SPLASH!® Newsletter Editorial Staff

Executive Editor

Danielle Lemay, PhD

Danielle Lemay received her BS in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT in 1995. After an engineering career designing circuits in Silicon Valley, she earned an M.S. (2005) and PhD (2008) in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis, with a doctoral dissertation on the systems biology of lactation. As a post-doctoral researcher, she was part of the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium and led a team of 19 scientists, with Monique Rijnkels, to produce a companion paper devoted to the evolution of milk and lactation. She is now a USDA scientist at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center where her lab is focused on the interface of diet, microbes, and host immunity. She is also an Associate Professional Researcher and Faculty Member at the UC Davis Genome Center. In March 2012, she founded the IMGC’s e-newsletter, “SPLASH! milk science update” with the financial assistance of California Dairy Research Foundation and the International Milk Genomics Consortium.


Managing Editor

Katie Rodger, PhD

Dr. Katie Rodger joins SPLASH!® as managing editor as longtime science writing instructor in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. She regularly teaches advanced professional writing courses in science writing, environmental science writing, and science journalism. She has collaborated with scientists at UC Davis, Stanford University, and the University of Alaska Southeast on projects that combine field research and writing. Her previous research includes two books about marine scientist, Ed Ricketts, often known as friend and collaborator of John Steinbeck.


Associate Editors

Anna Petherick

Anna Petherick received her B. A. and M. A. from Cambridge University. Shortly afterward she took up the position of science and technology correspondent at The Economist and achieved a rare thing: an exceedingly nerdy, worldwide, biological sciences cover story—that didn’t involve HIV, or sex, and only a very tiny bit of cancer. (It was about RNA.) She then moved to Nature magazine where she worked as a section editor, and then back to The Economist as the publication’s Argentina correspondent. Today Ms. Petherick writes features and news for Nature and Nature Medicine, and a regular column about the social dimensions of climate change for Nature Climate Change. She is also working on two books.

Foteini Hassiotou, PhD

Foteini Hassiotou received her B.Sc. (Biology) from the Aristotle University of Greece in 2005, with First Class Honours in Microbiology. Subsequently, she completed two PhDs at the University of Western Australia (2006-2009, 2010-2012). Her first PhD focused on the mechanisms of photosynthesis in sclerophylls, and part of it was undertaken at the Australian National University. Her second PhD examined the cellular composition of human milk and links to breastfeeding physiology, under the direction of Professor Peter Hartmann. Her research has included reports on the presence and properties of pluripotent stem cells in breastmilk, as well as characterization of breastmilk immune cells and their use as a tool to assess the health status of the lactating breast. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia, directing the Cellular Biology team of the Hartmann group. Dr Hassiotou’s research concentrates on the maternal cells that are present in breastmilk and their involvement in health and disease. Her projects investigate the properties of breastmilk stem cells and microRNAs, their function in the developing infant, and their potential use in regenerative medicine. She also uses breastmilk stem cells as models to give insight into the etiology of cancer. Breastmilk immune cellular and biochemical studies aim at successfully and rapidly diagnosing pathologies of the lactating breast, such as mastitis or low milk supply, understanding their causes, and developing potential clinical management avenues.

Katie Hinde, PhD

Katie Hinde received her B.A. magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington in 1999. She earned her MA (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) in Anthropology at UCLA. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the the Human Evolutionary Biology department at Harvard University. Dr. Hinde’s research seeks to understand how mother’s milk contributes to physiological, psychobiological, and behavioral development in infants of socially complex taxa, particularly humans and non-human primates. Mother’s milk and the consequences for infant outcomes have been repeatedly identified as fundamental for understanding numerous aspects of developmental nutrition, parent-offspring conflict, and life history theory but until her work, relatively little was known about inter-individual variation in milk synthesis. Research from her Comparative Lactation Laboratory established descriptive values for rhesus macaque milk production and demonstrated the influence of maternal life-history and infant sex on milk composition and yield. Her ongoing work shows that energetic and hormonal aspects of milk, particular cortisol, not only influence infant growth but also contribute to infant behavior. Higher calories and more cortisol in milk contributes to producing infants that are more active, playful, and exploratory, and are better at coping in novel, stressful situations.

