Our Team

Our Team

Adler Planetarium

Cliff Johnson

Cliff Johnson, Zooniverse Co-Director & Science Lead

Cliff Johnson is a jointly-appointed astronomer at Northwestern University and the Adler Planetarium. As a research, he is a longtime Zooniverse collaborator as science lead for the Andromeda Project and the Local Group Cluster Search. Cliff joined the Zooniverse team at the Adler in May 2019.
Cory Chambers

Cory Chambers, Mobile Developer

Cory is a Mobile App Developer. In his free time he likes to run at the park, work in the yard, read books, travel to new and exciting places, and spend time with his family.
Delilah Clement

Delilah Clement, Senior Developer & Frontend Lead

Delilah is a web developer for the Zooniverse team at Adler Planetarium. She joined the team in 2021 with a background in aquatic biology. You can find her playing ice hockey or longboarding on Chicago’s lakefront.
Laura Trouille

Laura Trouille, Zooniverse PI

Laura is VP of Science Engagement at the Adler Planetarium, was co-PI for Zooniverse from 2015-2023, and since September 2023 serves as PI of the Zooniverse. While earning her Ph.D. in 2010 studying galaxy evolution, she embodied cosmic collisions as a roller derby queen aptly named ‘The Big Bang’.
Mark Bouslog

Mark Bouslog, Developer

Mark is a front-end web developer for the Zooniverse team at the Adler Planetarium. Joining in November 2015 from a career in accounting, he’s thrilled to focus his number crunching to 1’s and 0’s and is constantly inspired and humbled by the power of programming, citizen science and coffee.
Meredith Stepien

Meredith Stepien, Manager of Creative Content and Production

Meredith is based at the Adler Planetarium, and works with the Adler and Zooniverse on creating silly songs and videos that make difficult science concepts fun! She loves her dog and being cozy and falling asleep by 8pm.
Michael Zevin

Michael Zevin, Astronomer

Mike is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium specializing in gravitational waves, compact objects, and stellar evolution. He is one of the lead researchers of the Zooniverse project Gravity Spy. When space isn’t on his mind, he can often be found playing music around the Windy City.
Michelle Yuen

Michelle Yuen, Developer

Michelle is a software developer for the Zooniverse team at Adler Planetarium. Born and raised in Chicago, the Adler was one of her favorite places in the city (still is!). In her free time, you can find her on the tennis court, eating tacos, kickboxing, cuddling with her cat, or sharing her passion for math, logic problems and coding to anyone willing to listen.
Samantha Blickhan

Samantha Blickhan, Zooniverse Co-Director & Humanities Lead

Samantha Blickhan is based at the Adler Planetarium, leading humanities research and development efforts for the Zooniverse. Outside of work she's most often making music or fiber art projects, or hanging out with her dog.
Sean Miller

Sean Miller, Designer

Sean is a UI and UX designer for the Zooniverse. He also assists the Adler with design projects having to do with technical aspects such as 3d printing. His background as a maker contributes to unique perspectives and solutions to problems. In his free time he likes playing baseball or jamming with friends.
Zach Wolfenbarger

Zach Wolfenbarger, Developer

Zach is a software developer. He was a molecular biologist, but then the lab needed some code to be written and the die was cast. He’s also in a couple of bands and can be found playing shows at bars and comic conventions all over the midwest.

Oxford

Alisa Apreleva

Alisa Apreleva, Project Liaison and Researcher

Alisa had been a forensic linguist, a journalist, a homeschooling mom and a music therapist before joining Zooniverse in 2024. During her doctoral studies Alisa helped people with MND / ALS preserve their voice through singing and playing melodica. After all these years, Alisa is still fascinated by humans.
Chris Lintott

Chris Lintott, Senior Scientist

Astronomer and co-founder of both Galaxy Zoo and the Zooniverse that grew from it, Chris is interested in how galaxies form and evolve, how citizen science can change the world, and whether the Chicago Fire can get their act together.
Oluwatoyosi Oyegoke

Oluwatoyosi Oyegoke, Software Developer

Oluwatoyosi is a software developer with four years of experience and a BSc(ed) in Economics. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming and is dedicated to teaching kids how to code.
Shaun A. Noordin

Shaun A. Noordin, Web Developer

Shaun was raised by Nintendo consoles and somehow transformed his love for video games into a love for creating interactive experiences. When not at his PC playing games or reading comics, he's at his PC studying web design and coding experimental apps.

