Originally from Florida, Anastasia has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Maryland and a Doctorate in Genetics, with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture, from Iowa State University. In her doctoral research, Anastasia used both biotechnology and breeding to enhance nutritional traits in corn and investigated potential unintended effects of genetic engineering.
Prior to completing college, Anastasia served as a Preventive Medicine Specialist in the US Army. She led a team in public health, occupational health, and environmental inspections. She was Program Manager for a West Nile virus surveillance program for the north-eastern US and served as a Department of Defense-certified pest controller, consulting on integrated pest management methods.
After completing her doctoral program, Anastasia was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked at the National Institutes of Health, where she conducted special projects in science policy, science communication, and legislative affairs. She then worked in risk assessment and risk management at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, first in the Biotechnology Regulatory Services, then in Plant Protection and Quarantine. She then served as a Senior Science Advisor at the Foreign Agricultural Service, and currently works in the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy.
While away from work, Anastasia enjoys spending time with her family, learning and talking about agriculture, reading science fiction, playing board games, and exploring the area around Washington, DC. She has been active in science communication, including co-founding and previously serving as the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc, a non-profit organization that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture. Anastasia starred in the Science Moms documentary and was a founding member of SciMoms.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, Anastasia’s writing, such as on blogs and social media, is conducted in her personal capacity, and the views expressed do not represent the views of the USDA.
COI: Any mention of a product, organization, or person is for informative purposes only and is not an endorsement. Anastasia has occasionally accepted small honoraria or travel reimbursement for speaking engagements. She worked for Freshëns Yogurt and Regal Cinemas when she was in high school, but has otherwise been a public servant her entire life.