Team

Co-Founders


Carrie McDonough

I am an assistant professor at Stony Brook University, where I study environmental analytical chemistry. My aim is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how organic contaminants impact aquatic ecosystems and human health by combining innovative environmental chemistry and bioanalytical techniques, state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, and field monitoring campaigns. I earned my Ph.D. in the Lohmann Lab at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. Before graduate school, I earned a B.Sc. in chemistry from MIT and spent two years working in environmental consulting. When I’m not doing chemistry in the lab, I’m doing chemistry at home (brewing beer).


Laura Schifman

I earned my PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Environmental Science with a focus on Hydrology in 2014. I have a fascination for the urban environment and clean water. So, what better way to combine that than working in stormwater?
Aside from the sciency stuff I enjoy torturing myself on long bike rides, playing volleyball or tennis, riding horses, making anything edible (I miss the lab work), or playing cards.
Twitter: L_Schifman

Editors-In-Chief

Julia BeboutJulia Bebout

I am a second year Master's student at the University of Calgary studying how competing species coexist. I graduated from Lehigh University in 2021 with degrees in Biological Sciences and Earth & Environmental Sciences. As an undergraduate, I studied paleoecology and the microbial ecology of alpine wetlands. I'm especially interested in community ecology, wetland and alpine ecosystems, and regenerative agriculture. I also love hiking, climbing, baking, and dancing! Twitter: @BeboutJulia

Lauren OtolskiLauren Otolski

Hello! I am a first-year PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying tropical ecology. I'm specifically interested in decomposition, and how factors like wood and soil nutrients, fungal communities, and wood chemistry interact! I also love writing, playing tabletop and video games, and spending time outside.

Brianne Palmer

I am a PhD candidate at San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis studying how biological soil crusts respond and recover from fire. Most of my research is in coastal grasslands and sage scrub. We use DNA and field measurements to understand how cyanobacteria within biological soil crusts help ecosystems recover after low severity fires. I am also involved with local K-12 outreach within the Greater San Diego Metro Area.

Laura Schifman

I earned my PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Environmental Science with a focus on Hydrology in 2014. I have a fascination for the urban environment and clean water. So, what better way to combine that than working in stormwater?
Aside from the sciency stuff I enjoy torturing myself on long bike rides, playing volleyball or tennis, riding horses, making anything edible (I miss the lab work), or playing cards.
Twitter: L_Schifman

Andrea Valcarcel

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University (BC, Canada), I am currently working as the head of an Oceanic Lab in the Dominican Republic while also being an MSc candidate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. My research so far has been mostly focused on corals and marine mammals and the effects climate change may have in their overall behavior and survival. When not monitoring marine ecosystems, you can find me volunteering with my therapy dog and reading romance and fantasy novels. Twitter: @andreavalcar

English – Spanish Translators


Andrea Valcarcel

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University (BC, Canada), I am currently working as the head of an Oceanic Lab in the Dominican Republic while also being an MSc candidate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. My research so far has been mostly focused on corals and marine mammals and the effects climate change may have in their overall behavior and survival. When not monitoring marine ecosystems, you can find me volunteering with my therapy dog and reading romance and fantasy novels. Twitter: @andreavalcar

Authors and Peer-Editors

Abigail DonahueAbigail Donahue

I graduated in 2021 from the University of Notre Dame with a B.S. in environmental sciences and a minor in theology. My research there was focused on Notre Dame's Museum of Biodiversity and the ecology of various aquatic macroinvertebrates.
After graduating, I moved to Ireland to pursue an M.Sc. in environmental science from Trinity College Dublin. So far, my research has considered the impact of parasites in freshwater fish invasions and the impact of multiple anthropogenic stressors on stream macroinvertebrates.
Besides the environment, I am passionate about museums, theology, hiking, and travel!

Cypress NovickCypress Novick

I am a recent graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, where I studied for my Bachelor's in Biology. My main research interests are wetlands ecology, mycology, estuary ecosystem interactions, and plant-based trophic interactions. I have always been passionate about making science more available and understandable, and am always trying to improve my writing so I may help myself and others be better understood.

Brandi Pessman

I am a fifth-year Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the School of Biological Sciences. Growing up on a farm in a small town in Illinois, I developed an early love for animals and a fascination with their behaviors. When I was younger, however, it never crossed my mind that I would be using spiders to investigate how human presence affects animal behavior, but I am loving every second of it. Studying the behaviors of animals can tell us a lot about the role that we play in their survival (or death), which is becoming increasingly important as human populations continue to grow. When I am not studying spiders, I enjoy playing with my cat or being outdoors!

Julia BeboutJulia Bebout

I am a second year Master's student at the University of Calgary studying how competing species coexist. I graduated from Lehigh University in 2021 with degrees in Biological Sciences and Earth & Environmental Sciences. As an undergraduate, I studied paleoecology and the microbial ecology of alpine wetlands. I'm especially interested in community ecology, wetland and alpine ecosystems, and regenerative agriculture. I also love hiking, climbing, baking, and dancing! Twitter: @BeboutJulia

Lauren OtolskiLauren Otolski

Hello! I am a first-year PhD student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying tropical ecology. I'm specifically interested in decomposition, and how factors like wood and soil nutrients, fungal communities, and wood chemistry interact! I also love writing, playing tabletop and video games, and spending time outside.

Brianne Palmer

I am a PhD candidate at San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis studying how biological soil crusts respond and recover from fire. Most of my research is in coastal grasslands and sage scrub. We use DNA and field measurements to understand how cyanobacteria within biological soil crusts help ecosystems recover after low severity fires. I am also involved with local K-12 outreach within the Greater San Diego Metro Area.

Laura Schifman

I earned my PhD from the University of Rhode Island in Environmental Science with a focus on Hydrology in 2014. I have a fascination for the urban environment and clean water. So, what better way to combine that than working in stormwater?
Aside from the sciency stuff I enjoy torturing myself on long bike rides, playing volleyball or tennis, riding horses, making anything edible (I miss the lab work), or playing cards.
Twitter: L_Schifman

Andrea Valcarcel

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University (BC, Canada), I am currently working as the head of an Oceanic Lab in the Dominican Republic while also being an MSc candidate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. My research so far has been mostly focused on corals and marine mammals and the effects climate change may have in their overall behavior and survival. When not monitoring marine ecosystems, you can find me volunteering with my therapy dog and reading romance and fantasy novels. Twitter: @andreavalcar

Former Contributors

Luiza Aparecido
Chelsea Barreto
Kristina Blank
Kristen Brown
Ashley Bulseco-McKim
Jessica Burnett
Clifton Dassuncao
E.M.B. Doran
Anna Filyushkina
Lindsay Green-Gavrielidis
Anika Hazra
Hannes Keck
Whitney Kroschel
Mary Grace Lemon
Laura Mast
Bianca Ross
Guiomar Ruiz-Perez
Samantha Smith
Kari St. Laurent
Jeannie Wilkening