Minnesota

Hayley Roberts

Hayley Roberts, Post-doctoral Researcher

Hayley is an astrophysicist who specializes in collecting and studying strange galaxies, from some of the most extreme mergers in our universe to low-surface brightness galaxies potentially harboring intermediate-mass black holes. In her research, she is an expert in working with large data sets and implementing machine learning to identify these strange galaxies. At Zooniverse, she is working to make data more accessible, better enabling citizen scientists and the research teams alike. Outside of work, she enjoys coffee, running, and collecting rescue animals.
Kameswara Mantha

Kameswara Mantha, Post-doctoral Researcher

Kameswara is a post-doctoral researcher with the Zooniverse team at the University of Minnesota working on implementing novel machine learning based anomaly detection frameworks on extragalactic astrophysical datasets. His goal is to enhance citizen-science outcomes using new human-computer optimization strategies. His main field of study is galaxy evolution, where he specializes in galaxy mergers. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess, cooking, and reading medical encyclopedias.
Lucy Fortson

Lucy Fortson, University of Minnesota Zooniverse Director

Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. One of the Zooniverse co-founders, she leads the UMN data science and machine learning teams along with project wrangling (aka management) and strategic planning while trying to squeeze a bit of gamma ray and galaxy evolution science in.
Sarah Huebner

Sarah Huebner, Post-doctoral researcher

Sarah is a wildlife ecologist who studies the impacts that elephants, lions, and other megafauna exert on natural ecosystems when they are reintroduced or become locally extinct. A long-time Zooniverse collaborator, she directs the ecological monitoring network Snapshot Safari. In her present capacity with Zooniverse, she is working on building connections with other platforms commonly used by ecologists, including CitSci.org and Wildlife Insights and provides assistance to other project managers. You can often find her hiking with her dogs, rocking out at concerts, or burning through a stack of novels.
Travis Kiefer

Travis Kiefer, Developer

Travis is a software developer by day, philomath by night. He is fascinated by mathematical concepts and their ability to illuminate relations within physics, programming, and design. When not lost in thought, he enjoys contemplative walks, basking in the sun, and afternoon naps.

At-Large

Adam McMaster

Adam McMaster, Infrastructure Engineer

Adam is responsible for managing the Zooniverse's web hosting infrastructure., He has a computer science degree and has worked in web hosting and development for many years. He's also working on a degree in astronomy with the OU.
Brooke Simmons

Brooke Simmons, Researcher

Brooke is an astrophysicist based at Lancaster University studying black holes, galaxies, and how citizen science can be applied to other non-traditional problems.
Coleman Krawczyk

Coleman Krawczyk, Data Scientist

Coleman is helping to create new data analysis and visualization tools for existing Zooniverse projects as well as identifying new projects within the University of Portsmouth. He received his PhD in astrophysics from Drexel University.
Helen Spiers

Helen Spiers, Researcher

After finishing a PhD studying the molecular basis of human brain development, Helen joined the Zooniverse as a Postdoc in citizen science and medical research. She continues to collaborate with the Zooniverse as a researcher based at The Francis Crick Institute.
Hugh Dickinson

Hugh Dickinson, Researcher

Hugh is a postdoc studying the Zooniverse.
Karen Masters

Karen Masters, Researcher

Karen is an astronomer and the Project Scientist of Galaxy Zoo, which she's been involved in as a researcher since 2008. She's particularly interested in the evolution of spiral galaxies.
Meg Schwamb

Meg Schwamb, Researcher

Meg is a planetary scientist and astronomer involved in the Planet Four projects, and Comet Hunters for which she is project scientist. She studies small bodies in the Solar System, exoplanets, and Mars. Meg has a fondness for baking, soccer, and champagne.
Molly Simon

Molly Simon, Education Postdoctoral Fellow

Molly Simon is a postdoctoral fellow at the Adler Planetarium leading the development, assessment, and implementation efforts of new curricular material for classroom.zooniverse.org. In her spare time, Molly enjoys reading non-fiction, hanging out with her dog "Mr. T" and trying out new restaurants.
Ramana Sankar

