Amy’s Episode: For the Birds (Song)
Amy Strauss is a PhD Candidate in the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. She studies songbird behavior and evolution under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Podos, and her work focuses on how environmental and social factors affect vocal learning and vocal communication in birds. Prior to graduate school, Amy earned an undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Whitman College. She then went on to work as a Scientific Assistant in the Division of Vertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. There, she ran the Osteology Lab (preparing skeletal specimens) and helped manage the Mammalogy, Ornithology, and Herpetology collections.
Felisha’s Episode: On the (Spaceborne) Radar
Felisha R Lawrence, Ph.D. is a Radar Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC). She received a Ph.D. from Howard University in Atmospheric Science (2016) and her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Hampton University (2010). Prior to joining NGC, Lawrence has worked at Earth Resources Technology (ERT), Inc. as an Electrical Engineer, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), Federal as a Satellite and Ground Systems Engineer and at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) as a Graduate Research Assistant. Dr. Lawrence is also a member of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and American Meteorological Society (AMS) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA), Inc. In her spare time she works with organizations to promote minority engagement in the STEM professions through community service, motivational speaking and tutoring.
Christina’s Episode: The Girl Who Cried Wolf (and Elk)
An early fondness for science, animals, and wilderness lead Christina to pursue a career in wildlife ecology. She received her Master’s degree at the University of Alberta, where she studied the response of elk to roads on their winter range. Her PhD project examines wolf-ungulate dynamics in Riding Mountain National Park in southwestern Manitoba.
Dr. Adrienn Luspay-Kuti is a Planetary Scientist at the Department of Space Research, Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. She studies the atmospheres and the behavior of exotic liquids and ices of cold, outer Solar System bodies. Her research focuses on the composition and structure of comets and what they can tell us about the early Solar System, and outer Solar System atmospheres with complex organic chemistry, such as the atmospheres of Saturn’s moon Titan, and Pluto. She has extensive experience with simulating icy planetary conditions in the lab, as well as photochemical modeling and data analysis. Dr. Luspay-Kuti is a science team member for the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument onboard the historic comet-orbiting Rosetta spacecraft that recently crash-landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and a former adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University.
Adrienn’s Episode: The Outer (Space) Limits
Dr. Jennifer Hausmann completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Brown University and then went on to complete her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, in zoological medicine. She then did a 1-year rotating small animal internship at the VCA Emergency Animal Hospital & Referral Center in San Diego, CA. Following that, she continued her specialty training with a 1-year zoo medicine internship at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and then a 3-year residency program in zoological medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in conjunction with the Milwaukee County Zoo and the International Crane Foundation. Dr. Hausmann now works at the Denver Zoo, in Denver, CO.
Jen’s Episode: If I Could Talk to the (Zoo) Animals
Dr. Marah Hardt is the Research Director at Future of Fish. Marah works with leading entrepreneurs and innovators in the ocean world to identify solutions to the global overfishing crisis, including breakthrough aquaculture, pairing story with fish, and increasing adoption of better traceability technology. Prior to her work with Future of Fish, Marah spent five years as Founder of OceanInk, working as a consultant investigating coral reef health, fishery impacts, and ocean acidification. She was also a research fellow at Blue Ocean Institute, where she launched their climate change program, including an initiative to engage scientists and religious leaders in constructive conversation about halting climate change.
Marah’s Episode: Under the (Sexy) Sea
ReBecca Hunt-Foster is a district paleontologist at the Bureau of Land Management in Utah.
ReBecca’s Episode: Bureau of Land (Before Time) Management
Kathy Mandt is a senior research scientist at Southwest Research Institute and Adjoint Professor at University of Texas San Antonio. She is a planetary scientist working on NASA and ESA missions.
Kathy’s Episode: Moon River (and Water)
Rachel E. Sachs is an Associate Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Rachel’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of patent law and health law, with a particular focus on problems of innovation and access and the ways in which law helps or hinders these problems. During her fellowship at the Petrie-Flom Center, Rachel wrote extensively on the ways in which different areas of law, including intellectual property law and food and drug regulation, interact to affect incentives for innovation. Work completed during her fellowship was published or accepted for publication in the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, the University of California-Davis Law Review, the Journal of Law & the Biosciences, and IP Theory, among others.
