WHO WE ARE
Founder and Director
Natalie is a molecular biologist with a deep love for science and our shared planet. During her postdoctoral training at Yale University she actively used CRISPR technology to study the mammalian cardiovascular system. In 2016, however, while attending a talk on conservation biology at the Yale School of Forestry she became intrigued by the use of gene editing to solve environmental issues. That's when she began asking questions like Could the emerald ash borer be genetically altered to save American ash trees? Would Mother Nature approve of such changes? How do we ask? In 2017, she founded Editing Nature to help navigate the technical, ecological, and ethical complexity of such questions and ensure gene editing technologies are used to the benefit, and not detriment of our planet. She is now a leading voice for the advancement of inclusive science and integrated deliberation models.
Natalie has authored numerous scientific research articles, reviews, and commentary pieces, and chaired international seminars and summits. Her work has been highlighted by Science, Nature, Oregon Public Radio, CBC radio, Pacific Standard Magazine, and National Geographic. She teaches environmental ethics at the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School and guest lectures at Yale University and MIT. She is a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center, an associated scholar at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and collaborates extensively with the Yale Program in Biomedical Ethics. Before founding Editing Nature as an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Natalie completed postdoctoral training at Yale Medical School, received her PhD in cellular, molecular, and medical biosciences from Columbia University, an MS in human nutrition and metabolic studies from Columbia University, and her BS in human anatomy and cell biology with a minor in international development studies from McGill University in Canada.
Communications and Web Design
Oswald (Os) Schmitz is the Oastler Professor of Population and Community Ecology, in the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies. His research aims to make sense of nature’s complexity. His book “Resolving Ecosystem Complexity” lays out a blueprint for conducting scientific research to provide predictive understanding of how an ecosystem’s complexity develops from the vast numbers of species interacting within it. Most recently, his book “The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene”, written for a broad readership, conveys the exciting new developments in ecological science and how it can help society achieve sustainable livelihoods in the new age in which humans dominate the Earth.
Os holds a PhD in Resource Ecology from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and a Masters of Science and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph in Canada. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Ecological Society of America. He has served on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board ad hoc panel reviewing the EPA Report on the Environment. He has also served as science advisor to the Open Space Institute’s efforts to develop strategy for building a climate resilient landscape in the northeastern USA. He currently serves on the science advisory council of the Ocean Conservancy
Vivian Vigliotti is a PhD Student in Health Services Research in the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership at Baylor University. Her research will combine healthcare, economics, and technology to aid elderly patients with chronic diseases and cancer to discover more efficient and educational choices in prevention and treatment methods.
She previously worked as a Research Assistant in the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis (CIDMA) in the Yale School of Public Health and graduated from Connecticut College in May 2016 with a BA in economics and computer science. She was also a member of Women in Technology (WIT), an affinity group within Yale University.
Her interdisciplinary educational background aids her research in conducting cost-effectiveness analyses and systematic reviews. Vivian will continue to incorporate economic analysis and modeling for the betterment of both humans and nature through policy and management of public health.
Leo Stevenson is a philosophy student focused on ethics and feminist philosophy. He’s interested in technology’s role in building a deliberately better social and environmental future, and in how philosophy can help to move us away from exploitative or unjust habits of thought.
Leo works for Editing Nature on development, strategy, and writing. In his research, he hopes to continue exploring how humans weigh concerns about humility in knowledge, the concept of “nature” and the ethical treatment of the nonhuman, and the obligation to use technologies equitably, as well as how communicative models of ethical thinking can help guide emergent technologies toward the common good.
Strategist and Writer