Ramana Sankar, Post-doctoral Researcher

Ramana is a post-doctoral researcher with the Zooniverse team at UMN working on human-computer optimization problems and applying machine learning frameworks on Zooniverse data. His background is in studying the physics behind different cloud features in planetary atmospheres, particularly on gas giants. When his head is not in planetary clouds, you will find him playing video games and learning new cuisines.
Rebecca Smethurst

Rebecca Smethurst, Researcher

Becky is an astrophysicist, author, and science communicator at Oxford. She is interested in how galaxies change over time and how we can track this evolution. Happy-go-lucky about outreach, the Zooniverse and everything.
Sandor Kruk

Sandor Kruk, Researcher

Sandor is a graduate student working on his PhD in Astrophysics at Oxford. He is looking at how galaxies evolve using data from Galaxy Zoo and enjoys stargazing, using telescopes, and dancing in his free time.
Victoria Van Hyning

Victoria Van Hyning, Researcher

Victoria is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow in English at Oxford, and is the humanities PI at Zooniverse. She works on Science Gossip, Annotate, and Shakespeare's World and more. Coffee is her lifeblood.

Alumni

Alex Bowyer

Alex Bowyer, Web Science Architect

Alex worked remotely for Zooniverse from his home in Northumberland. He designed and ran Zooniverse experiments and developed infrastructure and front-end code. Alex is a Dad of three, an improv player, a board gamer, and is running five half-marathons in 2016.
Alex Weiksnar

Alex Weiksnar, Developer

Alex previously attended University of Miami, where he studied Psychology, Biology, and English. Alex enjoys reading, coding, and sailing in his free time.
Ali Swanson

Ali Swanson, Researcher

Ali spent most of her PhD chasing lions around the Serengeti. She finished her PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota in 2014, and joined the Zooniverse as a Postdoc in Ecology and Citizen Science.
Amy Boyer

Amy Boyer, Developer

Amy has been a Zooniverse developer at the Adler since November 2015. She holds a BS and MS in computer science and has over a decade of industry experience. An aspiring astronomer as a child, she couldn't be happier to have landed here.
Andrea Simenstad

Andrea Simenstad, Developer

Andrea joined Zooniverse as a developer at the University of Minnesota in 2015. When she is not captivated by code, she can be found enjoying snow on skis and exploring lakes by kayak. She graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Cognitive Science.
Arfon Smith

Arfon Smith, Technical Lead

Arfon was co-founder and Technical Lead of the Zooniverse for the first five years of the project. Arfon served as Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium and co-lead of the Zooniverse until fall 2013.
Becky Rother

Becky Rother, Designer

Becky Rother joined the Zooniverse team at the Adler in 2017, leading design efforts across the Zooniverse and beyond. She enjoys live music and pictures of other people's pets.
Beverley Newing

Beverley Newing, Web Developer Intern

Beverley is an English and German literature graduate and worked as a Web Developer Intern at Zooniverse. In their spare time they're an avid fan of geese and enjoys motorbiking.
Brian Carstensen

Brian Carstensen, UX Developer

Brian Carstensen moved from Chicago to Oxford and back again. Brian has a degree in graphic design from Columbia College in Chicago, and worked in that field for a number of years before finding a niche in web development.
Campbell Allen

Campbell Allen, Developer

Responsible for building the Zooniverse's API infrastructure. Cam considers himself a music and fine wine connoisseur - others do not. In his spare time he enjoys playing an obscure form of rugby.
Chelsea Troy

Chelsea Troy, Software Engineer

Chelsea is a software engineer and data scientist currently focused on The Zooniverse's citizen science mobile app. When she isn't writing code, she is lifting weights, enjoying the outdoors, or writing about tech at chelseatroy.com.
Chris Snyder

Chris Snyder, Project Manager

Chris Snyder began working on the Zooniverse team in fall 2012 as a web developer. In July 2013, he became the technical project manager. He received a degree in computer science from the University of Dayton.
Christopher Doogue

Christopher Doogue, Project Assistant

Chris supported the Zooniverse Oxford team from 2014-16. He had been with the Department of Astrophysics for over 2 years administratively supporting various projects. A former trained actor, he has the ability to look like he's smiling in the face of adversity!
Darren McRoy