Rachel earned her JD in 2013 magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was the Articles Chair of the Harvard Law Review and a student fellow with both the Petrie-Flom Center and the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business. Rachel has also earned a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, during which she interned at the United States Department of Health and Human Services. She holds an AB in Bioethics from Princeton University. After law school Rachel clerked for the Honorable Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Rachel’s Episode: (Health) Law and Order
Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT. Her science research focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her research has introduced many new ideas to the field of exoplanet characterization, including work that led to the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere. Professor Seager also works in space instrumentation and space missions for exoplanets, including CubeSats, as a co-investigator on the MIT-led TESS, a NASA Explorer Mission to be launched in 2017, and chaired the NASA Science and Technology Definition Team for a “Probe-class” Starshade and telescope system for direct imaging discovery and characterization of Earth analogs.
Before joining MIT in 2007, Professor Seager spent four years on the senior research staff at the Carnegie Institution of Washington preceded by three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her PhD is from Harvard University. Professor Seager is on the advisory board for Planetary Resources. Professor Seager was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, the 2012 recipient of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, and the 2007 recipient of the American Astronomical Society’s Helen B. Warner Prize. She has been recognized in the media, most recently in Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.
Sara’s Episode: Captain (Exo)Planet
Dr. Karlsson is originally from Rush City, Minnesota, a very small town north of the Twin Cities. Although she misses the snow, she loves being so close to all the great restaurants and museums found in the DC area. When she’s not busy with research or teaching, Dr. Karlsson likes to travel with her husband, read, make pottery, and attempt to keep her yard from getting overrun by ivy.
Amy’s Episode: When You Yeast Expect It
Victoria works in Aerospace Systems Engineering at Harris Corporation in Florida. She is a Principle Investigator and Mission Analyst working on future satellite concepts. She received her Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and her Masters/PHD also in Aerospace Engineering from Caltech. Connect with her on LinkedIn!
Victoria’s Episode: Watch this (Satellite) Space
Dr. Eugenia Gold is an Instructor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University. She received her Ph.D. from the Richard Gilder Graduate School in the American Museum of Natural History in October 2015. Her dissertation focused on the evolution of flight in dinosaurs through the lens of neuroscience. She uses high-resolution imaging techniques, like Computed Tomography (CT) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning to look at how the shape of the brain changed in bird-line dinosaurs, and how modern birds use their brains during flight. She received a M.S. in Geosciences from the University of Iowa in May 2011. She is also a UMD almuna, having received both a B.S. in Geology with honors, and a B.S. in Biology, with a citation in College Park Scholars: Earth, Life, and Time.
In February of 2016, she launched a blog (Dr. Neurosaurus) for kids about paleontological news. She takes articles that come out in the popular media about any aspect of paleontology and breaks it down so that the finding and its importance can be readily understood by a wide audience. Because she is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, it was important to her to make paleontology approachable to native Spanish-speakers, so she makes her blog available in Spanish as well.
Eugenia’s Episode: The (Dinosaur) Brain Drain
Nicole (Nikki) Vars McCullough is currently the Global Technical Services and Regulatory Manager for 3M’s Personal Safety Division. She holds a masters and doctorate degree in Industrial Hygiene and is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). She has worked in the field of occupational health and safety for 25 years. She is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
Nikki’s Episode: Working (Safely) 9 to 5
Dr. Julie Meachen grew up in Tampa, Florida and attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate education and her Master’s degree in Zoology with Dr. S. David Webb. Dr. Meachen then went on to do a Ph.D. in Biology at UCLA with Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh. Afterward, she spent three years in a postdoctoral position at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center located at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, followed by a year teaching position at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Currently, Dr. Meachen is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA where she teaches gross anatomy to osteopathic medical students. Her research focuses on vertebrate paleontology and functional morphology. She specializes in mammalian carnivores and is interested in how climate change and the extinction events at the end of the Pleistocene (11,500 years ago) have affected the morphology and ecology of living and Pleistocene species.
