Biomedical Fellows

Pakinam Amer
Pakinam Amer, Independent Writer, Podcaster and Digital Storyteller (Cairo, Egypt)

Pakinam Amer is Emmy-winning journalist, science writer and multimedia producer. She’s a former Knight Science Journalism fellow and a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A writer for nearly 20 years, Amer has written numerous stories and commentaries on science, technology, and society, including multiple pieces on misinformation and disinformation in the Boston Globe. She produced podcasts for Scientific American's “Science Talk” and “60 Seconds Science,” as well as a mini-series for Nature Career's “Working Scientist.” Amer was one of the inaugural editors of Nature Middle East, the regional version of Nature. She’s on the Board of Directors of Imagine Science, an incubator, film festival, and a major venue for the release of singular and bold works bridging the worlds of science and film. In 2021, she won an Emmy award for her work on In Event of Moon Disaster, an interactive documentary produced by MIT. In 2022, she was a resident journalist at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Amer holds an M.A. in investigative journalism from City, University of London.

Lorraine Boissoneault
Lorraine Boissoneault, Producer, Real Science

Lorraine Boissoneault is a writer and producer for Real Science, a channel that explores the natural world and human biology through short documentaries. She also helped create a series about human evolution called “Becoming Human” and was one of the co-hosts of the docu-game show “Archeology Quest.” Boissoneault previously worked as a staff writer for Smithsonian Magazine, covering archaeology and history. She has also written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Great Lakes Now, and is the author of The Last Voyageurs, a 2016 finalist for the Chicago Book of the Year Award. 

Karen Brown
Karen Brown, Senior Reporter, New England Public Radio

Karen Brown is a public radio science reporter, print journalist and essayist based in western Massachusetts, with a focus on mental health. In addition to 25 years reporting for New England Public Radio, Karen has contributed to NPR, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and other national outlets. Her projects have explored the biology of resilience, bipolar disorder in children, the science of eyewitness testimony, and addiction treatment (plus one "Modern Love" essay on dogs and divorce…). Recently, she’s been training other journalists as founding director of the Early Childhood Development fellowship at the Dart Center on Journalism and Trauma. Her awards include the National Edward R. Murrow Award, The Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, and the Erikson Prize for Mental Health Media. She was an MIT-Knight Science journalism fellow and a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism fellow.

Crystal Chow
Crystal Chow, Independent Journalist (Hong Kong, S.A.R)

Crystal Chow is an award-winning bilingual freelance journalist from Hong Kong, primarily writing about climate change, human rights, politics and culture in Asia and beyond. Her work strives to shed light on the multifaceted issues of climate change at the intersection of science and society. Having been supported by fellowships from the Earth Journalism Network, Dart Center, the National Press Foundation and others, she is currently directing her focus toward the climate effects on health, healthcare inequities and potential solutions. She holds an MSc in Global Energy and Climate Policy from SOAS, University of London.

Alok Gupta
Alok Gupta, Freelance Journalist (Chicago, IL)

Alok Gupta is an award-winning freelance environmental journalist based in Chicago who reports on climate change, environment, agriculture, and wildlife. He took up journalism to bring about a social change in Bihar—his home state in India— notorious for its high crime rate and rigid caste system. His stories exposed gaps in environmental policies, prompting local governments to take corrective actions. Alok has also reported from Hong Kong and China. He is keen on bridging the science reporting gap between the Global South and the Global North.   

Neil Swidey
Neil Swidey, Editor-at-Large, Boston Globe Magazine

Neil Swidey is editor-at-large of The Boston Globe Magazine and Professor of the Practice and director of the Journalism Program at Brandeis University. His narrative nonfiction has appeared in the Best American Science Writing, the Best American Crime Writing, and the Best American Political Writing. (He has trouble sticking with a beat.) His bestseller Trapped Under the Sea was named one of the best books of the year by Amazon and Booklist. His first book, The Assist, was named one of the year’s best by the Washington Post. He is also a coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy. With the help of friends, he founded the Alray Scholars Program, a mentoring and scholarship nonprofit that gives first-generation college students from Boston a second chance to earn their degree. He lives outside Boston with his wife and three daughters. More info:

Environmental Fellows

Mark Alpert
Mark Alpert, Science Journalist and Novelist (New York, NY)

Mark Alpert is a former editor at Scientific American and the internationally bestselling author of 11 novels. His first book, Final Theory, was published in 23 languages and optioned for film; his latest novel (a work of climate fiction) is The Doomsday Show. His short stories have appeared in Playboy and the Climate Parables fiction series of Anthropocene Magazine; he helped adapt one of those stories, “Dodging the Apocalypse,” into a play that was staged in 2023 in San Francisco. Alpert has also written for Fortune, Popular Mechanics, CNN, and newspapers in New Hampshire and Alabama.

Lindsey Botts
Lindsey Botts, Digital Editor, Sierra Magazine

Lindsey Botts is currently an environmental journalist and digital editor at Sierra magazine, where he plays a central role in curating the mix of news articles, opinion pieces, service journalism, and current-events explainers on He conceives, edits, and commissions articles on a wide range of topics, from environmental justice to wildlife conservation. He has a special interest in animals, endangered species and wilderness preservation. Previously, he was an environmental reporting fellow at The Arizona Republic, where he reported on Mexican wolves, water issues and invasive species. Before that, he worked at as an editorial coordinator. He is from Washington, D.C., and holds a B.A. in communication from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a master's in journalism from Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London.

Jessica Hester
Jessica Hester, Independent Author and Journalist (Baltimore, MD)

Jessica Leigh Hester is a science journalist and historian. Her first book, Sewer (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023) examined the ecology of wastewater and the landscapes it touches. Her second book, about how humans have reshaped the surface of this planet and other worlds, is forthcoming from Random House. Her writing has also appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, The Atlantic, CityLab, Atlas Obscura, and more. Jessica is also a Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University, where she studies American history.

Blythe Terrell, Executive Editor, Science Vs. Podcast
Blythe Terrell, Executive Editor, Science Vs. Podcast

Blythe Terrell started her journalism career as a newspaper reporter and editor in Texas and Colorado before earning her master’s of science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. She then worked at FiveThirtyEight before moving to audio and is now executive editor at Science Vs. During her time at Science Vs, the show has won a gold and a silver AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award.

Eva Tesfaye
Eva Tesfaye, Coastal Reporter, WWNO (New Orleans Public Radio)

Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Eva Tesfaye covers the environment for WWNO's Coastal Desk. Before joining WWNO, she reported for Harvest Public Media and the Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk. She was based at KCUR 89.3 in Kansas City, Missouri, where she covered agriculture, food and the environment across the Mississippi River Basin. Tesfaye was also a producer for NPR's daily science podcast “Short Wave.” A graduate of Columbia University, she started her journalism career as a National Public Radio Kroc Fellow.

Tracy Tullis
Tracy Tullis, Environment Reporter, Newsday

Tracy Tullis is the environment reporter for Newsday (Long Island, New York), where she has reported on sea level rise, erosion, wildlife conservation, groundwater pollution, algal blooms, and other topics. Before Newsday she was a freelance reporter, writing about education, criminal justice and labor as well as environment issues for many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Sierra, and The Nation