Meet the 14 researchers who will help you think about climate science in new ways

Meet the 14 researchers who will help you think about climate science in new ways

Our biggest cohort to date is full of exciting participants. We can’t wait for you to read their work – and use their expertise to help with your own

Kira Goldenberg

Kira Goldenberg is the editorial director at Massive.

Massive is delighted to announce our third training group, focusing on climate science.

Our timing – launching the cohort alongside the COP23 UN climate change conference and the ongoing assault on curbing carbon emissions and protecting resources by the US administration – is not accidental. Now more than ever, it’s vital to have scientists, whom the public trusts far more than journalists or politicians, capable of demystifying our climate change emergency in accessible ways. 

We’ve found that the most effective way to teach these communication skills is through remote, monthlong groups trainings. Through collective exploration of a common theme, members simultaneously grow their skills while they forge a new, supportive network of likeminded peers. 

Past participants in our genetic engineering and neuroscience cohorts have told us that Massive’s storytelling training has made them better researchers, teachers, and overall thinkers. So 

Here is the impressive crew that, no pressure, is poised to gain the communication skills that could help save the planet:

  • Maite Ghazaleh Bucher is a PhD candidate in environmental and marine microbiology at the University of Georgia. She studies how the microbes associated with elkhorn corals interact with each other in both healthy and diseased corals.
  • Salmaan Craig is a lecturer and research associate in architecture, design, thermal engineering, and materials engineering at Harvard and McGill universities. He studies how to disinvent air-conditioning units and the lousy buildings they enable.
  • Michal Filus is a postdoc in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Cambridge, in the UK. He studies how the air moves in the atmosphere to help identify how airborne substances, like radioactive clouds and diseases, spread.
  • Jennifer Howard is a PhD candidate in ecology, evolution, and animal behavior at Wake Forest. Her research seeks to understand what affects a bird's decision to forage in a specific place (i.e., prey, sea surface temperature, large-scale climate events) and how that could change as the climate does.
  • Baird Langenbrunner is a postdoc in earth system science at UC Irvine. He uses climate models to study how the Earth is changing due to global warming to help learn how it will impact society and how we can adapt to and mitigate its effects.
  • Gabriela Serrato Marks is a PhD candidate in marine geology at MIT. She uses stalagmites to create climate records that can be used by anthropologists and historians. 
  • Carrie McDonough is a postdoc in chemical oceanography at the Colorado School of Mines. She studies how pollutants found in products we use everyday could be affecting our bodies over time.
  • Peter Neff is a postdoc in geochemistry at the University of Rochester. He studies how layers of snow an ice in glaciers trap chemicals, particles, and ancient air, giving essential context for what came before human-caused climate change.
  • Alison Nugent is an assistant professor in atmospheric science at the University of Hawaii. She studies cloud processes in the atmosphere and the initiation of precipitation to help improve the theoretical basis behind the processes that control clouds and precipitation, and ultimately the way these are forecasted in models.
  • Renee Salas is an academic emergency medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. She specializes in climate change and health and wilderness medicine.
  • Justine Sauvage is a doctoral student in oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. She investigates the extent to which hydrogen produced from natural radioactive splitting can support microbial life on Earth. 
  • Alanna Shaw is a PhD candidate in ecosystem ecology at the University of Montana. She studies ecosystems by following nutrients through them to see how well they can store carbon and mitigate climate change.
  • Julia York is a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin. She studies how polar animals sense temperature on a molecular level. 
  • Jane Zelikova is a climate change scientist at the University of Wyoming. She studies soil and plant ecosystems with the goal of understanding how they will respond to a warmer, more unpredictable carbon-rich future.

We’d love to hoard their expertise for ourselves, but that’s against Massive’s ethos of helping launch a new generation of science leaders. So: news outlets in need of a source or quote in a climate change piece, please feel free to reach out at We’d be happy to connect you to our expert climate science communicators. 

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