Photo of Erika Angle.

Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle

Now: Founder & Executive Director
Then: PhD in Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine studying small molecule biomarkers in Huntington Disease
Way Back When: To read Erika’s full biography, click here.

Dr. Alicia Bielik

Title: Chief Human Resources Officer

Background: Ph.D. Chemistry, Boston University studying glycosaminoglycans using the technique of mass spectrometry

Susan Merson

Title: Director of Education

Background: Ph.D. Physics, University of Rochester, investigating how – and if! –metal surfaces melt when heated above their melting temperatures at ultrafast rates (in less than one billionth of a second).

Susan Merson

Title: Director of US Operations

Background: BA Psychology, Boston University, M.Ed in Elementary Education and School Guidance Counseling, Cambridge College, MBA Questrom School of Business, Boston University

David Mayer

Title: Chief Development Officer

Background: BSc Economics and Physiology, University of Wyoming studying business data analytics and developmental hormones in the human body.

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Shannon Kelly

Title: Director of Development, California

Background: Finding champions for great causes on the Golden Coast. M.A. Rhetoric, Iowa State University. Focus on communication that inspires action.

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Emily Abrams

Scientific Background: Studying structure and reactivity of VX and tRNA using computational chemistry. BS in Chemistry.

What Sparked My Interest: “Frequent trips to the St. Louis Zoo as a child helped me fall in love with animals and zoology.”

Livia Braga

Scientific Background: Studying the effects of climate on certain species of plants. MS in Biology

What Sparked My Interest: “Growing up in Brazil near the Amazon I was always fascinated with science. Later living in Mexico working as a dolphin trainer helped solidify my science career.”

Headshot of Tony Gallo.

Dr. Tony Gallo

Scientific Background: Studying energy transfer of organic monolayers on catalytic metal surfaces in ultra-high vacuum using ellipsometry and laser fluorescence and Raman spectroscopies. Ph.D. in chemistry.

What Sparked My Interest: “My parents bought me a chemistry set for Christmas and I discovered I could chase my brothers out of the bedroom by making stinky gases. In 6th grade, I won the Future Scientist of America award.”

Dr. Samira Guccione

Scientific Background: Making 3D movies of invasive cancer cells in the brain. Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.

What Sparked My Interest: “I have always been an adventurer by nature and being amazed at its diversity, yet sharing so many common threads connecting everything like a jigsaw puzzle. I asked a lot of questions and always and made up my own theories to test.”

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Simone Lewis-Koskinen

Scientific Background: Studying contaminants in and sustainability of seafood consumption for children 12 and under. MS in Environmental Science.

What Sparked My Interest: “I fell in love with the ocean and marine biology on a family trip to Hawaii snorkeling around Kealakekua Bay when I was 11.”

Headshot for Lisa McRae.

Dr. Lisa McRae

Scientific Background: Pharmacologist studying the use of stem cells to study cell signaling in blood and blood vessel development. Ph.D. in Pharmacology

What Sparked My Interest: “Watched frog spawn hatch into tadpoles in the classroom. Released them in our school pond and watched them turn into frogs.”

Headshot of Esther Niemasik.

Dr. Esther Niemasik

Scientific Background: Behavioral Ecologist specializing in studying the cooperative breeding behavior of Brown-headed nuthatches. Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior.

What Sparked My Interest: “Grew up catching fish by hand in the creek behind our house and learning the names of all the birds; I’ve been a biologist ever since!”

Headshot of Rachel Steger.

Rachel Steger

Scientific Background: Exploring the structures of large cellular protein complexes involved in fruit fly development. MA in Molecular and Cell Biology

What Sparked My Interest: “As a 6-year old I considered it my duty to protect any butterfly that was in distress and inspect all the creepy crawly insects and plants I could find.”

Dr. Payal Patel

Scientific Background: Studying the regulation of metabolic rate and insulin sensitivity. Ph.D. in Biomedical Science.

