Organizing Committee

Emily Deibert (University of Toronto; @emilydeibert)

Emily Deibert is a Vanier Scholar and PhD candidate in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on observations of exoplanet atmospheres, with the goal of learning more about the formation and evolutionary histories of the thousands of planets that have been discovered orbiting stars other than the Sun. In her spare time she writes freelance science news articles for various outlets, and is currently a staff science writer and social media manager at Research2Reality. She is also passionate about science outreach and has given numerous public talks around Toronto and the GTA.

Holly Fruehwald (Ontario Tech University; @holly_fruehwald)

Holly Fruehwald is from Brampton, Ontario. She moved to Oshawa in 2011 when she began her Bachelors degree in chemistry. She completed her BSc in 2017 and is now pursuing her PhD in Materials Science at the same University. Her research area is on the design of novel catalysts for applications in clean electrochemical energy systems. Holly is also passionate about science communication, teaching, and science outreach. In her free time she likes reading books about space, space travel, and astronauts in hopes to one day to visit another planet.

Dhanyasri Maddiboina (McMaster University; @pseuDHANmonas)

Dhanyasri is a PhD candidate at McMaster University in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Being interdisciplinary is a core aspect of her approach to research, as exemplified by her background in chemical biology and immunology, and her current involvement in McMaster's Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR), as well as McMaster's Joint Phage Initiative - which strives to create a library of clinically important bacterial viruses for future therapeutic uses. Dhanyasri is excited to be helping with comsciconGTA and empower excellence in research communication! Outside of research, she loves rock climbing, reading scifi books, and taking sketchy nighttime forest walks. 

Michelle Ogrodnik (McMaster University; @michelleogrod)

Michelle Ogrodnik is a PhD student at McMaster University. Michelle combines concepts from psychology and kinesiology to better understand how exercise impacts attention and memory. From kindergarten students to the Governor General, Michelle has experience sharing science with a wide range of audiences and shares her tips and tricks with others. Alongside research, Michelle works as a Lead Educational Developer Fellow at the MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching. Unlike Tammy, Michelle is a Gryffindor but the two bond over brains and dogs… so all is well. 


Farah Qaiser (University of Toronto; @this_is_farah)

Farah Qaiser is a graduate student, science advocate and science communicator. She is currently completing a Master’s degree at the University of Toronto, where she uses DNA sequencing to better understand complex neurological disorders. When not in the lab, Farah engages in various science outreach, policy and communication initiatives in an effort to build an engaging and inclusive science culture here in Canada. Farah writes about science for various media outlets, has led Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons to address the encyclopedia’s gender biases, and is one of the co-founders of the Toronto Science Policy Network, which is a platform for student and post-doctoral researchers to learn about and engage in science policy.


Tammy Rosner (McMaster University; @TammyRosner)

Tammy Rosner completed her PhD at McMaster University in cognitive psychology, where she studied the impact of repetition on memory performance (it’s not as straightforward as you might think!) She currently works at as the Evaluation Lead and is a volunteer for Let’s Talk Science and Science Borealis, where she writes articles about various science topics for non-expert audiences of all ages. She used to be a Slytherin, but lately identifies more as a Hufflepuff.

Sarah Simon (University of Toronto Scarborough; no social media because I want to run away to live in an earthship in the woods)

A small town girl gallivanting in the big city of Toronto sharing her love of science communication, chemistry, and chickens, Sarah is currently doing her PhD in the Department of Physical and Environmental Science to combine all her passions.  She returned to graduate school to learn more about reactive air pollutants and the atmosphere-biosphere interactions in agriculture, looking more closely at ozone effects on pollen and fruiting plants. Previously, Sarah completed her MSc in Chemistry at UBC where she created dyes for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (i.e. solar cells that look like stained glass).  When she’s not busy gushing about chickens, she brings her fusion of chemistry and previous life working at Science World Vancouver to increase education and awareness of chemistry to the public.


Nathaniel Starkman (University of Toronto; no social media)

Born and raised in the US, Nathaniel Starkman moved to Canada for the nice weather. He is a PhD candidate in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, researching dark matter in our Milky Way galaxy. If you find any, please contact him. Nathaniel enjoys personal engagement in public outreach: he tutors high school students, helps organize telescope viewing outreach events, and gives public talks. Like Holly, Nathaniel is waiting impatiently for a beach vacation on Mars during a classic Toronto winter.

Jennifer Williams (McMaster University; @jennyswilliams)

Jennifer Williams is a PhD candidate in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University. Her present work focuses on the short- and long-term impact of hormonal contraceptives on cardiovascular and metabolic indicators in women, along with integrating sex and gender considerations into biomedical research. She's been actively involved in empowering science communication by women in STEM, and is thrilled to be supporting this year's ComSciConGTA 2020!