Lauren Milligan Newmark, PhD

Lauren Milligan Newmark received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. She is currently an associate faculty member at Mira Costa College in San Diego, CA and a Research Associate in the Nutrition Laboratory at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. Dr. Milligan’s research seeks to identify unique features of human milk composition and determine when, why, and how these features evolved. She has analyzed milks from 14 primate species, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans with particular interest in comparing the composition of fatty acids implicated in brain growth and development and immune factors. Other research interests include understanding the role of milk constituents in programming offspring growth, development, and health; cultural influences on women’s decision to wean; and an evolutionary perspective on colic.

Peter Williamson, PhD

Peter Williamson is a professor in physiology and genomics, and is Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney. Peter completed a PhD in animal science at the University of Sydney, with a focus on molecular genetics and immunology. He then spent three years at the University of Pennsylvania, PA. where he studied the molecular biology of intracellular signaling mechanisms. On returning to Australia he established a laboratory at University of Sydney medical school with interests in molecular genetics and the cell biology of host-pathogen interactions within the immune system. In 2003, he moved to the Faculty of Veterinary Science to take up a position as a Principal Research Fellow in functional genomics for the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Innovative Dairy Products. His current interests include functional components and bioactivity of milk, the use of genomic sciences for investigating the maternal determinants of lactation performance and its impact on neonatal development.

Sandeep Ravindran, PhD

Sandeep Ravindran received his B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and completed a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University in 2009. After receiving a graduate degree in science communication from UC Santa Cruz he worked as a science writer for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He currently works as a freelance science writer covering the life sciences and technology and has written for a variety of publications including Nature, Popular Science, Wired.com, and NationalGeographic.com.


Copy Editor

Tasslyn Gester

Tasslyn received her B.A. in Science and Technology Studies and Minors in Professional Writing and Spanish from UC Davis in 2013. She wrote her honors thesis on the communication and comprehension of climate change in high school seniors in California. While at UC Davis, she was director of science policy and an associate editor for The Triple Helix- an international undergraduate science, society, and law journal. After graduation, she wrote and designed software documentation for the UC Davis IT department. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.


Contributing Editors

Daniela Barile, PhD

Daniela Barile received her degrees in the area of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Food Science from the Piemonte Orientale University (Italy). She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Food Science Department at University of California, Davis, and the Associate Director of International Programs at the Foods for Health Institute.  Her research interests include the biological properties of milk bioactive components (glycoproteins and oligosaccharides) in relation to intestinal endogenous microflora. Using advanced mass spectrometric instruments Dr. Barile identified valuable prebiotic carbohydrates (oligosaccharides) in whey permeate, a by-product of whey utilization and also in other dairy products. She is also in charge of the collaborations between UCDavis and a research center in Ireland (Teagasc-Moorepark) and in Italy (Piemonte Orientale University). Previous positions have been with the National Italian Association of Milk Producers and the Drugs and Food Biotechnology Center (Novara, Italy) where she was in charge of defining parameters for food safety and food authenticity using Multivariate Statistical Analysis.

Ross Tellam, PhD

Ross Tellam received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland. He began his research career as a post-doctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in 1979.  Dr. Tellam is currently a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Livestock Industries in Brisbane, Australia where he leads a number of projects on the genetics and epigenetics of dairy cattle. He has been a key leader in several large and multi-disciplinary research projects and was a co-leader of the international Bovine Genome Sequencing Consortium. His research interests include the bovine genome sequence and comparative mammalian genomics, lactation, and mastitis, skeletal muscle development in mammals,  genetics, and livestock production traits, epigenetics in mammalian development and inflammatory responses, and control of gene expression.