What Sparked My Interest: “I performed a chlorophyll chromatography lab in 2nd grade. I was blown away by the discovery that green stuff in leaves gives them their color. I wondered what other secrets nature hid, and so pursued science.”

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Brian Devlin

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist
Then: BS Biology, University of Central Florida studying Herpetology and malarial parasitemia
Way Back When: Spent countless hours of my childhood watching lizards from my bedroom window and caring for turtles rescued from pool filters.

Headshot of Najja Gay.

Najja Gay

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist
Then: BA Biology, Lawrence University studying marine and aquatic organisms
Way Back When: Swam with manatees in 7th grade for a class trip.

Picture of Melissa Natividade

Melissa Natividade

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist
Then: BA Environmental Studies, BA Journalism and Communications, BA Graphic Design, The College of New Jersey, studying ecology and aquaponic and agricultural design systems
Way Back When: Spent a lot of time at the New York Science Hall and ended up hooked on vertical farming and aquaponics- creating my own vertical garden in Brooklyn at age 8.

Headshot of Alex Navalpotro.

Alexandra Navalpotro

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist
Then: BS Biomedical Sciences, Adventist University studying health sciences
Way Back When: Was a part of SECME throughout middle school building mouse-trap cars, balsa wood bridges and egg drop containers.

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Samantha Paitsel

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist
Then: BS Marine Biology, Florida Institute of Technology, studying the effects of probiotics on fish growth
Way Back When: Went to the aquarium regularly as a child, and fell more in love with marine life each time.

Head shot of Kira Silverman.

Kira Silverman

Now: SpectacuLAB Scientist; Development Coordinator
Then: BS Psychology and Zoology, University of Florida studying animal behavior, human dimensions of natural resources, and environmental education
Way Back When: Favorite middle school class was computer science, where I learned typing, powerpoint, photoshop, and how to use the internet.

Jaclyn Mayo, CFRE

Title: Development of Massachusetts Development

Background: MA in Theology from Bethel Seminary; BA Mathematics and BA German from Hartwick College

Morghan Milewski

Now: Office Manager
Then: BA General Anthropology and minor in Childhood Studies, Bridgewater State University
Way Back When: Grew up loving shows about searching for gold and geodes. In the 6th grade my family went on vacation to NC where we panned for gold and sifted other minerals. I still have a some of the amethyst!

Shannon Davis

Scientific Background: Studying the effects of weather events on the acidity of the ocean. MS in Environmental Science, Ph.D. Candidate in Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts-Boston.

What Sparked My Interest: “I measured the acceleration of gravity by throwing different objects off the roof.”

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Victoria Dorich

Scientific Background: She helped develop a C. difficile Toxin Test at a biotech diagnostic startup company for single-molecule counting to ultrasensitively detect toxins at very low levels so that hospitals could use the test to diagnose C. difficile infections. Before that, she grew crystals with purified proteins involved in the general stress response of Escherichia coli in order to use X-ray crystallography to determine their atomic and molecular structure at Brown University. BS Biochemistry, Texas A&M University.

What Sparked My Interest: “I enjoyed building an ecosystem in middle school and raising my own butterflies.”

Headshot of Susan Gleuck.

Dr. Susan Glueck

Scientific Background: Ph.D. in Entomology/Evolutionary biology studying the molecular evolution of a GABA receptor in insects (involved in pesticide resistance!)

What Sparked My Interest: “I was afraid of spiders as a kid, but in college, I had a mentor who studied . . . spiders (!) so I learned how to collect them in the wild and examine them under a microscope!”

Andrea Jones

Title: Development Manager

Background: PMP Business Communications, Harvard University

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Linda Lambrecht

Scientific Background: Studying the toxic effects of Polybrominated Biphenyls on reproduction. MS Pathology, University of Wisconsin.

What Sparked My Interest: “Watching “Mr. Wizard” show on television and then became a member of the Mr. Wizard Science club.”

