Science is useful in daily life, and we’re making it easy to find. From improving ADHD symptoms to exercising better and even optimizing noise levels for creativity, we’ll tell you about it in 5 seconds or less.

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Maryse Thomas

Maryse is a PhD candidate in neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her research focuses on environmental noise and its long-term effects on the brain. Outside of the lab, Maryse is a long-distance runner and plays competitive ultimate frisbee.


Ian Mahar

Ian is a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University, studying neuropsychiatric features of chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other neurodegenerative conditions. He did his PhD in Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, doing neuropsychiatry research in the McGill Group for Suicide Studies at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. He also does science writing and outreach, and his primary interests for all three are how the brain regulates emotions, and what happens when this regulation goes awry.


Susan Rogers Van Katwyk

Susan is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, and has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Mount Allison University. Her work involves both health policy and many hours of statistics coding. Outside of academics, Susan loves hiking, cooking, craft beer, and listening to podcasts.


Jaime Devine

Jaime K Devine is an interdisciplinary neuroscientist whose research focuses on how behavior and biology, specifically sleep and health, interact. She has a PhD in Neuroscience from Brandeis University and a Certificate in Sleep Medicine from Harvard Medical School. She is also a dedicated science communicator, runner, working mother and nerd.


Brian Beckett

Brian graduated from McGill in 2012 with a M.Sc. in Structural Cell Biology and in 2010 with a B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Theater. He is pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics, and is studying protein evolution and the dynamics of strong evolutionary epistasis at Brandeis University in the Theobald Lab. He is passionate about conquering scientific apathy, the education of young scientists, and donuts.



Kevin Neibert

Kevin graduated from McGill with a PhD in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, specializing in Nanotechnology. In his spare time he reads & writes about science in society. He also works with video game developers as a science media consultant at Thwacke! to help to make games smarter.

Erik Larson

Erik is a PhD student in neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His research involves studying how neurons integrate and process information through synapses. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer and pub trivia.

Derek Albert

Derek graduated from McGill University with a Psychology undergraduate degree in 2013. He is now working toward an M.Sc. in Psychiatry, conducting cognitive neuroscience research. Specifically, he specializes in eye-tracking as a method for investigating visual attention and detecting shifts in mental state. Some of his other interests include: philosophy, writing, accessible technology (open source, DIY), electronic music production, and contemplative practice.

Guiomar Niso

Guiomar holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and is currently doing a postdoc in brain imaging at McGill. She enjoys dancing with the brain's magnetic signals and maths to paint some colors on the surfaces of these mini white and grey universes.

Michael Gaultois

Michael is hunting a PhD in Chemistry at the University of California, and is a big fan of fountain pens, smoked gouda, M.C. Escher, and high fives. His interests have taken him to collegiate service organizations, RC helicopters, organizational management, start-up companies, world travels, and scientific endeavours.

Greg Traversy

Greg holds a BSc in Biochemistry, and a BSc in Human Kinetics, both from the University of Ottawa. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in Ottawa examining determinants of obesity, and obesity prevention in children. He also works as a Junior Research Analyst with the Public Health Agency of Canada. In his spare time he takes pleasure in reading, volunteering, traveling, snowboarding, and fly fishing.

Athanasios Athanassiadis

Thanasi is a physicist and engineer who uses light and sound to investigate how the physical world works. For his research, he has made sound with lasers for underwater sensing, built an x-ray scanner for sandcastles, and measured how jets of water can be used to move underwater robots. Outside of science, Thanasi is a passionate clarinetist, playing with a variety of Greek and Turkish groups around the Northeast.

Paul Sheppard

Paul is a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia. He holds a PhD in behavioural neuroscience from the University of Guelph and a BSc in neuroscience and nutrition from Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research focuses on sex differences in the brain in response to hormones and/or learning. He has 4 cats, a long-list of unplayed podcast episodes to get to, and a thirst for good beer and good music.

Joshua Jackson

Josh is a social psychologist with current research investigating emotion, intuition, religion, close relationships, culture, evolution, and outgroup stereotyping. In the future, Josh hopes to develop simple integrative models that can help reconcile the sprawling cornucopia of contemporary psychology. For the time being, however, he enjoys a predoctorate lab manager post at University of Maryland.

