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.
Anastasia is the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc, a non-profit organization that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture. BFI projects include the Biofortified Blog, the GENetic Engineering Risk Atlas (GENERA) which catalogues scientific literature on the risks of biotechnology, and science outreach tools including plush corn and papaya dolls. Anastasia is also one of the original Science Moms in the documentary and a founding member of SciMoms.
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.
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 risk assessment at the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy.
While away from work, Anastasia enjoys spending time with her family, learning and writing about agriculture, reading science fiction, playing board games, and exploring Washington, DC and surrounding areas.
Disclaimer: Anastasia’s words are her own and do not represent the opinions of her employer or any organization in which she does or does not take part. Any mention of a product or organization is for educational purposes and is not an endorsement. She is not paid by anyone to post on social media. She is just a scientist who likes talking about science.
Potential COI: Anastasia occasionally has travel paid for speaking engagements and occasionally accepts small honoraria to allow her to do science communication. She worked for Freshëns Yogurt and Regal Cinemas when she was in high school, but has otherwise been a public servant her entire life.