Julie’s Episode: Lions and Tigers and (Dire) Wolves, Oh My
Caroline Van Sickle
Dr. Caroline VanSickle earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and her B.S. in Anthropology at Kansas State University. She is currently the Wittig Postdoctoral Fellow in Feminist Biology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and holds honorary research affiliations with both the Anthropology Department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and with the Evolutionary Science Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. As a paleoanthropologist, VanSickle’s research focuses on the identification and interpretation of sex differences in the hominin fossil record based on the anatomy of the pelvis. She has studied original hominin fossil material at institutions in the U.S., Great Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, Israel, and South Africa. She is currently the lead researcher studying the Homo naledi pelvis.
Caroline’s Episode: My (Hominin) Hips Don’t Lie
Jill Scott is a Ph.D. candidate in biological anthropology at the University of Iowa with a focus on paleoanthropology. Her doctoral research broadly examines Middle and Late Pleistocene Homo craniofacial evolution. Jill is also part of the team that analyzed and named the recently announced hominin species, Homo naledi. In 2014, Jill participated in the Rising Star Workshop as one of approximately 35 early career scientists to analyze and describe the more than 1500 excavated hominin fragments from the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star cave system in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. Jill received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2006 and her M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Iowa in May 2009. She has completed paleontological fieldwork in southeastern Montana, both historic and prehistoric archaeological fieldwork in western and southern Illinois and eastern Iowa, and paleoanthropological fieldwork in South Africa at the sites of Gladysvale Cave and Matjhabeng.
Jill’s Episode: On the Origins of (Modern Chin) Species
Dr. Courtney Soderberg is the Statistical and Methodological Consultant at the Center for Open Science, a non-profit tech startup dedicated to fostering the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. At the Center, she focuses on teaching and training around reproducible statistics and research methods. She works one-on-one with researchers to help them apply new statistical methods to their research and develop more open workflows and travels to universities to give talks and workshops to raise awareness of issues related to reproducibility. She received her Ph.D. is Social Psychology from UC Davis in 2014, and a B.A. in psychology from Barnard College, Columbia Univeristy in 2008.
Courtney’s Episode: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistical Science
Jackie is CEO and co-founder of Essmart, a distribution company for life-improving technologies in southern India. An engineer by training, Jackie wanted to design technologies that could impact low-income populations around the world. After working with technology-for-development initiatives in 11 African countries and India over multiple years, she realized that the real challenge is getting these products to their intended end users. She shifted her focus to technology dissemination and wrote her Master’s thesis on innovation diffusion strategies in low-income settings, which helped lay the groundwork for Essmart. Jackie received awards for outstanding scholarly work for both her undergraduate and masters dissertations, and she continues to give lectures on technology design, commercialization, and dissemination at Harvard, MIT and Yale. Jackie studied mechanical engineering at Harvard and Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge.
Jackie’s Episode: The Bare (Market) Necessities
Dr. Anna Schneider is the co-founder and CTO of WattTime, a cleantech nonprofit that connects people and smart devices to cleaner electricity. Anna is passionate about addressing climate change by using data, software, and computational research to promote the effective use of clean energy resources. Before leading software development at WattTime, her work ranged from analyzing weather patterns at wind farm sites at 3TIER, to simulating how plants harvest solar energy at UC Berkeley. Anna has been named an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and is an author on five scientific publications. She holds a PhD in biophysics from UC Berkeley and BS degrees from the University of Washington. When she makes the time, Anna enjoys dancing and creating food projects.
Anna’s Episode: Let There Be (Clean) Light
Dr. Katherine Ottolini is currently a first year neonatal-perinatal fellow at Children’s National Medical Center. She earned a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and then attended medical school at the George Washington University on an Air Force scholarship. Following medical school, she completed her pediatric residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center caring for military families. After completing her fellowship training in neonatology, she will return to active duty as a physician in the Air Force.
Katie’s Episode: Be My Little Baby (Doctor)
Bettina Chen graduated from the California Institute of Technology in 2010 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. She received her Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in March 2012. Bettina has conducted research on bionic contact lenses and worked as an electrical design engineer at Discera and KLA-Tencor. As a young girl, Bettina loved Lego and built cities filled with spaceships with her older brother. These days, she is an avid ultimate frisbee player and plays on BW Ultimate, a competitive Bay Area mixed club team.
