Young ladies proudly displaying tattoos do not typically bring to mind a neuroscientist or a passionate advocate for science education, but that’s the point.
Cara Santa Maria is a science correspondent for The Huffington Post, with the slyly named blog “Talk Nerdy To Me.” I applaud her for her mission to sharing with the broader public about why science is so amazing and cool.
So who is she?
From her website:
Cara Santa Maria is not your typical neuroscientist. From cheerleader to jazz vocalist, model to tattoo enthusiast, she traveled many paths before pursuing her interest in all things related to the brain. When Cara was a child, she dug up her backyard hoping to find the next great dinosaur discovery. She hasn’t managed to outgrow her love of the prehistoric, as evinced by a tattoo of Archaeopteryx lithographica she proudly bears on her forearm. In middle school, when she won her first science fair competition, she knew that she had found her passion.
For the last five years, Cara has taught biology and psychology courses to high school students and college undergraduates in Texas and New York. She has a passion for science education. It is her mission to make the fascination that she feels for the natural world accessible to as many people as possible. She has also performed clinical and laboratory research on various topics, ranging from the neuropsychology of blindness to computational neurophysiology to adult neurogenesis in songbirds.
When she was only twenty years old, Cara graduated cum laude from the University of North Texas, where she studied psychology and philosophy. She went on to earn her M.S. in neurobiology in 2007.
She has published scholarly works in journals such as Biological Cybergenetics.
Despite the early stage of her scientific career, she has been interviewed by Larry King on CNN. Below is a brief video. Keep up the great work, Cara!