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Chat with a Scientist: Sustainable Food Production



FREE Event

Chat with a Scientist: Sustainable Food Production

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST


Presented By

The New York Academy of Sciences


The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with Queens Public Library and CIV:LAB, invites students to register for our Chat with a Scientist series of events. This free virtual event series spotlights the diversity of STEM professionals and their careers, and creates a casual space where youth can engage with and learn from real scientists.

Each Chat with a Scientist event will last for 60 minutes and feature 2 scientists who will talk about their paths into science, the work they currently do and, most importantly, answer questions directly from participants.  Our goal is to provide young people with relatable role models, raise awareness of the breadth of STEM careers, and spark a lifelong love of science. The series of events covers a wide variety of scientific paths from renewable energy to sustainable food production. You can register for any single event or for the entire series of events.

These events are geared towards middle school and high school students and families, though all are welcome to join.

This series is made possible by the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Fund, administered by City Parks Foundation, and funded by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Chat with a Scientist: Sustainable Food Production

Who you'll meet:

Tinia Pina
Founder & CEO, Re-Nuble

  • Where did you grow up? Woodbridge, VA
  • Where did you go to school?  Virginia Tech for a B.S. in Business Information Technology and I dropped out of Columbia University
  • Describe your work in 5 words: Developing Sustainability for Indoor Growing
  • Why do you love science? I love the idea of biomimicry, using the natural environment to inspire us to create solutions for society’s real needs
  • Who is someone you look up to in the STEM world?  The CEO of Expensify, David Barrett
  • What are your favorite activities/hobbies outside of work?  I love still photography and enjoy walking NYC aimlessly looking for the next best shot, my dad was a photographer for the Marine Corps.
  • A book recommendation: The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle)
Chat with a Scientist: Sustainable Food Production

Reilly Cooper
Microbial Ecologist, Upward Farm

  • Where did you grow up? Pleasant Valley, NY
  • Where did you go to school? Undergrad at  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Graduate school at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Describe your work in 5 words: Understanding how microbes help plants
  • Why do you love science? There is an endless fountain of ideas, theories, and facts waiting for you to dive in. So many processes about how organisms from the smallest archaea to the largest mammals work are just starting to be explored, and being able to systematically design experiments to understand those is amazing! There’s nothing quite like discovering something that nobody else in the entire world has found, then sharing it to help make the world a better place.
  • Who is someone you look up to in the STEM world? Dr. Nancy A. Moran. Dr. Moran is a pioneer in evolutionary biology, leading cutting-edge work on understanding how large organisms like insects partner with the microbes that live inside of them. From her foundational work on how aphids and their bacterial symbionts have become so intertwined that they need each other to survive to her work on honeybee microbiomes, her and her team’s amazing discoveries have led to advances in our understanding of ecology, evolutionary biology, and biotechnology.
  • What are you favorite activities/hobbies outside of work?  I love making electronic music! I grew up playing piano, flute, and guitar. As I got older I started making music on the computer - I’ve been producing music for 10+ years now.
  • A book recommendation: We Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong.