Writers, Past and Present


Seth has been a magazine and website editor at the forefront of social trends: The Green Guide for National Geographic and Body+Soul for Martha Stewart among them. Seth was the editor-in-chief of Book of Odds in 2009 and contributed articles and blogs. He’s also been an entrepreneur (Cooler, Inc.), and an unusual kind of athlete: as a medal-winning coxswain for the U.S. Olympic rowing team, he was effectively a jockey for humans.

Email: sethdb@yahoo.com


Jennifer Berglund is a writer, producer and photographer. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston University in ’07 and is currently pursuing her master’s in Science and Medical Journalism at Boston University. She has extensive experience in the laboratory and the field, and has spent many years as an avid outdoor adventurer. Currently, she manages and writes for The Sustainable Urbanite, an online publication for green living in Boston, and she recently co-founded Prehensile Productions, a production company specializing in wildlife and adventure documentaries. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit her website.


Rachel will complete her master’s degree in Science Journalism at Boston University in January 2010 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester. She spent several years researching Alzheimer’s disease while in Rochester in the lab of Dr. Charles Duffy. Other scientific interests include infectious diseases, technology, and the environment. A native of Sharon, Massachusetts, Rachel is currently living in the Boston area, finishing school, and freelancing as a food writer, science writer, and photographer. Other hobbies include playing music, writing fiction, learning foreign languages, and attempting to cook.

Rachel can be emailed at rachelblumenthal625@gmail.com and her
website is http://www.rachelblumenthal.net/


MacGregor Campbell is a science writer based in San Francisco. After teaching math in under-served schools with Teach For America, he set out to bring math and science to a wider audience. He has written about mathematics for Oregon Public Broadcasting, happiness for the National Bureau of Economic Research, and just about every branch of science for New Scientist. He also has a blog.


Joseph Caputo is a Book of Odds contributing writer who hopes to learn the chances that a boy from Staten Island, New York, can make it as a professional science reporter. He earned an MS in science journalism in 2009 from Boston University and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, where he concentrated in biology. He’s interned with Smithsonian Magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Joseph is currently a freelance writer based in Hyattsville, Maryland, who is happy to take on a variety of assignments.


Chris is a contributing writer from the Boston area who graduated from Colgate University in 2005. After spending too many long, cold winters in the Northeast, Chris recently relocated to Charlotte, NC with his fiancée. Despite the move down south, Chris remains a diehard Boston sports fan.


Alyssa Demirjian contributes articles on everyday occurrences, politics, science and technology, and human interest. In 2009, Alyssa earned her B.A. in Modern Philosophy and Politics from Boston University, where she completed an honors thesis on Walter Benjamin and attended many odd events as a jazz pianist.


Stephanie grew up on Long Island and barely went to the beach, but she did haunt places like the Museum of Natural History and Vanderbilt Planetarium, which should have been a clue that she’d become a science writer. After earning degrees in English and Journalism from Boston University, she worked as a medical writer for a private website company in New York. Then academia called again in the form of MIT’s graduate program in science writing. She is now a science writer at the National Institutes of Health.


Shannon Fischer grew up in south Florida, and promptly moved north for college. She received her B.A. from Amherst College, where she studied brains, behavior, and—inexplicably—Russian. Later, she moved to Boston and after a few false starts, began working towards an M.S. in science journalism at Boston University. She hopes to be done by early 2010.

Shannon also recently completed an internship at the National Zoo, where she wrote and edited for the Smithsonian Zoogoer, and to her immense delight, was occasionally allowed behind the scenes at animals exhibits.

She is interested in zoological oddities, curious diseases, and the ever-baffling habits of humanity. In her spare time, she enjoys bad puns, local sports, and too much science fiction for her own good.

Photo Credit: Ian M. Cunningham


John Florio is a freelance writer whose work has been seen in print, on the web, and on television. In addition to writing for resources like Book of Odds, John has created, produced and scored television shows. He holds graduate degrees in business, liberal studies, and creative writing and has served on the faculty of St. John’s University, Fashion Institute of Technology and Ramapo College of New Jersey. John is the owner of Acme Creative Enterprises, Inc., a media production firm in Brooklyn, NY.


Katharine Gammon is a freelance science writer based in Santa Monica, California. A graduate of MIT’s Program in Science Writing, she has penned articles about the future of medicine, robotic workers, and the lives of scientists for magazines like Nature, Wired Magazine and Popular Science. She enjoys a good scoop of balsamic strawberry ice cream from time to time.


David has spent two summers working at Book of Odds, first as a research associate and more recently as a contributing writer and member of the content team. As a result, David is a quasi-expert on sports and retirement, with an emphasis on the “quasi.” In addition to knowing a lot of random facts related to those two categories, David can also tell you your odds of dating a supermodel or getting a million views on YouTube. Hint: Don’t count on either one.


Anne (Annie) grew up in Greencastle, Indiana. She studied ecology and the environment at UC Santa Cruz, where she also played a lot of ultimate frisbee. After working for a Bay Area nonprofit and her hometown hospital, she went back to school to complete her masters at MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing. She is interested in human and environmental health issues. She currently lives in Boston, but dreams about moving to a home next to a clear lake with east-facing windows.


Wendy Hansen is a science and health writer based in Portland, OR. She got her start in science writing with the Berkeley Science Review while working on her Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a soft spot for art and blogs about all things creative at BuildMakeCraftBake.com.


Adam Hinterthuer is a freelance writer on science, technology, and the environment. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, a new baby girl, and two cats.

Adam has contributed to Scientific American, ScienceNOW, Wired.com, and Au dubon among other publications. He’s written about everything from the health scare over bisphenol-A in polycarbonate plastic, to one man’s crusade to clean the Mississippi River, to trout bioengineered to lay salmon eggs. He also writes and records podcasts for Scientific American’s “60 Second Science,” and has been a contributor to Isla Earth Radio, the Environminute, and MicrobeWorld Radio.


Courtney Humphries is a Boston-based freelance journalist and author specializing in science, health, and nature. Her work has appeared in publications such as Seed Magazine, Body+Soul Magazine, Conservation Magazine, and online at Gourmet.com and TechnologyReview.com. She is also a contributing editor for Harvard Magazine. Humphries is the author of Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan….And the World, a natural history of pigeons published in August 2008 by Smithsonian Books. Humphries is a graduate of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing and previously worked as a staff writer at Harvard Medical School.


Melinda Jones-Rhoades is a freelance writer and librarian living and working in western Illinois. These days when she’s not busy championing the Dewey Decimal System, she contracts with research organization Westat to write about health care for the AHRQ Innovations Exchange. The odds are good that she is currently on her second cup of coffee for the day.


Benjamin joined the Book of Odds team as an intern in the winter of 2008. He began as a researcher and then became part of the Book of Odds marketing and sales team. In addition, he was responsible for the Book of Odds E-commerce initiatives. Benjamin’s research was focused on the Health and Illness categories, specifically cancer and cardiovascular disease. Originally from Maryland, Benjamin has spent equal amounts of time living there, Mississippi, and most recently Connecticut. He earned his B.S. degree in Human Physiology with a minor in Business Administration from Boston University. When taking a break from work, Benjamin enjoys reading, riding his bike, and hanging out with his friends.

Twitter: @benjikriss


Dan Loeterman is a senior at the University of Southern California studying political science and journalism. He has been published in several publications, including Newsweek magazine and the Boston Globe, and hopes to pursue a career in writing or politics. A Boston native, Loeterman hopes to return to the East Coast after school, the better to be closer to his beloved Red Sox.


Anthony started working with the Book of Odds team in 2009 as a summer intern. Since then, he has written articles on everything from stamp collecting to books about dragons, from senior citizen self-defense to road kill. He is currently a senior English major at Yale University, and hopes one day to become a writer. Anthony’s favorite author is E.B. White, and his favorite television show is “Dirty Jobs.”


Marian grew up in Billings, Montana, where she developed her fly-fishing mania and general love of the outdoors. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Hamilton College and is working toward a master’s degree in Science and Medical Journalism from Boston University. Marian is published in Magic City Magazine and is a contributing writer for a 6-volume visual encyclopedia for middle school students. She adores sturgeon, beetles, and bird-eating spiders and hopes, one day, someone will pay her to write about them. Marian enjoys snowboarding, fossil-hunting, and Bruce Campbell.


Steve Mardon is a freelance writer specializing in health issues. He is the co-author of two books—The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep and Healing Your Sinuses—and has written for Newsweek, the Harvard Health Letter, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Innovations Exchange, and many other publications and websites. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, Kim.


Kate McGovern is a writer and educator by trade and a social anthropologist (of sorts) by training. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative Magazine, Random House’s anthology Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers, on MSN.com and other web publications, and onstage Off-Broadway. She has taught theatre and creative writing in Boston, New Haven, and New York, and for two years worked as a reading specialist and theatre director at the Harlem Children’s Zone. A graduate of Yale and Oxford, Kate is currently based in London.


Mark was the managing editor for Book of Odds in 2009. Before that he was the news editor at Boston.com where he directed a staff of news producers that covered some of the biggest stories in New England and the nation. He started his career as a print journalist, working as a reporter and editor at general news and business publications in the Northeast before making the leap to the online world in 1995 at an experimental division of AT&’T. From then on, he was hooked: he is routinely disappointed when trying to do a search while reading a hard copy of the Wall Street Journal.

Email: mmicheli1@comcast.net


Dr. Kathleen Minnix is a former history professor now writing full time. She is the author of Laughter in the Amen Corner: the Life of Evangelist Sam Jones and is currently working on a book about a Maryland family in the 19th century with representatives on both sides in the Civil War. She and her husband Larry live in Alexandria, Virginia with their two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Lab.


Elisa Peimer is a New York City-based writer and marketing professional. She’s spent most of her career navigating the ever-changing world of entertainment and media. She keeps her sanity by writing music, singing, and playing with her own pop/rock band.


Renata has a PhD from MIT in Technology Management and has always been passionate about bringing together the science/technical world with the “real world” in ways that benefit people. Writing for Book of Odds allows her to engage in one of her favorite pastimes — researching arcane topics and figuring out how they are relevant to everyday life. After spending twelve years in the management consulting industry, Renata now works in the education department of a wildlife sanctuary, where she develops interactive exhibits and loves being “the owl lady.” She spends the rest of her time with her family in the Boston area, where they occasionally allow her to stop playing LEGOs long enough to knit and weed her garden.


Cynthia joined Book of Odds in the summer of 2007 as an intern and left in March of 2010 to move closer to her family. During her time with the company, she made research contributions in the areas of pregnancy, birth, crime, and punishment. Cynthia oversaw the research team and managed the day-to-day process of turning ideas into Odds Statements. Originally from East Chicago, Indiana, Cynthia earned a B.S. in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys tutoring and mentoring local youth, watching anything and everything on the Investigation Discovery channel, and spending time catching up with family and friends.


Alex Remington is a writer in Washington, DC. He blogs at Huffington Post, Yahoo Sports, and an Atlanta Braves blog called Chop-n-Change.


Jessica Ruvinsky was an editor at Discover magazine and has written for Science, The Economist, and US News & World Report. She has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Stanford. See more at jessicaruvinsky.com.


Ouisie Shapiro is a writer and producer specializing in sports documentaries. She is a three-time Emmy award winner whose most recent shows include “Joe Louis, America’s Hero…Betrayed” and “Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football,” both for HBO Sports. Ouisie is the author of ” Autism and Me: Sibling Stories.” She is working on a book about bullying and a documentary about Vince Lombardi. She holds a graduate degree in journalism.


Lisa Song is a science writer from Boston, with a special interest in writing about the environment and geology. She also enjoys producing stories for radio.


A native Coloradan, Meredith passes for a real New Englander these days—she lives in Vermont, works in New Hampshire, goes to school in Massachusetts, and is proud to say she loved the Red Sox before they got good. Meredith first migrated eastward for college. She graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2002 with a chemistry major, which actually allowed her more time to take English and art history her senior year…it made sense at the time. Never quite the Southern belle, she headed north to attend Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire. After finishing her M.D. in 2006, she couldn’t part with the frigid winters and ‘Brake for Moose’ road signs, so she stayed on at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for her general surgery residency. Once she completed two years of residency, she decided she had not gone to enough school. So, she took time off to get a master’s degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. She will graduate in December and dedicate six months to writing and cardiac surgery research before returning to residency’s sleep-deprived 80-hour-work-weeks next June. Meredith is going to be a surgeon when she grows up, but she hopes to continue writing on the side. In her spare time, Meredith loves hiking, skiing, fishing, reading, cooking, traveling, and hating the Yankees.


Matt Sussman stretches himself entirely too thin on a vast number of websites and makes a bunch of jokes on his Twitter account ( http://twitter.com/suss2hyphens) that few people understand.


Jessica’s writing has appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Boston Globe, Today’s Science on File, ASK Magazine, and at ScienCentral.com. Educational films she wrote and produced are available from Insight Media. Jessica studied the history of science at Yale University and the University of Cambridge. Although she now lives in Boston, the odds that she’s in New York for the weekend are 1 in 4.


Zachary Turpin is a former librarian and English/math teacher from Austin, TX. He has also lived in New York, London, Charleston, New Zealand, and now Boston. In 2007, he received a Masters in English from the College of Charleston and the Citadel. While teaching mathematics to unwilling sixth graders, he confiscated Rubik’s Cubes from them and has been obsessed with twisty puzzles ever since. He hopes one day to get a dog, and is looking for suggestions.


Genevieve Wanucha is a writer living outside of Boston. She studied cultural anthropology at Bard College and then graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a masters in science writing in 2009. There, she wrote about spiritual experiences in temporal lobe epilepsy and the science of laughing and crying. She got her start in science media as a fact-checking intern on the 2008 PBS television documentary of The Truth about Cancer with producer/writer Linda Garmon and decided to write about health and science then after. So far, she’s written short pieces for National Public Radio and Technology Review magazine. Some of her long-form writing interests include mood disorders, neuropsychopharmacology, neuroaesthetics, and food and wine.


Jennifer Weeks is an independent writer specializing in nature, energy and environmental issues. She has written for more than 40 newspapers, magazines, and web sites, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Audubon, National Wildlife, Grist, Daily Climate, National Geographic Kids, Plenty, Backpacker, Environment, High Country News, Preservation, New Scientist, Columbia Journalism Review, and Newsweek. She also has fifteen years of experience as a Congressional aide, lobbyist, and public policy analyst. Weeks graduated from Williams College and holds master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina (political science) and Harvard University (environmental policy).

Jeff is the author of nine books on personal finance and small business. He contributes to Money, CBS Moneywatch, MSN Money, Consumer Reports, Business Week, and other publications and websites.

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