Bettina’s Episode: The Island of (Engineering) Toys
Alice Ly is the Assistant Director for Health and Sciences (H&S) at the Harvard Innovation Lab. She works with students, postdocs and clinical fellows to develop and execute on ideas that bring Health and Sciences innovation and entrepreneurship to society. Alice has 8 years of Student and Academic Affairs experience at Yale University supporting students and scholars pursue their academic and professional goals, her most recent position being the Associate Director for Postdoctoral Affairs. She completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Neurobiology at Yale University and her B.S. in Biological Sciences at University of California, Irvine.
Alice’s Episode: The Innovation Game
Dr. Lindsay Miller is Director of Materials Integration at Alphabet Energy, where she works on industrial scale systems that convert waste heat into electricity. Specifically, she focuses on thermoelectric materials R&D, material production scale up, and integration of thermoelectric materials into power generation systems. Dr. Miller earned her PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley in 2012, where her research was on passively self-tuning resonators and MEMS- & macro- scale piezoelectric devices that convert vibration energy into electricity. She also did research on the energy-water nexus and lead a large project to get real-time campus building water usage data available online. In her free time, she enjoyed being part of the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative leadership team. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Miller earned her BS in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, during which time she did research at NASA Glenn Research Center and Procter & Gamble.
Lindsay’s Episode: The Green (Alphabet) Energy Revolution
Diana Gibson got her Bachelor’s of Science in Geology (minor in Hispanic Studies) from the College of William and Mary, and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (concentration in Environmental Education) from Concordia University of Portland. She has taught in a variety of formal and informal educational contexts, from camps, outdoor education schools, and ESL to formal K-12 classroom teaching in public and private settings. Her global education resources guide from her Teachers for Global Classroom Fellowship can be found at globalclassrooms.tumblr.com Diana is married with one young daughter and lives in the Washington, DC area. When she’s not teaching she enjoys nerding out on science articles, singing and serving in her church, trying new recipes, and traveling whenever possible.
Diana’s Episode: The (High School) Science Fair
Terrell Hatzilias earned her Bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Biology and her PhD from Emory University in Neuroscience. She specialized in neurodegenerative diseases while at Emory and became interested in neuroethics, the intersection of ethics/philosophy and neuroscience. After graduating, she did a post-doc at the Georgia Institute of Technology investigating neuroimmunology in the context of traumatic brain injury and simultaneously began writing and working for the International Neuroethics Society. Terrell currently teaches undergraduates in the Grand Challenges program at Georgia Tech, a program focused on developing engineering solution to global problems, and also freelances as a medical and science writer.
Terrell’s Episode: You Live, You Learn (Engineering)
Tara Shears is a particle physicist and Professor of Physics at the University of Liverpool. She has spent her career investigating the behaviour of fundamental forces and particles, and currently researches (with 699 other people!) using the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
Tara’s Episode: A Quantum (Physics) Leap
Adrianne attended Caltech for her undergraduate degree in (E&AS) Aeronautical Engineering. Afterwards she promptly joined the solar industry craze and worked to provide utility scale solar energy. As a systems engineer at a startup she worked on all aspects of the utility scale solar power solutions, including power and thermal performance, commissioning, reliability testing, and verification testing. After a short hiatus where she lived in a van and went rock climbing all over North America, she joined SpaceX to work on reliable electrical power distribution in rockets and space vehicles. Now she does all sorts of things to ensure the lights stay powered on in space.
Adrianne’s Episode: Fly Me to the Moon (and Beyond)
Initially beginning her career on Wall Street, Morgana pivoted to political microtargeting in 2008 when she joined MSHC Partners. Over the next few years, Morgana delved deeper into politics and data, her skill set expanding along with this ever evolving industry. Some of her professional roles include working for the United States Congress (US Representative Steve Driehaus , OH-01) and serving as the Deputy Director of Targeting and Data for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Most recently, Morgana works at the American Speech Language Hearing Association, where she played a lead role in the organizational response to CMS Physician Quality Reporting System changes stemming from the Affordable Care Act. With nearly a decade of experience, Morgana stands at the intersection of data, analytics, and policy.