Darren McRoy, Community Manager

Darren (DZM) served as a liaison to the Zooniverse community and assisted with strategic content for projects. A Northwestern University graduate in journalism, he is also a golf addict, amateur author, and hopeless animal lover.
Darryl Wright

Darryl Wright, Researcher

Darryl is doing machine learning research with the Zooniverse, based in Minnesota.
Erik Ostlund

Erik Ostlund, Developer

Erik worked as a front-end web developer for the Zooniverse team at the University of Minnesota from 2020-2022. He started developing educational applications while earning his Masters in Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota. He enjoys woodworking and dreams of building a cabin in northern Minnesota.
Grant Miller

Grant Miller, Communications Lead & Product Manager

A former exoplanetary scientist, Grant is now responsible for communicating with our volunteers, researchers, and Zooniverse development teams. He is also behind the Zooniverse's presence on social media and publishes the Daily Zooniverse blog.
Greg Hines

Greg Hines, Data Scientist

Greg used machine learning and statistics to help projects analyse their volunteer classifications. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Waterloo, Canada. Greg loves to eat pancakes with real maple syrup and run ultramarathons.
Hannah Sewell

Hannah Sewell, Web Development placement student

Hannah is a PhD student in plant genetics from The University of Sheffield. She is visiting Zooniverse on a placement to learn web development for a few months and is definitely not an intern.
Heath van Singel

Heath van Singel, Designer

Heath was the UX/UI Designer at the Zooniverse where he worked to craft thoughtful and engaging user experiences. Apart from design, Heath also enjoys illustration, a good sci-fi or fantasy novel, and exploring his new home in the Pacific Northwest.
James Artz

James Artz, Developer

James joined the Zooniverse team in 2017. Before discovering his passion for code, he received a Ph.D in Mediterranean Archaeology from SUNY Buffalo, focusing on ancient Greece. In his free time he enjoys wood working and the ancient art of fermentation.
Jen Gupta

Jen Gupta, Educator

Jen works on Galaxy Zoo education in her role as the SEPnet/Ogden Outreach Officer for the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, and has a PhD in astrophysics. Active galactic nuclei were her first love.
Jim O'Donnell

Jim O'Donnell, UX Developer

Professional cynic but his heart's not in it. Web developer for the Zooniverse, Web Standards organiser, Amnesty UK activist.
Jordan Martin

Jordan Martin, Visual Designer

Jordan joined at the Adler Planetarium as Zooniverse's Visual Designer starting in 2015. She spent her time making our user interfaces beautiful, engaging, and a rewarding experience. At home she spends time with her two cats and many houseplants.
Julie Feldt

Julie Feldt, Educator

Julie has a background in space physics and museum studies. She works on educational experiences, and Skype in the Classroom lessons for the Zooniverse. She loves to run, mostly to compensate for her love of cupcakes and chocolate.
Keanu Glover

Keanu Glover, Junior Designer

Keanu was the Zooniverse Junior Designer in summer 2023. Before then, he was an i.c.stars intern, an intensive 6-month program supporting pathways to economic mobility through IT and software engineering workforce skills training, job experience, and leadership development. After his role within the Zooniverse, Keanu joined the United Airlines Apprenticeship Program.
Kelly Borden

Kelly Borden, Educator

With a background in museum education, Kelly joined the Zooniverse in 2011 to bring an educator's perspective and spread the word amongst teachers and students. She's fond of several C's: chocolate, cats, coffee, and more chocolate.
Kyle Willett

Kyle Willett, Researcher

Kyle is an astronomer who studies galaxies, masers, and black holes (although he's been getting more into data science). He worked on both Galaxy Zoo and Radio Galaxy Zoo, and developed advanced tools for the volunteers.
Laura Whyte

Laura Whyte, Adler Planetarium Zooniverse Director

Laura was the Director of Citizen Science at Adler Planetarium and co-lead of the Zooniverse from fall 2013 to summer 2015.
Mariam Saeedi

Mariam Saeedi, Web Developer Intern

Mariam is the 2017 Web Development Intern at Zooniverse. She is proficient with HTML and CSS and is currently learning JavaScript and Rails.
Marten Veldthuis

