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Atlanta, GA - Shake-Ups

  • Highland Inn and Ballroom 644 North Highland Avenue Northeast Atlanta, GA, 30306 United States (map)

At our next show in Atlanta, we'll present five true, personal stories about shake-ups in science. Sometimes it's good to shake it up a little, and sometimes shake-ups aren't so welcome. From an accidental stabbing to a rainy night doing field work in Guatemala, join us to hear how shake-ups changed how our storytellers saw life, themselves, and their way forward.

Hosted by Meisa Salaita and Emma Yarbrough. 

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please note: Seating is first come, first served.

Stories by:


Raymond Carr is a Jim Henson Company trained puppeteer who has been performing for more than 15 years. He has traveled to every major city in North America and parts of Europe working on multi-million dollar productions. He is skilled in state of the art animatronics, Muppet-style puppetry, motion capture digital puppetry, and traditional theatrical puppetry. Raymond is one of the main characters for the Jim Henson Company's new show, Splash and Bubbles on PBS Kids.  Some of Raymond's other credits include: Nick Jr's Lazytown, Walking with Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular Tour, various projects for Cartoon Network & Adult Swim, The Center for Puppetry Art, The National Black Arts Festival, and Bento Box Entertainment  He also performs improv with The Jim Henson Company's live show Puppet Up Uncensored.

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Brian Hammer is currently an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech. Dr. Hammer received a BS in Biology from Boston College, his PhD in Microbiology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and was a postdoc at Princeton University. His research aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms of bacterial cooperation and competition, with a goal of using this knowledge for manipulating bacterial behaviors that promote health. Hammer gave a TEDx presentation on his work in 2016. He teaches Molecular Microbiology where he likes to play vintage rock music, and an introductory Biology of Sex and Death course. Hammer is the recipient of a prestigious CAREER award by the National Science Foundation, several teaching awards from Georgia Tech, and was recently selected as a Distinguished Lecturer by the American Society for Microbiology. When not on campus, he enjoys rock climbing with his family.  

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Joseph R. Mendelson III has been studying amphibians and reptiles for more than 30 years, concentrating mostly on Mexico and Central America. Most of his work has involved evolutionary studies and taxonomy―including the discovery and naming of about 40 new species. Other studies have included ecology, biomechanics, and natural history. Formerly an Associate Professor in Biology at Utah State University, Mendelson transitioned his career to balance his energies between research and conservation, while still teaching at the university level. Currently he is Director of Research at Zoo Atlanta and Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology at Georgia Tech University, where he teaches regularly. He also is Past-President of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, the world’s largest professional herpetological society. Joe has published more than 100 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Biology Letters, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Experimental Biology, Journal of Herpetology and Molecular Ecology.  He has also authored a number of articles and essays. His work has been featured in media outlets such as National Public Radio, National Geographic, Nature, New York Times, CNN, and Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Additionally, Joe is a guitarist in the Atlanta-based science punk-rock band Leucine Zipper and the Zinc Fingers.

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Deboleena Roy is Chair of the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and holds a joint faculty appointment in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University.  She received her PhD in reproductive neuroendocrinology and molecular biology from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto.  Her fields of interest include feminist theory, feminist science and technology studies, neuroscience, molecular biology, postcolonial theory, and reproductive justice movements. Her goal is to create feminist practices that can contribute to scientific inquiry in the lab.


Kellie Vinal is a PhD biochemist, science writer, educator, producer, and adventure enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s wildly interested in the intersection of science, art, and humanity and generally can’t sit still. She’s currently a freelance science communicator, serving as Festival Coordinator for the Atlanta Science Festival, Producer for The Story Collider, and Scientist In Residence for STE(A)M Truck. Kellie has also organized conferences, hosted a children’s TV show, written for various outlets, produced a science-themed bicycle scavenger hunt, hosted podcasts, collaborated on science-infused art projects, and trained to lead museum tours – all in the name of inspiring curiosity and wonder about science.

Earlier Event: June 18
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Later Event: June 28
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