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Contributors

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.

Amy McDermott

Amy is a Master's student at Columbia University studying the evolution and conservation of coral reef fish in the tropical Indo-Pacific. Born and raised in California, she is a New York transplant as of 2013.

Davi da Silva

Davi is a PhD student in medical engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He did his undergraduate work in mathematics and chemistry at the University of Chicago while nurturing a secret interest in biology and medicine. Outside of lab and studying, Davi enjoys ballet, bread, beer, and being less serious than he looks in his photo.

Indrek Romet

Indrek completed his Bachelor of Science from McGill Univserity, 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.

Jay Olson

Jay studies the psychology of magic: why magic tricks work in the mind. His research focuses on how magicians subtly influence people's decisions. He is currently completing a Master's at McGill.

Mark Uyar

Mark completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queen’s University, and his Master’s in Counselling at Suffolk University. He is a running and racquet sport enthusiast, world traveler, international cuisine junkie, and a lover of stories.

Jaime Devine

Jaime K Devine has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brandeis University. Her research focuses on how human behavior interacts with biological functioning, particularly between sleep and the endocrine system. When she is not doing science, Jaime enjoys wrestling, wife carrying and acting in horror movies.

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.

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.

Theodore Drivas

Theo is a Ph.D. student at The Johns Hopkins University in applied mathematics working on fluid turbulence. Apart from work, he studies traditional Greek clarinet and enjoys retrograde chess puzzles à la Raymond Smullyan.

Peter Antkowiak

One of Peter's foremost goals while pursuing residency training in Emergency Medicine will be to harness the power of technology to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare. Prior to med school, Peter earned a B.Sc. at McGill in Psychology & Economics. His research has spanned from stem cell biology, to behavioral neuroscience, to the implementation of health initiatives in communities abroad. When not in the ER or perusing the latest issue of The Economist, Peter can be found skiing, surfing, or backpacking a new corner of the world.

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.

Evan Alter

Evan graduated from the University of Rochester with a self-designed degree in Neuroeconomics, along with four minors in Biology, Organizational Psychology, Business, and Music. He currently works for Nielsen Neuro, a global consumer neuroscience firm that measures the brain’s responses to marketing materials. He intends to pursue graduate studies when his wanderlust is somewhat satiated.

Victoria Prieto

Victoria has a degree in Cinematography which has led to a passion for digital media and marketing. She is a senior sales executive at a multi-million dollar publishing company and enjoys her challenging work. In her free time, Victoria likes cooking, photography, traveling and participating in outdoor activities.

Lindsey Ogston

Lindsey graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and from Simon Fraser University with an undergraduate in Biology. She enjoys crafting, craft beer and Kraftwerk.

Ishan Walpola

Ishan is completing his undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience at McGill University. His research experience is in the field of Cognitive Neurospsychology studying the neural correlates of human experience (free will, social role processing, and meditation) using various neuroimaging modalities. He is interested in consciousness, meditation, writing poetry, and love.

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.

Warren Ben Wood

Ben holds a BA in Foreign Languages and Linguistics from Louisiana State University. His academic interests lie in Applied Sociolinguistics, the study of patterns of language generation and language contact. He also enjoys blogging, video editing, vegan cooking, and bouldering.

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.

Justine Zwicker

Justine is currently a graduate student in Mathematical Physics at McGill University. To boot, she is an amazing baker and sandwich artist, and an avid runner.

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.

Kendra Mayer

Kendra is an undergraduate studying journalism at Northwestern University. She is drawn to journalism because of her interest in the Middle East and her love of writing. Aside from writing and checking her favorite social media, she likes to pick up the latest 'freakonomics' book or go for long bike rides in suburbia.

Eileen McNicholas

Eileen is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Biology, with a concentration in neurobiology, at McGill University. Her studies are ultimately motivated by a curiosity of the mechanisms of disease and wellness, and she feels public literacy in science to be an essential goal of a developed society. Outside of academia Eileen enjoys long-distance running, hiking, reading, and exploring foreign lands.

Athanasios Athanassiadis

Thanasi is a PhD student at MIT, currently working on underwater robotics and sensing. He focuses on research and outreach projects that blend fundamental physics, technological novelty, and social need. When not science-ing, Thanasi can be found cooking or playing clarinet with Greek, Turkish, and Arabic music groups around the Northeast.

Ahmad Abdulgahni

Ahmed is from Palestine, was raised in the United Arab Emirates, and currently resides in the United States. He has a BA in English and Translation and an M.Sc. in Information Engineering and Management from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, Ahmad is a bilingual blogger and spends his free time reading or exploring natural places - he aspires to a career in writing and documentary filmmaking.

Pragnya L. Eranki

Pragnya is a renewable energy and environmental researcher with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. She is a health and wellness enthusiast, an amateur travel photographer, and a trained dancer who enjoys high-energy Zumba classes.

Vanessa Wanyandeh

Vanessa is a senior high school student looking to pursue a degree in international relations in the future. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling and trying new things.

Maryse Thomas

Maryse is a PhD student in neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her research focuses on enhancing plasticity in the aging brain in order to prevent and treat age-related cognitive decline. Outside of the lab, Maryse is a long-distance runner and plays competitive ultimate frisbee.

Ibrahim Sarhan

Ibrahim Sarhan is an engineer at Saudi Aramco with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals. He enjoys traveling solo, experiencing other cultures and meeting new people. Ibrahim also loves reading about philosophy and psychology.

Christina Kirk

Christina graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government, and is pursuing a Master's degree in Public Policy. Her two favorite things are a hot cup coffee and good tunes to match.

