ASO Authors


The Athens Science Observer writing staff is composed of a dedicated group of volunteers from Athens, Georgia and abroad. Most of us are doctorate, masters, and undergraduate students at the University of Georgia and though we have backgrounds in a variety of scientific fields we all share a vision to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.

Current Leadership:

Max Barnhart, Co-Editor-in-Chief. Max Barnhart is a PhD studying the evolution of heat stress resistance in sunflowers at the University of Georgia. He is also the current Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Athens Science Observer. Growing up in Buffalo, NY he is a diehard fan of the Bills and Sabres and is also an avid practitioner of martial arts, holding a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo. You can contact Max at or @MaxHBarnhart.

Simone Lim-Hing, Co-Editor-in-Chief. Simone Lim-Hing is a Ph.D student in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia studying the host response of loblolly pine against pathogenic fungi. Her main interests are chemical ecology, ecophysiology, and evolution. Outside of the lab and the greenhouse, Simone enjoys going to local shows around Athens, cooking, and reading at home with her cat, Jennie. You can reach Simone at or connect with her on Twitter. More from Simone Lim-Hing
Kathy Bui, Associate Editor. Kathy Bui is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Georgia. She is currently working on CRISPR-gene editing in Drosophila melanogaster and developing split fluorescent protein technology. She uses sturdy glass tupperware for lunch and her Google Pixel 3 to take high-quality pictures. More from Kathy Bui.
Inam Jameel, Associate Editor.  Inam Jameel is a PhD student in the Department of Genetics at UGA. He is interested in how natural populations adapt to rapidly changing environments. When not in the greenhouse or in the lab, Inam likes to run, attend concerts, watch the Washington Capitals, and do poorly at trivia. He can be reached at or @evo_inam. More from Inam Jameel.
Jennifer KurazJennifer Kurasz, Associate Editor. Jennifer is a graduate student in the Department of Microbiology at UGA, where she studies the regulation of RNA repair mechanisms in Salmonella. When not in the lab, she prefers to be mediocre at many hobbies rather than settle on one. She greatly enjoys her women’s weightlifting group, cooking, painting, meditation, craft beer, and any activity that gets her outdoors. She can be contacted at More from Jennifer Kurasz. 
KB McCrum, Associate Editor. Kelly (KB) McCrum is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Plant Biology working on the interactions of plants and microbes under climate change. A theater kid at heart, she’s passionate about science communication, and would love to tell you why science and art should go hand in hand. You can find her waxing poetic about her home state (Texas), conversing with her houseplants, and/or thinking of excuses to do more traveling. Reach out on Twitter.
Colton Meinecke, Associate Editor. Colton Meinecke is a MS student in the Warnell School of Forestry at UGA. He is interested in emerging fungal diseases of pines and how climate change impacts host-pathogen interactions. Outside of the lab, he can usually be found cooking at home or foraging in the mountains. You can reach Colton at or @resinsoaked.
Jennifer McFaline-Figueroa, Social Media Manager. Ph.D. student in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Georgia, studying strategies for skeletal muscle rehabilitation and regeneration following injury or disease. Interests include mitochondrial physiology, orthopedics, and hugs. Outside of lab, I enjoy reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and griping about the cold like a true Puerto Rico native. You can reach me at or follow me on Twitter @jey_at_lab.
Carmen Kraus, Art Director.

Current Members (Spring 2021):

Abigail CalixtoGabriella VeytselNicole Solano
Alejandra VillegasHannah StanleyNicole Steel
Ankita RoyJillian AllenRalph Liu
Audrey WardJohn SpiekermanRebecca Atkins
Benjamin PhippsKeerthi AppalaRebecca Piri
Bijay DuwalKendall ClayRebecca Weerth
Chandler GoldmanMargot PopeckiSabrina Barbosa
Chazz JordanMaria FlowersSahana Parker
Corinne SweeneyMary WashburnSamantha Surber
Daniel SuhMegan TomamichelSarada Sripada
David MontgomeryMeghan BradyTaiwo Akinyemi

Past Leadership:

Rishi MasaliaJeff CannonTara Bracken
Hilde OliverAmanda ShaverStephanie Halmo
Greg EvansMichelle ZiadieMason McNair

Past Members:

Aileen FerraroJacquie FrielMacKenzie Carter
Alaa AhmedJenn CyrMegan Buland
Alex PiloteJennifer DeMossMegan Prescott
Amanda PiehlerJennifer KuraszMonica Harmon
Ana MandujanoJeremy DukeNatalie Eldredge
Angela HsiungJermey YatvinNick Batora
Anna LauJoe BricePablo Mendieta
Anne Chesky SmithJonathan WaringPaige Copenhaver
Arnab MondalKaito NagashimaPatrick Griffin
Caitlin MertzlufftKara WyattRebecca Atkins
Caitlin ReevesKaren BobierRosemary Willis
Chaitanya TondepuKasey AndersonRuby Harrison
Chelsea HimslKatherine KruckowSavanah Jackle
Christian SchwoyerKatie PieperSudeepti Kuppa
Debkanta ChakrabortyKatie ReaginSunishka “Suni” Thakur
Ellen KrallKelly KerrSuzie Henderson
Emily McIntyreKristen DominguezTheo Fountain
Gabrielle SandstedtKush BhatiaTommy Dornhoffer
Gazal AroraLaura KraftTrevor Adams
Graham GrableLauren SgroTyus Williams
Harrison BrockLeah CaplanUma Nagendra
Hayley SchroederLiana MosleyZaka Asif