Organizing Committee

ComSciConCanWest 2021 is organized by:

Roshan Achal (University of Alberta; Twitter: @TheSmilentist)

Photo of Roshan AchalRoshan Achal (he/his) has just finished his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta. He studied the fabrication and properties of atomic-scale electronics on silicon. During his research Roshan created the World’s smallest maple leaf from 32 atoms for Canada’s 150th birthday. He then improved these techniques to create the World’s densest solid-state memory, storing and playing back the iconic notes of the Mario theme song with just 62 atoms. Roshan has had extensive speaking experience, bringing science enthusiastically to a wide range of audiences. When not actively researching he enjoys creating art and playing sports.





Lara Bartels (University of British Columbia)

Photo of Lara BartelsLara Bartels (she/her) is a MSc student in Physics at the University of British Columbia.  After completing her BSc in nuclear physics at CERN in Switzerland she decided to move to another continent as well as a new area of research and now works in medical physics on MRI of the brain. 
She loves hosting science shows and talking to high school students about what physicists get up to at CERN. In her free time she enjoys hiking, futsal, playing the piano and cooking.





Kaylee Byers (University of British Columbia; Twitter: @kaylee_byers)

Kaylee Byers (she/her) is a wildlife health biologist and science communication nerd. She is the Deputy Director of British Columbia’s Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. In her free time she hosts and produces the podcast Nerdin' About, where she asks scientists and artists about their work and what they've been nerding about. She’s also an avid open-water swimmer, knitter, and lover of puns.





Sree Gayathri Talluri (University of Victoria, Twitter: @SreeGayathriTa1)

Photo of Sree Talluri in front of a blackboard Sree Gayathri Talluri (she/her) is a PhD candidate at the Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria. She obtained her Integrated Masters in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. She is a trained photo-chemist with expertise in self-assembled systems. During her PhD, Sree is combining her expertise in photochemistry to understand self-assembled systems at the fundamental level. Her research focuses on investigating the function in self-assembled systems using the structure and dynamics studies. In addition to research, Sree is passionate about science communication and outreach. She is currently the interview coordinator for UVic Women in Science, where she works towards amplifying the voices and highlighting the experiences of women in the scientific community across Vancouver Island. She is a Co-STEM specialist at BC girl guides, where she actively works on designing and developing STEM experiments for girls. Outside of work, Sree is a part-time hiker, experimental baker and loves to travel.


Pramodh Senarath Yapa (University of Alberta; Twitter: @PramodhYapa)

Photo of Pramodh Senarath YapaPramodh Senarath Yapa (he/his) is a PhD Student in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta. He studies the properties of matter when it is cooled to near absolute zero, and explores how quantum mechanics leads to the formation of new states of matter. His current obsession is superfluid Helium-3, which is liquid that has zero viscosity and thus can flow without friction. In 2019, Pramodh was chosen as the winner of the Dance Your PhD competition sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his swing-dancing rendition of electron behaviour, "Superconductivity: The Musical!". Outside of various #SciComm activities, Pramodh is playing ultimate frisbee, recording music or out exploring the great outdoors!





Julie McNutt (University of British Columbia)

Julie McNutt Headshot - UBCJulie McNutt (she/hers) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry at The University of British Columbia. Her research is in the area of bioanalytical chemistry where she uses tools in chemistry to understand the effects of drugs in breast cancer cells. Julie is a co-founding member and the outreach coordinator of UBC Chemists for Diversity and Inclusion, and she was the president of the UBC Chemistry Graduate Student Society. She is passionate about education and currently working on her Certification in Advanced Teaching and Learning to help her use teaching as a platform for continued science communication efforts. 


Nicole Lerminiaux (University of Regina; Twitter: @nic_ler)

Nicole Lerminiaux Headshot UReginaNicole (she/her) is a PhD Candidate at the University of Regina. She searches for antimicrobial resistance genes in waterborne bacteria, and studies how these genes can transfer from one bacterium to another. Nicole was a 2019 winner in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Science, Action! video contest and a 2020 winner in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's #IAmInnovation contest. She is passionate about spreading the love for science in audiences of diverse backgrounds. Outside of scientific work, she enjoys volunteering, camping, and hiking.