Back to All Events

St. Louis, MO - Best-Laid Plans

  • Ready Room 4195 Manchester Avenue St. Louis, MO (map)

Join us for our next show in St. Louis, featuring stories about plans going awry in the laboratory and out in the field! We'll also have stories about trying to hold ourselves up to high standards, despite what science tells us. Some will be heartbreaking; some are hilarious. They are all true, and all, in one way or another, are about science.

Hosted by Eli Chen and Zack Stovall. Produced in partnership with St. Louis Public Radio.

Stories by:


Paul Bracher is an Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University, where he is an instructor for organic chemistry and won the 2016 Nancy McNeir Ring Award, the school’s highest honor for teaching. His NSF and NASA-funded research program focuses on elucidating the chemistry that led to the origin of life on Earth, roughly four billion years ago. Paul grew up in Falls Church, Virginia and attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, where he was introduced to chemistry and instantly fell in love with it. He went on to earn his B.S. in chemistry from New York University and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard, before pursuing postdoctoral research at Caltech. He lives with his lovely wife, Tara, and their 10-month-old daughter, Jane, in Valley Park, Missouri. Paul runs an unpopular chemistry blog, ChemBark, and tweets as @ChemBarkPaul.

Hooks 2014 photo.jpg

Denise Hooks-Anderson, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hooks-Anderson earned her medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, followed by a residency at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She joins SLUCare from Wellness Healthcare Associates. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Hooks-Anderson is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Medical Association and the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Hooks-Anderson has clinical expertise in women's health, obesity, hypertension and preventative medicine. In addition to patient care and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Hooks-Anderson has research interests in the role of lifestyle modification in disease prevention.


Originally from California, Kyra Krakos is a happy St. Louis native-by-choice and Professor of Biology at Maryville University. She was Science Educator of the Year by the STL Academy of Science in 2016. Her lab focuses on the need to understand the dynamics of the natural world in a changing environment. She loves plants and is fascinated by their impressive adaptations. Kyra lives with her husband and three children in a home that is “very very nerdy.” You can find her TEDx talk from 2015 under “Plants, People and Pollinators: A Love Story.”


Michaella A. Thornton's essays and flash prose have appeared in New South, The Southeast Review, The New Territory Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and a University of Missouri Press anthology, Words Matter: Writing to Make a Difference (2016). She loves her almost one-year-old daughter Lucinda, all the cannoli, Hall & Oates, and Jo Ann Beard.


Emma Young is a PhD candidate at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis. She joined the Ricklefs lab in 2014 with a background in avian ecology and disease, and she is especially interested in the interactions between disease ecology and conservation biology. She is currently studying the structure of malaria parasite assemblages and host/parasite interactions in neotropical birds of Gamboa, Panama.

Earlier Event: March 6
New York, NY - Brain Awareness