With a PhD in neuroscience and biophysics from The Rockefeller University, Adria is now using ant colonies to study long-term community self-regulation at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Adria is passionate about spreading the beauty of science and improving critical thinking worldwide in any way possible.
In her scientific life as a researcher, she is studying chemical crowdsourcing of long-term decisions in ant colonies through trophallaxis. This work spans proteomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, insect endocrinology, pharmacology, and complex automated behavioral analysis. Learn more about the research.
In addition to being a practicing biologist (currently at the Weizmann Institute), Adria is also a trainer for scientific presentation skills (various organizations, HEC Lausanne) and the founder and strategic director of The Catalyst. She has been combining her scientific and storytelling skillsets to create science-based entertainment in the form of plays, films and immersive games since 2011. In Lausanne in 2012, Adria founded The Catalyst, a non-profit creating new media for the public about science and teaching scientists to be better communicators through theatre skills. The Catalyst has blossomed, producing a monthly science-improv show, many full-length plays, immersive games, receiving multiple grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, and running weekly improv sessions for scientists in two cities. She has been the creative and executive driving force behind this organization. Her knowledge of many domains of both science and the arts gives her the foundations to create cross-cutting genre-defying work that informs, mesmerizes, and inspires.
Some example projects: Exposure Science-Film Hackathon, CatCave9, a monthly science-improv show, Blue Butterfly, a play about parasitism and motherhood, and an escape game about parasitism inside the Lausanne Museum of Zoology. As a leader, Adria is involved in both the creation of these pieces, and the training and inspiration of young researchers and science communicators.
In addition to her work with The Catalyst, Adria develops coursework and teaches for HEC Lausanne as an adjunct lecturer. She has also been highly involved in TEDxLausanne, as a speaker coach, emcee, and/or curator from late 2012 through the 2017 event. In this capacity, she has coached many speakers including professors and business people from UNIL, HEC, UniNe, IMD, and the Weizmann Institute, one of whom went on to speak at TEDGlobal.
Adria is also a professional speaker herself invited to speak internationally about both her research and about science communication.