The purpose of this section is to add some personality and show you some of the amazing members and highlight what they do!
Zori Paul (She/Her), MA
Counselor Education and Supervision
Mental health counselor, researcher, and doc student by day, late night Netflix-binging, fanfiction writing, so-so baking superstar by night! As a counselor, I believe it’s important to fight against mental health stigma and systemic racism, as well as, advocate for accessible mental health resources for the Black community. As a researcher, my interests include bisexual+ women of color’s mental health and cross-cultural mentorship in Counseling programs. OpenAcademics has been super supportive and helpful in creating a wonderful and diverse group of peer mentors. The diverse group of academics that I’ve connected with in this community is so inspiring and supportive and I’m always learning something new!
Stephen Axon (He/Him), PhD
Sustainability Science and Environmental Studies
Hello there! I’m an assistant professor of sustainability science, climate activist and Jedi Knight. I’m passionate about sustainability, exploring new places, Star Wars, and saving the world. My research interests are in public engagement with sustainable lifestyles, community-based sustainability, and climate justice activism. For me, academia is, and should always be, an inclusive, equitable, and collaborative environment taken with a light-hearted approach. OpenAcademics is a wonderfully diverse and supportive group of like-minded researchers and academics. Being able to connect with new friends within, and beyond, my own discipline has provided me with great insights into others’ perspectives and experiences.
Zoë Ayres (She/Her), PhD
Mental Health Advocate & Chemist
Hey! I'm Zoë. I am an analytical chemist in my day job and a mental health advocate the rest of the time. I am passionate about improving mental health support and stigma in academia to work towards tangible change to the culture. I strongly believe to do research well we need a diverse team of people, and that means making a space for everyone. Open Academics does just that - it is a beacon for finding, amplifying and connecting with all sorts of amazing people! In my spare time I love to do archery, baking and snuggling with my cat!
Alexandros Xafis (He/Him), MSc
Vertebrate paleontologist and paleoecologist
I am a vertebrate paleontologist specializing in fossil giraffes and the dietary evolution of large mammals. Constantly in love with fossils and fascinated by science in general, I spend most of my time trying to convince people how cool giraffes are! Outside working hours I am a dog-dad, a fitness enthusiast, a tattoo collector, a frequent gamer, and an occasional cross-stitcher. As a queer researcher I am very passionate about visibility and representation of LGBTQIA+ scientists in paleontology and STEM in general. OpenAcademics is an extremely supportive community, which allowed me to connect with scientists from diverse domains and backgrounds. The love and kindness inside of this group is ASTRONOMICAL!
Franziska Sattler (She/Her), MSc
Vertebrate Paleontology and Science Communication
I'm a paleontologist with backgrounds in both geology and evolutionary biology. My main focus and interest has always been with dinosaur dentation and tooth replacement. Ever since my undergrad studies at Freie Universität Berlin and Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, I have gotten in touch with amazing science communicators that supported and inspired me and ultimately lead me to seek out more and more opportunities to communicate not just my own research whenever I can, but also dive into other peoples work and help them learn how to make it approachable for the public. I work with Pint of Science and Soapbox Science to do just that, but I also believe that a lot of communication now happens in virtual places and the OpenAcademics community have proven this time and time again. I have learned so much from my peers and fellow members about how to best talk to non-acdademics and I also made wonderful friends and broadened my network way beyond the borders of my own country. I now feel like wherever I go, I will have a friend or two in every single city.
Brianna A. Baker (She/Her), BA
Hi! I’m Bri- a PhD Student in Counseling Psychology. My dream is to develop, foster, and facilitate resilience in oppressed peoples and serve as a lifetime advocate for those without a voice by revolutionizing and decolonizing the mental health field. I hope to bring Black health to the forefront of the American moral and political agenda via television and film, community development, policy reform and science/health communications. I first found OpenAcademics on Twitter during my application process and it was a LIFE SAVER. I was so nervous to apply (again) and found support and solidarity through the OA community. It’s hard to find mentors and the PhD process can be so isolating. OA helped me to keep going and follow my passions. Most importantly, OpenAcademics encouraged me to be authentically and unapologetically myself- something I had struggled with in most academic circles. I feel so at home in this community!