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Durham, NC - New Frontiers

  • Motorco Music Hall 723 Rigsbee Avenue Durham, NC, 27701 United States (map)

Join us this June for our second show in North Carolina, where we'll present five stories of tackling new challenges in science!

This show is produced in partnership with the NC State Leadership in Public Science Cluster and the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, with support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the NC Science Festival, the NC State College of Sciences and the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Stories by:

Marcelo Ardón Sayao is really into swamps. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NCSU. He obtained his BA in Biology and Environmental Science from Gettysburg College, his PhD from the University of Georgia, and did a postdoc at Duke University. His research focuses on how wetlands and streams transport and transform water and nutrients. He spends most of his time outside work with his wife and two kids. They enjoy dancing, building sandcastles, and spending time outside, though he hasn’t fully convinced his kids of the beauty of swamps.


Robin E. Kitson loves taking an audience along with her. Her trips of the mind are much like those she heard as a child in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans where stories roll down the river clothed in fog. Robin’s motivational tales come from first hand experience, having to take welfare to get by, on up to being topped out in her job at the power company. Robin often has folks rolling in the aisle while learning about life in the land of the Cajuns or her days living in a tin house overseas.She has a BS in Environmental Science and an AAS in Electronics, which is a story in itself.


Caroline Leitschuh is a PhD candidate in Biology at NC State University. She compares the stress behavior and endocrinology of wild house mice with those of laboratory mice. Her work focuses on the impact of inbreeding and human selection on laboratory mouse behavior, especially in relation to human translational studies. She is also a member of the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents program (GBIRd). GBIRd is an international consortium of universities, government, and not-for-profit organizations exploring the use of gene drive for potentially eradication invasive rodents from islands. In addition to her research, Caroline is also involved in many science communication initiatives, including helping found the Science Communication Graduate Student Organization at NC State and working with local museums on science outreach events. When she isn’t engaged in work related to science, Caroline is dancing and teaching Blues dance and Lindy Hop.


Jessica Phillips is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  After college, Jessica enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served 5 years’ active duty as an Ejection Seat Mechanic for AV8B Harriers and deployed twice in support of the conflicts in Iraq.  Jessica served an additional 2 years in the reserves of the USMC.  After the Marine Corps Jessica was hired as a Park Ranger for North Carolina State Parks, at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area.  During her time as a park ranger at Kerr Lake SRA, she attended graduate school at North Carolina State University in the Parks, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management program.  From NCSU she graduated with a Master’s Degree in Parks, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Management.  After 6 years at Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Jessica transferred to William B. Umstead State Park, where she still currently works.  During her time in the division Jessica has created local radio, newspaper articles, and web articles called “Ask a Ranger”.  This forum allows the public to ask park rangers questions about many aspects of our job, the environment, and the parks in general. Additionally, Jessica created two museum exhibits called “Eye Spy with my Park Ranger Eye” that displayed the amazing photography talents of many of the staff in the North Carolina State Parks Division.  Jessica is currently putting together a series for a podcast “Ask a Ranger” that will be an extension of the Ask a Ranger articles currently found on the NC State Parks website. 


Nadia Singh is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University and an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon. She earned her BA in Biology from Harvard University, her PhD in Biological Sciences at Stanford University, and did a postdoc at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the genetics of evolution, and she relies primarily on fruit flies as a model system. Outside of work, she enjoys running (ok, jogging), cooking (ok, eating), drinking IPAs (no caveat here, it’s a true story), and playing board games with her two daughters (but not Monopoly because that game is awful and she doesn’t want to raise a pair of mercenary capitalists).

Earlier Event: June 20
Brooklyn, NY - 7th Anniversary!
Later Event: June 28
Cambridge, MA - Sweet and Sour