FOJBI Friday: Meet Aubrey Siebels, Fan Of Direct-To-Consumer Science

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FOJBI Aubrey Siebels


I am currently an undergraduate, about to graduate from the department of biology at James Madison University in Virginia. I work in the behavioral neuroscience of insects — specifically, looking to crack the code that governs escape behavior in crickets. While crickets are bombarded with sensory stimuli simultaneously from six different sensory organs, they are able to organize and prioritize this information to elicit highly successful escapes. How do they do it? These are the sorts of underrated questions that inspire awesome work.

Importance of reading scientific studies

Science communication is all about helping the public to appreciate the truly amazing things that are being studied and published every day. Scientists are celebrating a time of amazing innovation and discovery, and their original research papers are frequently available on the Internet. The public, however, is given primarily sensational "BuzzFeed-style" journalism, in lieu of abstracts and complete literature reviews. In any conversation, whether with a Ph.D. or a kindergartner, I strive to appeal to my audience without watering down the integrity of the subject of research.

Future plans

I am currently in the throes of applying to graduate programs in neuroscience as well as comparative biology. But to be honest, my future is kind of wide open. I love research, and I love talking to researchers about research. I'll pursue working alongside passionate, driven peers while challenging precedence and following my own curiosity.

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