Kyle Saikaley

Kyle is a medical student at the University of Toronto, and is currently exploring a novel method for localizing breast tumors. He completed his undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at McGill University. He has research experience in psychostimulant-induced reward, oncolytic viruses, and renal immunology. He enjoys Shia LaBeouf.

Isabella Liu

Isabella graduated from McGill University majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Film Studies. She is currently teaching secondary school at an international school in Hong Kong. Inspired by her teacher Philip Marsh who prides himself as an art-scientist, Isabella also identifies herself as an art-scientist, blending the interdisciplinary aspects of both art and science through educational technologies.

Callie Leuck

Callie is a science writer in Indianapolis, Indiana. She holds an MA in science-medical writing from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in professional writing from Purdue University, with a minor in plant biology. She isn't a scientist but she thinks they're neat. Callie writes clear, concise material for a general audience in the healthcare field. She enjoys stories, Oxford commas, photography, and dancing.

Steve Mow

Steve is an aspiring doctor studying at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. While working towards being a physician, Steve’s passion is teaching and has taught science both formally and informally for years for institutions committed to science education. Outside of school, Steve can be found running, strumming tunes on his ukulele, or playing some Nintendo.

Caitlin Fowler

Caitlin recently started a PhD in Biological and Biomedical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal. She is using neuroimaging to study how brain chemistry and structure change over time in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease, and if anti-inflammatory treatment can mitigate these disease-related changes. She is not yet jaded by the world of academia and is keen to expand her horizons by learning about (and concisely communicating!) as much scientific research as possible. In the little spare time that is left, Caitlin can be found playing competitive ultimate frisbee, reading, or scouring the internet for easy meal prep ideas.

Jun Tong

Jun is a PhD student at the University of Sydney in Australia where he is studying the evolution of insects. He graduated from Sydney in 2013 where he studied biology, international relations, and one rogue subject in Welsh that he almost failed. He is a former President of the Young Scientists of Australia, a science communication organisation.

Simon Lehrner

Simon is an ESL and psychology/philosophy teacher in Vienna, Austria, a gamer across all media and loves curiosity in its many manifestations. He thinks communicating science is as important inside the classroom as it is outside and was therefore immediately drawn to Useful Science. When he's not hunched over classwork, a game board, his computer or a book/newspaper, he's out taking a walk or eating delicious food.

Cheri Hessami

Cheri graduated from McGill University with a degree in Cognitive Science, and she continues to be amazed by the complexity of the human mind. In her free time she enjoys dancing, scrapbooking, eating pizza, and learning as much as she can every day.

Jaan Altosaar

Jaan's undergrad is in Maths & Physics from McGill in 2013; his name is weird because he's Estonian-Canadian. He's a Physics PhD student in machine learning at Princeton and Columbia. He founded Useful Science in 2014 and gets excited about the societal impact of artificial intelligence, Roberto Bolaño books, meditation, and making science useful.

Thomas Donoghue

Tom is a PhD student in the Cognitive Science department of UCSD, where he uses computational methods and neural recordings to investigate how the brain communicates with itself. He did a Cognitive Science Bachelor's degree at McGill University and has research experience in neuroimaging and language studies. Outside of being a science nerd, he enjoys travel and music.

Wyatt Toure

Wyatt is an M.Sc. student at McGill University studying the factors that constrain behavioural flexibility in organisms. He splits his research with work in the tropics and work in the lab. Some of his other interests include music, video editing, and photography.

Indrek Romet

Indrek completed his Bachelor of Science from McGill University, majoring in Psychology. He now studies Ecological Agriculture, still at McGill. Aside from schooling, Indrek enjoys dancing to techno, drinking quality tea and educating people on the personal and earthly benefits of veganism.

Julia Talbot-Jones

Julia is a New Zealander completing a PhD at the Australian National University. Her work bridges economics, ecology, and natural resource management. She really likes grass, trees, snow, and mountains.

Past Contributors