Brandeis Science Communications Lab

Meet Our Fellows & Staff

Amélie Chardac (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Amelie ChardacAmélie Chardac is an experimental physicist. Currently a postdoc in the Duclos Lab, she studies how active flows can modify the self-organization of protein patterns in a reconstituted cytoplasm. With experience in both research and teaching, Amelie has presented her work through a variety of media ranging from papers to oral presentations, adapting both support and speech to her audience. In the past, she enjoyed introducing the research world to high school students as well as tutoring undergraduate students. Amelie truly believes that outreach and storytelling are essential to highlight one’s results and abilities inside and outside the scientific community. But Science Communication is not always intuitive and it is useful to share tools with our peers to improve our skills and projects. As an international researcher, Amelie is rich in different cultures and knows the challenge of adapting to new expectations (from living in a new country to writing a cover letter for the first time!). Brainstorming and developing new methods to prepare a talk or write a paper more efficiently is something she is very interested in and that she would like to share with you. She appreciates helping clients find a good starting point and build a focusline for a project, as well as giving an external sight to the final stage of papers or applications. Amelie’s mission is to help you do your best and be more confident in your communication skills. Amelie is excited to work with you on all kinds of writing projects, presentations, outreach events, or job applications.

Gess Kelly (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Gess KellyGess Kelly is a physics PhD candidate in Prof. Thomas Fai’s research group where she uses mathematical models and simulations to study fluids at small scales. When she was a kid, she enjoyed learning fun science facts and fearlessly shared them with others, sometimes volunteering to present in class. Later, she found herself on the other side and saw the incredible amount of work that it takes to contribute to scientific research. Indeed, the road from lab to fun bitesize facts is a long one. Whether you are trying to explain your methods to your interdisciplinary collaborators or give an elevator pitch of your research to your unsuspecting neighbor, communicating effectively takes practice, persistence, and maybe some sweat and tears -- hopefully not a lot. Gess is here to help you communicate your message effectively in any form that it takes: research or pedagogical presentations, posters, papers, code, and more. She is also always happy to talk about pull ups and birds.

Krystal Leger (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Krystal LegerKrystal Leger is a Psychology PhD candidate in the Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab studying how culture influences the kinds of information people tend to pay attention to and remember. Her favorite part of conducting research is sharing and discussing her findings with others, and she is especially passionate about communicating science in a way that is accessible to everybody. Krystal enjoys helping clients brainstorm and develop scientific presentations and put their ideas on paper with manuscripts and proposals. Outside of the lab, she enjoys yoga, creative writing, and attending comic book conventions.

Xiang Li (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Xiang LiXiang (SHEE-ang) Li is a PhD candidate in Dr. Grace Han’s Lab where she studies the applications of photo-switch molecules in multisystem. Xiang has given scientific talks to the audience from both academia and non-academia backgrounds, and even children of various ages. Xiang also participated in the REU program as a mentor. These valuable experiences impressed her with the importance of communicating science in an accessible, logical, and interesting way. After being a “frequent visitor” as a client of SciComm Lab, Xiang decided to dedicate her experience and knowledge to working as a fellow and helping more new clients like you. In addition, as an international student, Xiang was hesitant at times to seek the help needed on scientific communication. She will be more than happy to assist other non-native speakers to overcome those barriers, no matter mentally or technically. Xiang is looking forward to working with you on making your REU program applications, presentations, posters, or any related communication works more polished!

Kathleen Maigler (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Kathleen MaiglerKathleen Maigler is a PhD candidate studying communication between the hypothalamus and primary taste cortex in the Katz lab. Kathleen cherishes the quality mentorship and teaching that defines Brandeis and aims to contribute to that effort as much as possible. Her transition from molecular to systems neuroscience has nurtured her appreciation for distilling complex ideas into digestible articles. Together you will create accessible and interesting presentations, essays, and applications.

Thalia Sass (she/her)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Thalia SassThalia Sass is a PhD Candidate of Molecular and Cell Biology in the lab of Dr. Susan Lovett.  She is investigating the dynamic DNA damage responses of E. coli bacteria to better understand how cells respond to stress. Thalia enjoys making writing accessible and finding new ways to communicate science within her community. Being the first scientist in her family, Thalia has had a lot of practice translating core scientific concepts, as well as cutting-edge research, to audiences of all experience levels. Scientific discovery has an innate beauty by pushing the bounds of how we understand the natural world. As scientists, Thalia believes we should be sharing this new knowledge far and wide! Thalia will happily work with you on all sorts of writing projects, presentations, or applications to highlight you and your science.

Michael Stehnach
Michael Stehnach (he/him)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Michael Stehnach is a postdoctoral researcher in the Fraden Lab where he utilizes microfluidic devices for drug discovery applications and to study active matter systems, and he is the manager of the MRSEC microfabrication facility on campus. Working in the Department of Physics with a background in mechanical engineering, Michael understands the importance of communicating one’s work with individuals across different backgrounds. He looks forward to helping individuals grow professionally and promote independence by gaining confidence with their communication skills. Also, having navigated applications for both graduate school and postdoc, Michael is happy to chat about the next stage of your professional career.

Vikko Manuel Suárez Casanova
Víkko Manuel Suárez Casanova (he/they)
Science Communications Lab Fellow

Víkko Manuel Suárez Casanova is a Neuroscience PhD candidate in the Van Hooser lab where his work centers around describing how we interpret speed and how it is organized in the brain. Specifically, Vikko works on elucidating the relationship between dynamic spatiotemporal changes in stimuli presentation and direction selectivity in the ferret animal model. Víkko aspires to give back to the scientific community and mentor fellow individuals from historically marginalized communities. As a first-generation immigrant and first in his family to pursue science, he understands that science communication can seem daunting but is excited to empower you to achieve your oral and written goals.

Anahita Zare (she/her)
Program Director, Communication Lab
MRSEC Education Director

Anahita ZareAnahita Zare joined Brandeis University in October 2020 as the SciComm Lab Director and MRSEC Director of Education, Outreach, and Diversity. As SciComm Lab Director, Anahita oversees Lab operations, provides support to Fellows, and grows the Lab to better serve Brandeis's research community. Since joining the Lab, Anahita has trained Fellows, organized workshops, and supported Fellows through their one-on-one appointments with clients. Anahita is particularly passionate about training Brandeis’s graduate students and postdocs in effective science communication because it bolsters the quality of research generated at Brandeis. Welcome to the SciComm Lab!