Charla Basran is a marine researcher and a PhD candidate at the University of Iceland. Her primary focus is identifying the interactions between marine mammals and human uses of the ocean, such as "fisheries and tourism". Originally from Canada, she graduated the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor's degree in biology (with a concentration in marine biology) and later went on to the University Centre of the Westfjords to earn her Master's degree in coastal and marine management. During her academic journey, she also served as a whale watching naturalist and earned certifications in marine basic first aid/CPR and marine basic safety training.
STEM Field(s): Marine Biology, Environmental Science
Malena Rice is a NSF Research Fellow and Astronomy PhD Candidate at Yale University. She is currently working to prove the existence of a 9th planet in our solar system, which, according to her observations, is around 400-800 au* away from the Sun. Her passion for astronomy began at the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Astrophysics and served as an undergraduate researcher. At Yale University, where she studies now, she received a Masters degree in Astronomy and is working toward a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics. In high school, Malena was involved in a number of extracurricular activities, including flute, which she studied at Queen Mary, University of London for a semester to “gain a broader and more well-informed perspective of the world”.
*1 au = distance between the Earth and the Sun
STEM Field(s): Astronomy, Astrophysics, Planetary Sciences
Chiara Bertipaglia is a Scientific Programs Manager at Columbia University. Her job is to “oversee the design, creation, and administration of scientific programs that advance the scientific, intellectual, and academic priorities” of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind, Brain, and Behavior Institute. Before taking on a managerial position, Dr. Bertipaglia worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Colombia and investigated the “role of molecular motors in the development of the embryonic brain neocortex”. She has a Bachelor and Masters degrees in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, as well as a PhD in Biochemistry and Structural Biology from Heidelberg University. Fun fact: she’s also trilingual! Chiara speaks English, Italian, and is currently learning French.
STEM Field(s): Molecular Biology, Neuroscience
Kristin Anderson is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research investigates treatment paths for patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and her goal is to "explore strategies for treating solid tumors with engineered adoptive T cell therapy". She earned a PhD in Immunology from the University of Minnesota (2008-2014) and decided to go into cancer research after her own struggle with breast cancer. Outside of research, she participates in several community-based activities, including "virtual classroom discussions" with K-12 students and exchanging letters with "pre-scientists in elementary schools across the country".
STEM Field(s): Cancer Science, Immunology, Biochemistry