Additionally, Morgana has programming experience. Her ongoing projects include an MLB scheduling app, an analytics tool which applies machine learning and predictive forecasting to fashion, and a summer concert series app for music and logistics fans alike.
Morgana received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University. Currently, Morgana lives in Washington, DC where she enjoys running, participating in data meetups, and criticizing the city streetcar initiative.
Morgana’s Episode: For Love of the (Data) Game
Shannon Mihaly is a Mission Operations Engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California working for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) project. MRO gathers data about Mars, assists with future landing site reconnaissance, and provides a telecommunications link between the Martian rovers and Earth. Since 2011, Shannon has been an MRO science planner, integrating a schedule of instrument observations to be executed on board the spacecraft. She is also an ACE, or mission controller, sending commands to MRO through the Deep Space Network (DSN). She is currently transitioning into a new role on MRO as a spacecraft systems engineer, focusing on the health, safety, and maintenance of the MRO instruments and spacecraft. Shannon received her Masters from Princeton University in Geosciences and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University.
Shannon’s Episode: The (Mars) Schedule Makers
Kristy Lenz is a forensic research scientist at Promega
Kristy’s Episode: The CSI Effect
Dr. Dana Weiser is an assistant professor in Human Development & Family Studies and affiliate faculty in Women’s Studies at Texas Tech. She earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She teaches Human Sexuality at the undergraduate and graduate level, and her scholarly work focuses on infidelity, family patterns in romantic relationships, and sexual health.
Dana’s Episode: The Joy of Sex (and Fidelity)
Emily Calandrelli is the Host and Producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. She is a recent graduate of MIT where she received a Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Technology and Policy. Through her show, Calandrelli shows off the most exciting aspects of the space industry in an effort to excite others about space exploration and science. As a professional speaker, she works to promote scientific literacy and encourage young students to pursue STEM careers.
Emily’s Episode: The (Space) Xplorers Club
Nicole Broekema is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. At work she spends her time moving small volumes of liquid around and thinking about how herpes simplex virus interacts with the cells that it infects. When she is not in lab she enjoys singing epic classic rock ballads at karaoke and visiting as many national parks as she can. You can peruse her published research here and contact her on LinkedIn.
Nicole’s Episode: The (Nano) Arms Race
Molly Lindquist, a mom and breast cancer survivor, founded Consano, a 501(c)(3) crowdfunding platform for medical research, after her cancer diagnosis in 2011 at the age of 32. Molly graduated from Stanford University with a degree in economics and went on to work as an investment banking analyst in the consumer group at Robertson Stephens. After her stint in banking, Molly transitioned into the corporate world, traveling the globe sourcing products for World Market and then doing company planning for the Banana Republic brand of Gap Inc. After the birth of her first child in 2006, Molly took on the most difficult job she’s ever had as a stay-at-home mom, and learned that there was no Excel model that could map out the whims of a small child. The complexity and joy of work only grew in 2008 when her second daughter joined the family. Molly blogs about her cancer experience for the Huffington Post and was named a 2014 Knowledge Networks Rising Star by Portland Monthly magazine, a 2014 Orchid Award Winner and a 2015 “40 Under 40” award recipient by the Portland Business Journal and a 2015 Honoree of “the one hundred.” She is also the proud recipient of a “Best Mom in the World” mug.
Molly’s Episode: The (Medical) Giving Tree
Kassia DeVorsey is a data and analytics consultant. Kass has worked in political analytics since 2008, including time with the Democratic National Committee and President Obama’s reelection campaign. After the 2012 cycle, Kass helped start BlueLabs, a Washington, DC-based analytics company. Kass is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Kass’ Episode: The (Data) Campaign Trail
Elizabeth Cordoba is an Aerospace Engineer for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA center located in Pasadena, California. At work she designs, builds, and tests one-of-a-kind spacecraft, including the SMAP mission and the Mars2020 mission. When not playing with satellites, she takes advantage of the California weather by hiking, biking and just being outside. She received her M.S. from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2007 and her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2005. You can find out more about her work and contact her on LinkedIn.
Elizabeth’s Episode: A (2020) Space Odyssey