Marten Veldthuis, Developer

Marten joined the development team in 2015, and left in 2019. He has a degree in computer science and enjoys crafting maintainable software. Marten learned about orbital mechanics from Kerbal Space Program, and feels like he's therefore basically an astrophysicist.
Mary Westwood

Mary Westwood, Postdoctoral Researcher

Evolutionary ecologist, Mary spends arguably too much time thinking about parasites, biological timing, and the sex lives of insects.
Maysa Bashraheel

Maysa Bashraheel, Web Developer Intern

Maysa is the new Zooniverse Software Developer intern. In another life, she was a transplant researcher and science teacher. She is passionate about learning to code and inspiring young people to pursue STEM careers. In her spare time she likes hiking, weightlifting and cooking.
Melanie Beck

Melanie Beck, Researcher

A PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Melanie works on combining machine learning with volunteer votes for classification tasks on the Galaxy Zoo project with the goal of classifying *billions* of galaxies that future telescopes will see.
Michael Parrish

Michael Parrish, Rails/Backend Developer

Software developer at the Zooniverse. He pwns databases daily. Dog, fishing, snakes, and bourbon.
Nicole Ciemniak

Nicole Ciemniak, Developer

Nicole is a web developer who joined the Zooniverse team in December 2019. They are a passionate believer in using code for the betterment of society on an individual level. When they’re not coding, you’ll find them working on drawings of all sorts of strange creatures and going out to local shows.
Noah Malmed

Noah Malmed, Mobile App Developer

Noah mainly has a background in mobile app development as well as some firmware and backend experience. Outside of work, Noah enjoys cooking, baking and climbing.
Perry Roper

Perry Roper, Developer

Perry was a developer with the Zooniverse, based in Oxford.
Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson, Developer

Robert was one of the founding developers of the Zooniverse, based in Oxford. If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, you are probably Rob Simpson.
Robin Schaaf

Robin Schaaf, Mobile App Developer

Robin has a background in web development for educational institutions. In her free time she enjoys board games and playing bass guitar.
Roger Hutchings

Roger Hutchings, Developer

Roger builds front end interfaces for the Zooniverse, and enjoys coding, music and rebuilding motorbikes in his spare time.
Rona Costello

Rona Costello, Web Development placement student

Rona is a PhD student studying plant evolution at Oxford and joined the Zooniverse to get some web development experience for a few months. Enjoys movies, board games and hanging out under the sea.
Samuel Aroney

Samuel Aroney, Web Development placement student

Samuel is a DPhil student studying the swimming behaviour of soil bacteria at Oxford. He joined Zooniverse to learn professional coding skills and perhaps build something useful.
Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen, Developer

Sarah Allen is a front-end web developer for the Zooniverse team at the Adler Planetarium starting in September 2014. She also has a degree in music and enjoys cooking and live concerts in her free time.
Sascha Ishikawa

Sascha Ishikawa, Developer

Sascha joined the Zooniverse team in November 2013 as a front-end developer. A former researcher and software developer at NASA Ames, he received degrees in both computer science and mechanical engineering.
Simone Duca

Simone Duca, Developer

Simone joined the Zooniverse in 2015 as a frontend developer. In a previous life, he received a PhD in logic and philosophy from Bristol. After moving "Up North", he joined another worthy cause in 2018.
Steve Raden

Steve Raden, Developer

Steve Raden was a developer at the Adler in Chicago.
Stuart Lynn

Stuart Lynn, Developer

Stuart arrived at the Adler as a developer in July 2011, having been one of the founding developers at Oxford. He studied mathematical physics at Edinburgh University and received his doctorate in astrophysics from Royal Observatory Edinburgh. Data analysis maestro and web developer.
Veronica Maidel

Veronica Maidel, Data Scientist

Veronica is a Data Scientist who worked on discovering patterns in Zooniverse data, by manipulating it and using it to create machine learning models. She received a PhD in Information Science and Technology from Syracuse University.
Will Granger

Will Granger, Developer

Will joined the Adler Planetarium in 2016 as a front-end developer for the Zooniverse. In the past, he has taught English overseas, toured in bands, and helped open a music venue in Alabama.