute for polymer research, where she is developing software to compute the movement of charged carriers through organic semiconducting materials.

Meet Sasha Ariel Alston, teen author of the children’s book “Sasha Savvy Loves to Code”!

Sasha Ariel Alston is currently an Information Systems Major with a minor in Marketing at Pace University in New York in the Lubin School of Business. With successful information technology and business internships at Microsoft, EverFi, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Many Mentors, and National Academy Foundation behind her, she is a sought-after speaker to encourage youth, especially girls of color, to pursue educational and career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Sasha was the recipient of the Prize for Achievement Award by Kurt Giessler Foundation, and Imani Awards, a Finalist in the Youth Essay Category of the Larry Neal Writers’ Award presented by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and was published in the Harvard Educational Review – Youth Voices.

Meet Dr. Sylviane Volampeno, primatologist, conservationist and founder of Mikajy Natiora!

Sylviane studied Animal Biology at the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar). She received her Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), focusing on the Blue-eyed black lemur in the Sahamalaza-Iles Radama National Park, Madagascar. Sylviane is the President and Founder of Mikajy Natiora, a Madagascar-based conservation association and acts as a lecturer in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Antananarivo.

Meet Dr. Claudia Segovia-Salcedo, conservation biologist and co-founder of the Ecuadorian Network of Women in Science!

Claudia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and her Master of Science degree in environmental and plant biology at Ohio University. In 2014, she received her Ph.D. in Biology with a graduate certificate in Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) at the University of Florida. In addition, she has been involved in Women in Science activities during her career. She was an active member of WISE-UF, co-founder of UF-Ph.D.-Moms and facilitator of participatory workshops of professional women in environmental sciences and sustainability. Currently, she is working at the Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE as an associate professor and she is the Coordinator and co-founder of the Ecuadorian Network of Women in Science (REMCI).

Meet Lexi Moore Crisp, a biologist working on the comparative biomechanics and functional anatomy of digging animals!

Lexi Moore Crisp is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She currently lives outside Philadelphia with her husband, Larry, their dog and their 2 cats. Lexi grew up in Howland, a suburb near Youngstown in Northeast Ohio. She attended the University of Pittsburgh from 2002-2006, where she earned a BS in Psychology and a BA in Philosophy and History and Philosophy of science. Lexi earned an MS degree in Biological Sciences from Youngstown State University in 2011. Her master’s thesis explored the functional anatomy of the forelimb muscles of the American badger.

Dr. Jones in the field with her daughter

Meet Dr. Holly Jones and learn about her journey as a woman in STEM!

Holly studied marine biology and ecology and evolution at the University of California, Santa Cruz as an undergraduate. Fun fact: UC Santa Cruz doesn’t care much about sports so their mascot is the banana slug. She studied island restoration following mammal eradication on New Zealand islands through Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies for her Ph.D. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor joint-appointed to the Department of Biological Sciences and Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy at Northern Illinois University. Her best day in science was banding once-thought-extinct New Zealand storm-petrels on Hauturu-o-Toi island. One of her worst was when she fell in the Bering Sea while working in the Aleutians. She has two daughters, and balancing a life in science with life at home is very important to her.

Meet Sophia Frentz, a geneticist trying to untangle the mysteries of life!

Sophia grew up in Tauranga, New Zealand, with a few years in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed her undergraduate BSc (Hons) at the University of Otago and then jumped ship for warmer climes, starting her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2014 at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne. Sophia also holds a position as a councilor for the Royal Society of Victoria, where she regularly smells the books. She is passionate about untangling the mysteries of life in a way that can help alleviate suffering.

Meet Dr. Melanie Seiler – primatologist, behavioral scientist and founder of The female Scientist!

Melanie studied biology at the University of Cologne (Germany) and conducted her dissertation on the social behavior of capuchins in different European zoos. For her Ph.D., which was based at the University of Bristol, U.K., she spent over a year in the forests of northwestern Madagascar researching the impact of habitat degradation on the critically endangered Sahamalaza sportive lemur. For her Postdoc she focused on comparative behavioral science, before leaving academia to work as the managing director of an NGO for animal welfare and conservation. In her current position, Melanie works for a NGO and focusses on lobbying for animal welfare . Based on her experience as a woman in science, Melanie founded The female scientist in 2016 to raise attention for the work of women in science and thus to help to empower them.


Meet Tanya Dapkey, an entomologist working on the exciting Barcode of Life project!

Tanya is an entomologist, research technician, and a mother of two, who is currently working at the University of Pennsylvania for Dr. Daniel Janzen on the exciting Barcode of Life project! She studied freshwater ecology for her Bachelors of Science degree at West Chester University and combined DNA barcoding and Macroinvertebrate sampling to assess water quality for her Master’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Tanya now works on cataloging the Lepidoptera and their parasitoids of the ACG, which will enable us to see the huge diversity of this planet and quantifies and gives value to the millions of species out in the world. Tanya can be contacted at contact@tanyadapkey.com.

Meet Abigail Harrison alias Astronaut Abby – her dream: to be the first woman to walk on mars!

Abby is a 19-year-old aspiring scientist and astronaut who is currently studying astrobiology. Online she is known as Astronaut Abby to more than 700,000 people and has been doing outreach in STEM for the past 6 years. She leads a non-profit organization called TheMarsGeneration.org to empower people to dream big, act big and inspire others. Abby can be contacted via www.astronautabby.com.