Steven Erwood

Steven is currently a fourth year undergraduate student studying Biology at the University of Toronto. He will begin pursuing his PhD in Molecular Genetics in the fall. Steven’s undergraduate research was in the field of Developmental Biology, focusing on organogenesis and early cell fate specification. Outside of science he enjoys reading, running, and listening to podcasts.

Sarah McCuaig

Having graduated from McGill with a degree in Immunology, Sarah is currently pursuing graduate studies at Oxford. In addition to running competitively, she is working towards becoming a clinician scientist and strongly believes in the importance of basic scientific research in the medical field.

Jakob Rosenfeldt

Jakob is an administrative coordinator at Bureau Veritas HSE. Though his diploma reads marketing and communication, Jakob is a jack-of-all-trades with a flair for systems (IT, games, languages, etc.) and project management. He's also addicted to trivia and online adventures. He is translating Useful Science to Danish.

Ben Lauing

Ben is a health care researcher and consultant at The Advisory Board Company. He is passionate about finding ways to bridge the gap between research and impact, so that everyone can feel empowered to make evidence-based decisions. Ben is a big fan of coffee, politics, theatre, vocal music, and his native California. He holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Will Chou

Will has a BS in biology from University of Maryland. He has spent years of his free time studying thousands of the world's most successful people to learn how they achieved their success. He loves combining what he finds with what he learns from scientific studies, books, and social media to share with the world.

Maria Zamfir

Maria's adventure in Neuroscience started with a Bachelor of Science from McGill, where she is continuing the journey in the PhD program. Outside of academia, she greatly enjoys playing hackey-sack.

Jason Kaplan

When he isn’t thinking about science outreach, Jason loves to read about the philosophy of mind, the history of medicine, German literature, early cinema, human origins, and the evolution of norms and etiquette. He has a BA in philosophy from Princeton with a minor in neuroscience, and a Masters in Biomedical Science from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Archana Vaidyanathan

Archana is completing her Master's in Educational Psychology and Learning Technologies at Teacher's College, Columbia University. Her interests are cognitive science, UX research, design of experiments, and learning behaviors. Her thesis was on using virtual worlds such as Second Life to teach scientific thinking or inquiry skills. She's also an artist, health enthusiast, nature-lover, and a doting mom to an 18 month old son.

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.

Jane Meng

Jane completed her BA at McGill University in psychology and economics in 2013. She is currently a first year medical student at McMaster University. In her free time, Jane enjoys musical pursuits such as playing the piano and singing.

Fiona Dyshniku

Fiona completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at Glendon College, York University. She has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Windsor.

Justin Smith

Justin is a technology marketing and management professional with experience in both Fortune 500 companies and start-up environments. He's passionate about health and wellness, mindfulness, and positive psychology. He lives in Montreal and holds a B.A. in philosophy and a very weathered e-book reader.

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.

Anders Damsgaard

Anders is a PhD student at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he develops GPU-based applications for simulating glaciers and sediment. He’s interested in science, numerical modelling, drone flying, and digital rights.

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.

Paul Sheppard

Paul is a current PhD student in behavioural neuroscience at the University of Guelph with a BSc in neuroscience and nutrition from Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research focuses on the rapid effects of estrogens on social memory and learning tasks and the mechanisms by which they occur. He has 4 cats, a long-list of unplayed podcast episodes to get to, and a thirst for good beer and good music.

Ben Deverett

Ben graduated from McGill in 2013 with a B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Music Technology. He is now pursuing computational neuroscience research with the Rutgers/Princeton MD–PhD program.

Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and is completing a PhD in the Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri. When not communicating science, she's either baking a cake, out for a run, or seeking out the best BBQ joints.

Andrew Blevins

Andrew holds a B.A. in English and Cognitive Science from the University of Georgia. He lives in Brooklyn, where he writes stories and essays and works at a legal publishing agency. He's been summarizing scientific studies for friends and loved ones for years (whether they wanted him to or not), so it's nice to be putting this skill to use. Other interests include philosophy, comedy, busking, and running.

Nava Caluori

Nava graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in Psychology and Religious Studies, and currently works as a lab manager at the University of Maryland. She is interested in religious cognition and conflict, group identities, and culture. She also enjoys terrible puns and good food.

Perrine Mathieu

Perrine is a Franco-American engineer with a Physics degree from McGill University and a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from UT Austin. Her interests include learning languages, traveling, photography, and eating chocolate.

Heather Olins

Heather is a PhD student in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. Her research takes her to the bottom of the ocean to explore deep sea volcanoes and study the microbes that are the base of bizarre and fascinating ecosystems there. She also loves learning about how microbes keep us healthy and make many of our favorite foods. She is a former middle school science teacher and enjoys photography, cooking, and hiking.

Ian Mahar

Ian is a neuroscience PhD candidate 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.

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.

Rosa Li

Rosa is a PhD student in Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University studying the development and neural basis of risky decision-making. Her current research focuses on peer influences on adolescent risk-taking, or why teenagers (sometimes) do dumb things when their friends are around. Rosa is also a candy expert, CrossFitter, and group exercise instructor.

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.

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.

Catherine Dayger

Cat is currently a PhD student in Biology at Portland State University studying how hormones and behavior work together to make sure animals reproduce under the right circumstances.

Karan `Gregg' Aggarwala

Dr. Karan "Gregg" Aggarwala is a vision scientist, poet, nutritional optometrist, entrepreneur, and philosopher. He has a PhD in Vision Science from State University of New York, College of Optometry. He has worked as an associate medical director, scientist, senior analyst, clinician, researcher in vision science, optometry, and ophthalmology, grant writer, health and wellness instructor, lecturer on optics of the eye, color vision, and vision therapy, a supervisor of Master of Optometry students, and a continuing education consultant to optometrists.

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.