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Morgan Lindemayer-Finck

Scientific Background: MS Marine Science and Technology studying conservation genetics of sea-run brook trout.

What Sparked My Interest: “I created a red cabbage pH indicator in fifth grade staining the kitchen counters in the process.”

Headshot of Evelyn MacGrath.

Evelyn MacGrath

Scientific Background: Studying food microorganisms. MS Medical Microbiology, University of the West of England. BS Applied Sciences, Trinity College Dublin.

What Sparked My Interest: When my eighth-grade class took a field trip to a beach where we collected seaweed and studied it. I was hooked on science from then on!

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Eric Roebuck

Scientific Background: Studied the evolution of galaxies in cosmic time. Ph.D. Physics from Tufts University. Currently teaching physics, astronomy, and mathematics between Tufts University, Bunker Hill Community College, and Simmons University as an adjunct lecturer.

What Sparked My Interest: “The Magic School Bus Gets Lost In Space” episode, got me thinking about what lies beyond the Earth.

Headshot of Sarah Saleh.

Sarah Saleh

Scientific Background: Studying Micro Aerial Vehicles, MS Aeronautics, and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

What Sparked My Interest: “I loved playing with Technic Lego and made all sorts of cars and moving things!”

Headshot of Christine San Antonio.

Christine San Antonio

Scientific Background: B.S. in Biology, minor in Chemistry, studying the effects of nutrient enhancement on plant defense. M.S. in Environmental Science, examining the impacts of climate change on lobsters. *Proficient in Fijian

What Sparked My Interest: “I used to stargaze as a kid with my dad and I was often awestruck and inspired by the immensity of our universe and how science could help us understand our place in it.”

Dr. Catherine Sukow

Scientific Background: Studying metal silicides on silicon and structure of crossbridged actin. Master’s from NCSU and a Ph.D. from Brandeis.

What Sparked My Interest: “While volunteering in my childrens’ schools, I was reminded how much fun it is to teach science, and am happy to be teaching now with Science from Scientists.”

Headshot of Leighann Sullivan

Dr. Leighann Sullivan

Scientific Background: Studying molecular and genomic analyses in Clostridium acetobutylicum. Ph.D. Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University. BS Biology, Genetics concentration, Cornell University.

What Sparked My Interest: “I spent the summer between 10th and 11th grade at a college doing research on fruit fly genes!”

Headshot of Liz Tracy.

Elizabeth Tracy

Scientific Background: Industrial Engineering and Quality Assurance, devising improvements in production processes, and implementing efficient systems and quality controls in the manufacturing of telecommunication products.

What Sparked My Interest: “My high school industrial arts teacher, Mr. Wales, whose lessons in drafting and engineering inspired me to pursue a career in engineering.”

Headshot of Mai Tran.

Dr. Mai Tran

Scientific Background: Studying cellulose synthases in the moss Physcomitrella patens using genetic engineering. Ph.D. Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island.

What Sparked My Interest: “I learned that science can be fun from my dad by building paper airplanes and ball roller coasters from wire hangers.”

Jill Paule

Title: Director of Fund Development, Minnesota

Background: Previously development consultant with international environmental sustainability organization. Degree in East Asian Studies, Harvard University

Headshot of Renee Piersa.

Renee Piersa

Title: Director of Operations, Minnesota

Background: Previously data analytics consultant. TEFL Certified in Thailand (Teach English as a Foreign Language).

Adenike Atewologun

Scientific Background: Chemist consultant focused on helping smaller businesses. She creates custom chemical formulas for powder coatings for machines, such as cars, motorcycles, and dishwashers. Bachelor’s in Chemistry, focused on Polymer Science and Engineering.

What Sparked My Interest: “My father was a Physics Professor who frequently took me to his office. When I was four I “graded” his papers and gave everyone an A. He did not notice until after he handed them out!”

Head shot of Debbie Brophy.

Debbie Brophy

Scientific Background: Certified veterinary technician, working in all aspects of animal health including laboratory testing, radiology, and anesthesia.

