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Directors

Alex Garinther

Alex’s degrees are in Psychology (PhD, MA) and Public Administration (MPA). He conducts research on decision making and social behavior, and works primarily on applied projects (e.g., evaluating police training in the United States, assessing persuasive messaging campaigns among charity organizations, linking oncology patients’ religious beliefs to end-of-life treatment decisions). Since 2019, he has run the science communication website Applied Science Live.

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Maryse Thomas

Maryse is a post-doctoral researcher in auditory neuroscience at the Mass. Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In her spare time, Maryse enjoys learning languages, biking, running, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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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.

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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.

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Susan Rogers Van Katwyk

Susan Rogers Van Katwyk is the Research Director for global antimicrobial resistance at the Global Strategy Lab at York University. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa and her work focuses on generating evidence-informed policy recommendations for global health threats. She loves hiking, curling, and craft beer.

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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.

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Joshua Jackson

Joshua Conrad Jackson is a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies how culture changes over time, and the impact of cultural change on human cognition and behavior. Outside of research, he enjoys traveling and long-distance running.

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Carl Snyder

Carl is a PhD graduate student at Portland State University in the Applied Physics program with an emphasis on biophysics. His research is focused on the development of technologies and techniques that could one day be used for detecting microbial life out in our solar system. In his free time Carl likes to do anything that gets his body moving or outside, including: hiking, climbing, biking, basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, swimming, rafting, kayaking, snowboarding, camping, and the list goes on and on.

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Conor Lane

Conor is a PhD student in auditory neuroscience at McGill University. He is interested in how non-neuronal cells such as astrocytes are able to influence learning and memory by regulating the reorganisation of neuronal circuits. In particular, he wants to examine whether we can target these cells to improve cognitive functioning in conditions such as dementias. Outside of the lab, Conor can usually be found cooking for friends or out exploring Montréal!

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Contributors

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.

Lindsay Schwartz

Lindsay is a behavioral scientist at the Institutes for Behavior Resources in Baltimore, Maryland, working in the areas of behavioral economics, substance use, and fatigue and performance. Her dissertation focused on the use of behavioral economic methods to quantify drug value in those with substance use disorders. These days Lindsay is focusing her efforts on using biomathematical models of fatigue to understand how sleep and fatigue can impact performance in different industries like healthcare and aviation.

Lauren Sterlin

Lauren graduated from Northeastern University with her DPT in Physical Therapy. She currently works in cancer research focusing on metastatic prostate cancer. She enjoys running/fitness, baking and is slightly obsessed with skincare products. One of her talents is spotting film errors.

Vinko Culjak Mathieu

Vinko is a master’s student at McGill University and the Lyman Entomological Museum. He studies the interactions between plants and insects in the Canadian Arctic and how those interactions change across time. He is active in many science communication and outreach initiatives in addition to Useful Science such as Skype-a-Scientist, the McGill Bee Club, and Letters to a Pre-Scientist. He gives public talks on ecology, speaks to middle school classes about biology and evolution, and uses his Instagram account to highlight the diversity of insects and plants. In his spare time, Vinko teaches workshops on science communication, collects bugs, and practices macro photography.

Sarah Weintraub

Sarah is a Microbiology and Cell Science BS graduate from the University of Florida. She currently works at NorthShore University Healthsystem, associated to University of Chicago, in the Center of Psychiatric Genetics. When she's not in the lab, she enjoys reading, running and exploring!

Jennifer Barrow

Jennifer recently completed her MSc at McGill University studying the impact of stressors on phytoplankton and bacteria communities in shallow lakes. Now, she teaches science and math at an alternative public school in the city. Jennifer’s passion is teaching and learning; she has always had an interest in science communication and community outreach. When not working, Jennifer spends as much time as she can outdoors, playing sports, trying to identify bird calls, reading, and just watching the clouds go by.

Sabrina Azinheira

Sabrina is an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst completing her degree in Biology. When she is not applying for jobs or graduate programs, she can be found playing her trombone loudly, looking at birds, or reading about science.

Caroline O'Brien

Caroline is an undergraduate at Georgetown University completing her degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science. Her primary interests include learning about neurodevelopmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and brain injury and recovery. While she’s not in the classroom, she can be found training on the U.S. Rowing National Team, and is also a captain of the Georgetown Lightweight Women’s rowing team.

Vivian Le

Vivian is an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying how different cultures interact with their environment with a focus on sustainability. She works at Your Local Greens, a new hydroponic city farm in Burlington, North Carolina as the social media coordinator. When she's not studying, she loves hiking, exploring, and traveling to new places!

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.

Emma Fowler

Emma recently graduated from McGill University with an MSc. in Experimental Medicine, studying how cancer metabolism contributes to drug resistance in breast cancer. She now works as a Medical Writer in Montreal and is happy that she spends her day creating interesting learning materials instead of pipetting at a lab bench. Emma has many other passions and tries to do as much rock-climbing, wandering in parks, and reading as possible.

Peyton Thomas

Peyton Thomas is a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She assesses impacts of environmental stressors on skeletal muscle development and physiology in sharks, skates, and rays. When taking a break from research she enjoys environmental education and outreach, distance running, hiking, backpacking, paddle boarding, traveling, playing ukulele, and gardening.

