Past Science Writing Fellows
Anna Aaronson earned her undergraduate degree in English literature and neuroscience, then spent a year studying neurodegenerative diseases. Combining her passions for writing and the brain, she recently completed the MS in Science Journalism program at Boston University. Alongside science communication, Anna enjoys painting, long hikes in her native California, and strong cups of coffee. A global travel and Japanese food enthusiast, she is thrilled to join the vibrant OIST community and to delve into the many stories it has to offer.
A biologist by training, Christopher Richardson has had a career spanning small tech startups and management consulting giants. More than once he’s ditched the city for global travel, working with and writing about important causes, spending time with trees and getting deep beneath the water. Combining the common thread of communication, he went on to complete the MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London. Here Chris led the team behind Imperial’s quarterly print digest, weekly radio show, and infiltration of science events across the city. He also launched the WonderLabs podcast, interviewing academics from top institutions across Europe – a project he is excited to continue in Japan. With the Fellowship torch in his hand, Chris aims to showcase the fascinating work taking place behind closed doors, and help put OIST firmly on the map.
Erica Overfelt has worked in an environment similar to OIST, just three times smaller and in the middle of Missouri. However, don't let that diminish her experience on science communication. To Erica, science is in every realm of life and its communication to the world is vital. Whether that be seeing science at every glance while hiking Kilimanjaro or wondering how fast the molecules are moving while cooking, it is always there for her. Erica has left the University of Missouri for a semester to join the OIST Media Section. Growing up her favorite Godzilla character was King Ceaser, who resembles the shisas all over Okinawa. At every glance, Erica is reminded of her childhood and is ecstatic to embark on her science journey here at OIST.
Nicoletta Lanese once practiced science communication on a much different stage -- that is, an actual stage. Equipped with degrees in dance and neuroscience, she has translated the intricacies of memory formation into movement phrases, and embodied the experience of neurological disease through performance. She realized she could turn her passion for creative science communication into a career and indulge her long-held love for writing at the same time. Having recently earned a graduate certificate in science communication, Nicoletta is excited to work with the OIST Media Section. She looks forward to exploring the Okinawan landscape, interfacing with scientists from all over the world, and of course, finding innovative ways to deliver science to new audiences.
Ipsita Herlekar, trained as a wildlife biologist, she switched to a career in science writing, trading being chased by elephants in the jungles of India to hopping labs in search of interesting science stories. The opportunity to learn new things from different fields of science is what she likes best about being a science writer.
Anne McGovern is dedicated to bringing the world of science to an audience beyond the lab and classroom through writing. She graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing an MA in Science and Medical Writing at her alma mater. She has published science-focused articles in The Atlantic and Men’s Health, and is working on a project that combines real-world science with literary fiction. Before joining OIST, she was an editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency that focuses on complex, rare diseases, and has lived in Chiba and South Korea. She is excited to be a part of the dynamic OIST community and showcase its achievements.
Wilko Duprez evolved from a research career in Drug Design and Crystallography - with a PhD and postdoc experience - to a burgeoning vocation for science journalism. From science writing to radio production and live shows, he delivered features for local and international journals, broadcast reportages for the BBC World Service and performed in science museums. After graduating from a MSc in Science Communication, he is now fine-tuning his skills to promote OIST research achievements.
Sarah Wong has a PhD in Biochemistry with a background in x-ray crystallography. After a postdoctoral fellowship through the NIH IRACDA fellowship program at the University of Texas at Austin, she wanted to expand her scientific repertoire to include science communication.