Meet the Team
LabBites is run by a dedicated team of early career scientists who share a passion for making science accessible for everyone. Learn more about the team members below.
Interested in getting involved? If you are a college graduate or early career scientist, join the LabBites Team to grow your skills in science writing, education and the editorial process.
After completing a PhD and a postdoc studying developmental biology, Ashley decided to leave the bench behind and recently landed at a non-profit plasmid repository, where she uses her research experience to support researchers from around the world and to help make research more accessible and reproducible. She loves interacting with new researchers just getting started in their fields (or long-time researchers branching out into new fields) and helping them learn the skills they need to achieve their research goals. She's also a firm believer that while you can take the girl out of the science lab, you can't take the scientist out of the girl - in her spare time she loves to experiment in the kitchen and to spend as much time outside observing nature as possible (preferably while on a bike or skis).
Riley St Clair
Riley is a Professor of Life Sciences at Quest University in British Columbia, Canada. She is fascinated by the brain and how it develops. Her research focuses on understanding how the cells of the nervous system are guided to their correct destination within the brain during development. In her teaching, she loves to find creative ways for students to interact with the scientific method and science concepts. She is especially interested in how games and play can increase student engagement and comprehension of biology and neuroscience topics. Riley is also passionate about science communication and hopes to spark a love for science while helping make it accessible for everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys being in the mountains skiing, biking, or hiking.
My name is Sarah Emerson, and I am a Postdoc at Yale University. I have a passion for neuroscience, specifically I study how the brain develops. I am fascinated by how neurons can find each other in a dynamic environment to form such a complex organ. I have been incredibly fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career who have changed my life. My goal is to inspire and encourage scientists of all backgrounds to realize their dreams through my own teaching and mentorship. In my spare time I enjoy running, learning about dinosaurs with my children and baking delicious treats for my family and friends.
My name is Caroline Dumas. I am a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont. My research focuses on understanding the cell signaling mechanisms that govern migrating neurons in development. One of the main reasons I became interested in science was because there are so many unanswered questions. This made me feel like I could explore any aspect of science in my own creative way. As I learned more and more about the scientific community, I loved that there was not one “right” way to answer a question; often there are many different ways to look at scientific questions. Now, as a teaching assistant for undergraduate classes, I make it a priority to emphasize the unanswered questions in hopes that I can ignite someone else’s love for science. While doing this, I have become passionate about making science accessible and understandable for everyone. Outside of science, I enjoy walking and hiking with my dog and friends. I also enjoy coming up with new recipes to cook and bake yummy things.
My name is Helaina Stergas and I am a PhD candidate at the University of Vermont where I study the development of the nervous system. I love that each of us had to undergo the incredibly complex process of development, whether we knew it or not, in order to become the functioning adult organisms we are today. It is satisfying and exciting to figure out the intricacies of that process and to make those discoveries accessible to all, no matter the skill level. What fascinates me most about science is how it can always be broken down into parts – one cell interacting with another cell, one molecule interacting and changing another – and that small thing can lead to big consequences. I approach teaching, science communication, and outreach with this same fascination. One small interaction I have with a student, the way I explain a concept or the smile of encouragement I give when watching a presentation, can have a lasting impact, and that’s what I am inspired to do! When I’m not in the lab or teaching a class, I enjoy outdoor adventures with loved ones and my dog, and can often be found in the kitchen experimentally baking for friends.