Anushka Khasnobish

Anushka is a creative writer wandering in the maze of science of little things called “microbiology.” As a doctoral researcher, she is currently looking at the relationship between human health and our little microbe friends in our saliva and how health experts can utilize this relationship for therapeutic purposes. She is a curious child trapped in an adult body and this curiosity fuels her work. She is a strong believer of destiny which reflects in her creative blog titled “Maktub."

Clara Gepner

Clara is a journalism student at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She holds a BSc in Anatomy & Cell Biology from McGill University, and an MSc in Global Health from Maastricht University. She loves learning about everything from neuroscience to oceanography, and enjoys playing the guitar and running in her free time.

Nicole Wang

Nicole is a pre-med student at the University of Florida completing her degree in Biology with a minor in Portuguese. She aspires to be a physician, and is immersing herself in the field as an avid volunteer in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU and Pediatric ICU at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Nicole also co-founded Solace, a volunteer organization at UF that serves the geriatric unit as well as other underserved units of the hospital. She is well-traveled, has dual citizenship in Canada and Brazil, and has lived in Shanghai, China. She enjoys sharing knowledge and educating others and makes use of her talents as a Teaching Assistant for courses in Genetics and Emergency Medicine Response. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, baking, reading a compelling novel, and going on bike rides.

Uyen Nguyen

Uyen is an M.Sc. student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She likes to be called “Oo-in” instead of “Yu-en”. Using high-dimensional flow cytometry, Uyen looks at how physical exercise affects immune composition in bone marrow recipients. In her free time, she runs, watches comedies, reads biographies, and eats chocolate-coated pretzels (usually not all at once).

Rosa Bermejo

Rosa is a Ph.D. student in Social and Health Psychology at Stony Brook University. Her research interests involve studying experiences of discrimination, specifically how they affect the educational and health outcomes of Black and Latinx communities. In her free time, Rosa enjoys drawing and painting.

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.

Julia Talbot-Jones

Julia is a lecturer (Asst. Prof) at Victoria, University of Wellington in New Zealand. Her work bridges economics, ecology, and natural resource management.

Katie Keil

Katie is a Master's student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and Program on Climate Change at the University of Washington. She is currently researching zooplankton sensitivity to ocean acidification, and is passionate about bridging the gap between scientists and policy-makers. When she's not in the lab or attending some scicomm workshop, you'll find her backpacking in the Olympic mountains, beachcombing in Seattle, or catching up with friends at a local coffee shop.

Deborah Adedoja

Deborah is an up-and-coming physician with an interest in the science behind everyday life experiences. She is grateful to more recently be working as a clinician using sensory-cognitive teaching methods to assist in building reading comprehension and phonemic awareness among children and adults. Deborah received a masters in public health from the University of Edinburgh. She enjoys new adventures, jogging, biking, music, theatre, painting, playing the harp, and participating in meaningful and fun gatherings.

Graciela Ferderer

Graciela holds a BA in Biology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has continued on to work as a science educator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry where she spends her days working with teen volunteers and creating curriculum to get people excited about the world around them. In her free time she loves fixing/riding bikes and making elaborate meals with friends.

Baisali Ray

Baisali is a teacher who is passionate about making science accessible and relatable to all. Her mantra is “Science is fun and it is everywhere.” Baisali is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology at Northern Virginia Community College. A neuroscientist by training, Baisali received her PhD from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Maryland and the University of Iowa. Her hobbies include traveling, trying new food, reading, and trivia.

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.

Melanie Matthies

Melanie is an emeritus faculty member at Boston University and was previously a research scientist at MIT. Her primary research area is the effect of hearing loss on speech production but she also enjoys reading studies about health and wellness.

Rose Himber Howse

Rose Himber Howse is a writer and teacher from North Carolina. She attended Haverford College, where she studied psychology and completed a meta-analysis of studies identifying protective factors against suicide among LGBTQ+ youth. She has also written queer-inclusive, evidence-based sex education curriculum for practitioners in the South. She currently works as an academic editor.

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.

Avaneesh Narla

Avaneesh is currently a PhD student in Physics at the University of California San Diego. His work focuses on theoretical biophysics and quantitative biology, and includes fields such as fluid dynamics, computational neuroscience, theoretical ecology and bacteriophysiology.

Partners

Karim Boudjema

Karim is a Belgian Drupal developer working as a freelancer for several U.S. and Canadian agencies. Karim develops websites, creates Drupal learning resources, and is active in the global Drupal community. Useful Science is grateful to Karim for his consulting and developing services.

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Sur Place Media

Sur Place is a media company of freelancers and artists who come together to fulfill media contracts in a stimulating and supportive environment. At their well-equipped Mile End studio in Montreal, they offer workshops, a collaborative work space, and opportunities for job placement and professional development. Sur Place is producing a series of videos with Useful Science to help people become more informed about scientific findings.

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Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Their mission is to serve North Carolina and beyond by bringing together the unique resources of UNC to engage the public for an improved public understanding of science, technology and health. The U.S. astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, including the astronauts who walked on the Moon, trained under Morehead’s dome in celestial navigation. Morehead is currently producing the Useful Science podcast.

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Past Contributors