What Sparked My Interest: “I loved Biology – especially when we dissected frogs and sheep eyes. Animal science has inspired me ever since!”

Jabari Jones

Scientific Background: Ph.D. candidate in Earth Sciences, studying the effects of climate and land-use change on rivers.

What Sparked My Interest: “I actually didn’t really like science as a kid, but I fell in love with exploring nature and learning about the world around me.”

Headshot of Alexie Larson.

Alexie Larson

Scientific Background: Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Biology and Physiology, investigating the role of estrogens in satellite cell maintenance and skeletal muscle regeneration. MS Molecular and Integrative Physiology, studying skeletal muscle tissue engineering.

What Sparked My Interest: “I would make special “lotion potions” to heal my sick stuffed animals. I always knew I loved medicine and learning how the human body functions.”

Headshot of Michelle Leonard.

Michelle Leonard

Scientific Background: Forensic DNA Validation Specialist. MS in Environmental Health emphasizing in Microbiology, studying the prevalence of bacteria on food preparation surfaces. BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

What Sparked My Interest: “In 7th grade, I dissected a frog. I was fascinated with the complexity and intricacies of what makes a living thing work.”

Dr. Renee Nesnidal

Scientific Background: Laser & Optical Engineer. Ph.D. in atomic physics, studying collisions in magneto-optically trapped atoms. In addition to instructing in the classroom, Renee is also on our curriculum design team and leads our regional scientist-teacher partnership program.

What Sparked My Interest: “I was hooked on physics when my 8th-grade science teacher, Mr. Mau, suggested that there could be a parallel universe in the crack of our lab table.”

Headshot of Zachary Paige.

Zachary Paige

Scientific Background: Food Sovereignty Specialist & Seed Saver for the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. MS in Plant Breeding, studying nutrition content in organically produced maize

What Sparked My Interest: “In elementary school, I loved doing science experiments with my dad.”

Ram Ramakrishna

Scientific Background: MSc in Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds (Leeds, UK), studying natural compounds in foods that improve human health

What Sparked My Interest? “I visited a big mango orchard when I was 5 years old and was amazed at the journey of food from the farm to our plate”

Headshot of Tracy Runchey.

Tracy Runchey

Scientific Background: Microbiologist with a BS in Biotechnology, and minor in Chemistry.

What Sparked My Interest: “At 5 I was sure I’d be a doctor when I grew up because I loved looking at and fixing my family’s cuts and scrapes.”

Kelly Wallin

Scientific Background: Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics. BS in biochemistry and botany.

What Sparked My Interest: “I named my American Girl doll after my favorite T. rex skeleton (Jane, at the Burpee Museum in Rockford, Illinois)”

Evan Whiting

Scientific Background: Ph.D. candidate in Earth & Environmental Sciences, studying how the shapes of modern and fossil lizard and snake teeth reflect their diets. MS Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, studying fossil alligators and their responses to ancient climate change.

What Sparked My Interest: “I grew up in Florida surrounded by amazing wildlife and nature, and was also inspired by the movie Jurassic Park!”

Headshot of Mary Hatton.

Mary Hatton

Now: Instructional Advisor
Then: EdD Science Education, Boston University working as a Research Associate with a high school program that supported teachers to use physics research in their teaching
Way Back When: Coming Soon!

We would like to thank the following people for volunteering or interning for Science from Scientists:

Katica Boric

Isabelle Guélin

Olivia Kane

June Klemer

Jay Leichtman

Jake Nonweiler

Dr. Bob Reynolds

Julia Sayre

Nicole Witham

Leslie Yan

Thank you to meteorologist Mike Wankum for consulting with us on ES17 Meteorology and Weather Mapping.

We would like to thank the following experts for reviewing lesson content to make our modules even better:

David Birsa, Ph.D.

Robert F. Butler, Ph.D., Professor of Geophysics, University of Portland

Rebecca Paulsen Edwards, Ph.D., Department of Physics, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX