Who we are

Meet the team

The SPLASH! editorial team is made up of a team of scientists and journalists with backgrounds ranging from milk science and lactation to English.  

Principal Investigator
Carl Whithaus, Ph.D. 
Professor, University Writing Program 
University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Dr. Carl Whithaus joined the SPLASH! milk science update team in 2012 as Principal Investigator. He is a Professor of writing and rhetoric and Director of the University Writing Program at the UC Davis. His research areas include the impact of information technology on literacy practices, writing assessment, and writing in the sciences and engineering. His three books include Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), Writing Across Distances and Disciplines: Research and Pedagogy in Distributed Learning(Routledge, 2008) and Teaching and Evaluating Writing in the Age of Computers and High-Stakes Testing (Erlbaum, 2005). His current research projects include: integrating emerging writing technologies into the language arts curriculum (K-12), examining the relationships among claims and evidence in the writing of professional biologists and environmental scientists, and exploring potential modifications to microblogs to leverage knowledge produced “swarming” content/users. Dr. Whithaus earned his Ph.D. at the City University of New York (CUNY); he has taught at Stevens Institute of Technology, Old Dominion University, and UC Davis.

Executive Editor 
Danielle Lemay, Ph.D. 
Research Scientist, USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center 
Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition 
Faculty, Genome Center
University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Dr. Danielle Lemay is the founder and Executive Editor of SPLASH! milk science update for which she has selected and reviewed over 350 lay articles on milk science. She also joined the IMGC Scientific Advisory Committee in 2007. Dr. Lemay is a Research Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California. She is also an Associate Adjunct Professor with the Department of Nutrition and faculty member of the Genome Center at UC Davis. Lemay’s research program was previously focused on the genetics of milk production, mammary biology, and milk-oriented microbes.  In her lab at the USDA, she is studying the effect of diet on gut microbes and gastrointestinal health. She has a Ph.D. and M.S. in nutritional biology from UC Davis, and a B.S. in electrical engineering & computer science from MIT. Her bibliography is publicly available here.

Managing Editor 
Katie Rodger, Ph.D. 
Lecturer, University Writing Program 
University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Dr. Katie Rodger joined the SPLASH! milk science update team in 2017 as Managing Editor. She is a lecturer at UC Davis where she has been teaching at since 2002, joining professional science writing and science journalism in the University Writing Program in spring 2011.  For more than ten years, Dr. Rodger researched the life and work of marine ecologist, Ed Ricketts, the model for John Steinbeck’s “Doc” in Cannery Row. She published two volumes, a critical edition of Ricketts’s letters (U. Alabama P, 2002) and his collected essays (U. California P, 2006). She is often invited to speak about Ricketts’s legacy as an ecologist, and has been interviewed on NPR and BBC Radio. Rodger holds a Ph.D. from UC Davis, an M.A. from San José State University, and a B.A. from UC San Diego, all in English. Dr. Rodger has served as the Professional Development Chair for CapSciComm, a regional professional networking group of science communicators. She is an advisory board member for the Western Flyer Foundation.

Copy Editor
Sydney Sullivan
University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Sydney started working at SPLASH! milk science update in 2021, with an interest in challenging herself and learning something new. Sydney is a current PhD student at the University of California, Davis focused on education and digital rhetoric with an emphasis on well-being. She spends her time in grad school developing skills to work in administration in hopes of developing writing curricula that deal with digital rhetoric in conversation with well-being. While social media, digital new articles, and general advances in technology have led some educators to feel students are disengaged or can’t pay attention in the classroom, Sydney sees this as an area of concentration that should be at the center of curricula. Sydney received her M.A. at the University of Arizona in 2020, and her B.A. from Oregon State University in 2018. She received both degrees in English Literature before starting the PhD program in the Department of Education at UC Davis. 

Content Strategist
Elieke Demmer, Ph.D.

Elieke is on a mission to make food less confusing through her nutrition research expertise, Consumer Packaged Goods background, and deep appreciation for agriculture and food production. She loves to geek out with her fellow scientists about the complex data, regulations, and research and then share that information in simple sound bites with colleagues, friends, family, neighbors, and health care professionals to enable the innovation of new foods and drinks that are grounded in science as well as empower everyone to make the right food choice for themselves and their patients or clients. Elieke currently works at Bobbie Baby as the Medical Affairs Lead and has previously held nutrition science roles at  PepsiCo, RXBAR, and the National Dairy Council. Elieke received her doctoral degree from the University of California, Davis where she completed her Ph.D. in Nutritional Biology with an emphasis in both Immunology as well as Biotechnology. She has a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis and is a Registered Dietitian.

Editorial Assistant 
Cora Morgan 
Freelance Science Writer

Ms. Cora Morgan has been editing SPLASH! milk science update since 2013. She has a B.A. in bacteriology and earned her M.S. in nutrition at UC Davis. Morgan is a coauthor—writing as C.J. Dillard—of over 50 scientific peer-reviewed publications. She has edited hundreds of scientific manuscripts and other documents in collaboration with world-renown researchers. Her scientific interests are nutrition, especially keeping up with news of current milk research by daily reviewing biotechnology and biomedical news websites. She also enjoys caring for her mountain property and home, reading, and staying in contact with friends met through science activities over the years.

Associate Editor 
Lauren Milligan Newmark, Ph.D. 
Freelance Science Writer

Dr. Lauren Milligan Newmark has been writing for SPLASH! milk science update since 2013. she received her B.S. in anthropology from University of California, Los Angeles and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her research publications focus on human and nonhuman primate milk composition. She has taught courses on human evolution, primatology, human variation, and evolutionary medicine at UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. Currently, she works as a science writer and part-time community college instructor in San Diego, CA.

Associate Editor 
Anna Petherick, Ph.D. 
Investigative Journalist

Anna Petherick has been has been writing for SPLASH! milk science update since 2012. She received her B.A. in natural sciences and M.A. in comparative government from Cambridge University. She received her Ph.D. in politics at Oxford University. Ms. Petherick 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 still writes occasional articles for Nature journals, and newspapers, but her main job is as a researcher and lecturer in public policy at Oxford University. Opinions expressed in her work for SPLASH! do not represent the views of Oxford University. Her website can be found here.

Associate Editor 
Sandeep Ravindran, Ph.D. 
Freelance Science Writer

Dr. Sandeep Ravindran has been writing for SPLASH!milk science update since 2015. He is a freelance science writer based in the Washington, DC area. Ravindran received his B.S. in biology from Cornell University, and completed a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Stanford University. 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, The Scientist, Wired, Smithsonian, and National Geographic News. His website can be found here.

Associate Editor 
Ross Tellam, Ph.D., A.M. 
CSIRO Honorary Fellow, Brisbane, Australia 
Honorary Fellow, University of South Australia, Adelaide

Dr. Ross Tellam has been writing for SPLASH! milk science update since 2012. He is actively engaged in dairy-related research and has contributed to IMGC Symposia. He was formerly a Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO (Brisbane, Australia) with an adjunct position at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia). Dr. Tellam’s interests in dairy research include livestock genetics and genomics, milk bioactives and antibacterial agents, lactation dynamics, metabolomics, mastitis, and commercial bioprocessing of milk. He also has interests in intergenerational epigenetic effects in livestock, skeletal and cardiac muscle development, parasitology, and vaccine development. Tellam was extensively involved in the Bovine Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, and as part of that initiative, he contributed to the IMGC analysis of the bovine genome. He has led or co-led international, national, and institutional research groups. Tellam has published widely, been invited to speak at numerous international scientific conferences, and has received several awards. In the past, he also held positions at The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, U.S.), and The Australian National University (Canberra, Australia). His bibliography is publicly available here.

Associate Editor Peter Williamson, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Physiology and Genomics 
Faculty of Veterinary Science
The University of Sydney, Australia

Dr. Peter Williamson has been writing for SPLASH! milk science update since 2013. He joined the IMGC Scientific Advisory Committee in 2006. As an active researcher with over 30 years of experience in biomedical, biotechnology and comparative genomics research, Dr. Williamson has a deep knowledge of the research enterprise and project management. His research interests are grounded in physiological systems and genomics, and encompass animal and veterinary biosciences, comparative lactation and milk genomics. His research has been supported by Dairy Australia, The Dairy Cooperative Research Centre for Innovative Dairy Products, National Institutes of Health (USA), National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Canine Research Foundation, Meat and Livestock Australia and others. Williamson has held positions in the medical research sector and university academic environment, at Westmead Medical Centre, The Institute for Immunology and Allergy, The Westmead Millennium Institute and in the School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania (U.S.), with academic appointments in the Faculties of Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Science at The University of Sydney. A graduand of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he has served as an Associate Dean for Research, on executive committees of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, and the Cooperative Research Centre for Innovative Dairy Products. He is a member of the Western Sydney Area Health Board advisory committee, and a range of steering committees for strategic research initiatives, including Sydney Institute for Agriculture (Animal Agriculture), a centre for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Charles Perkins Centre) and the multidisciplinary cancer research initiative (Cancer Research Network). He has a Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Sydney. He was a post-doctoral fellow in immuno-biology at the University of Pennsylvania, before establishing a laboratory as a Principal Investigator and a Senior Lecturer at University of Sydney. He moved into dairy genomics as a Principal Research Fellow in Functional Genomics and is currently Associate Professor, Physiology and Genomics.

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