Organizing Committee

Nadia Seeteram, Co-Chair

Nadia Seeteram

Nadia Seeteram is a co-chair of the ComSciCon Miami franchise. She is a first year Ph.D. student at Florida International University in the Earth Systems Science program . Her current research focuses on determining policy pathways for proactive managed retreat/climate change adaptation in Miami, FL. She graduated from Fordham University in 2012 with a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Psychology and from Florida International University in 2014 with a M.S. in Environmental Studies. She has held research positions at the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in New York and at the U.S. EPA’s National Exposure Research Lab in Athens, GA. Her previous work focused on monetary valuation of ecosystem services for community resiliency efforts. She is a fellow for the Southeast Climate Energy Network and works with the CLEO Institute and Fridays for Future Miami to organize for change in the City of Miami.

 

Jessica Rodriguez, Co-Chair

Jessica Rodriguez

Jessica is a co-chair of the ComSciCon Miami franchise. She is a first year Ph.D. student at Florida International University in the Earth Systems Science program researching science communication under major advisor Dr. Mahadev Bhat. She has a B.S. degree in Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Psychology. As an undergraduate student, she worked on a project at Rare Species Conservatory Foundation as a Tropical Conservation Research Intern and served as a research assistant in the Feeley Lab. Jessica is also a full-time Research Development Officer in FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Education, where she also worked for a year as a Communication and Outreach Assistant for the School of Environment, Arts, and Society and for six months as a Program Coordinator for the Master's in Organizational Science Program. 

 

Lowell Andrew R. Iporac

Lowell Iporac

Lowell is a Ph.D. Candidate from the Department of Biology at Florida International University. He received his B.A. in Biology in 2016 at California State University, San Bernardino before moving across the country to pursue his Ph.D. His current research specializes in marine macroalgae (AKA “seaweeds”) and invertebrate interactions in shallow coastal systems, examining characteristics of macroalgae that make it suitable habitat for marine invertebrates. His current research is also applied to a growing citizen science project monitoring Pelagic Sargassum landings in Tropical Atlantic Coasts. Lowell has done many research presentations and outreach events, and taught upper-division labs as part of his efforts in science communication. He is also engaging many stakeholders and interested citizen science volunteers to monitor Sargassum.

Rigoberto Olivera 

Rigo Olivera

Rigo is a second year Ph.D. student at Florida International University in the Earth Systems Science program. His current research focuses on the effects of climate change on South Florida precipitation under major advisor Dr. Robert Burgman. He received his B.S. in Meteorology in 2017 at Florida International University. He is involved with the Meteorology club at Florida International University, which has held multiple workshops to stimulate an interest of science in students at elementary schools.

 

Brenna Kays

Brenna bio pic

Brenna is a second year Ph.D. student at Florida International Univeristy in the Department of Earth and Environment. Her work focuses on historical changes to the environment and freshwater flow in southeast Florida. Her previous experience as an environmental educator and current interests in community engagement for conservation are what drive her passion for science communication.