Current Hosts

Lisa Hildebrand (2019 – )

Lisa Hildebrand is a PhD student in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Sciences. Lisa works with Dr. Leigh Torres in the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna (GEMM) Lab where she studies the habitat use and population dynamics of Pacific Coast Feeding Group gray whales. Lisa completed her Master’s in Wildlife Science in the same lab during which she investigated the fine-scale spatial foraging ecology of Pacific Coast Feeding Group gray whales and the quality of their zooplankton prey along the Oregon Coast. Lisa traveled across the great Atlantic Ocean to move to Corvallis from the U.K. where she completed her BSc in Marine Zoology. When she isn’t staring at gray whale photos or analyzing zooplankton samples for calories and microplastics, you can usually find her climbing in the gym or at Smith Rock or skiing down a mountain in central Oregon.

Grace Deitzler (2022 – )

Grace Deitzler (she/they) is a PhD candidate in Microbiology. Grace studies the relationship between the disruption of the gut microbiome and behavior outcomes in a) a mouse model of Autism Spectrum Disorder and b) in the context of probiotic intervention in honey bees. She received a BSc in Biological Sciences with minors in Chemistry and Psychology from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and then worked as a research assistant at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis before returning to school to pursue a PhD. Their first foray into radio was as the host of a science news show on KMNR 89.7 FM, Missouri S&T’s college radio station. When not in the lab, Grace enjoys scientific illustration, Dungeons and Dragons, weight lifting, mushroom foraging, tweeting, and baking.

Miriam F. Lipton (2022 – )

Miriam F. Lipton is a Ph.D. candidate in History and Philosophy of Science. Miriam studies the history of antibiotic resistance during the Cold War in the United States and the Soviet Union. Before coming to OSU, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon with a triple major in Biology, General Science, and Russian and a minor in Chemistry. Miriam then received an M.A., from the University of Oregon in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She then attended Georgetown University where she received her M.S. in Global Health. Miriam also works as a consultant for the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office. In her free time Miriam likes to do crossword puzzles, ride her bike, and entrench herself in all things Soviet.

Bryan Lynn (2022 – )

Bryan K. Lynn (he/him) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Integrative Biology. His main research interests are in the mathematical modeling of biological systems. Currently, he is using the chemostat to empirically test and model the stability of cooperative and non-cooperative bacteria. Prior to coming to OSU, Bryan received his BS in mathematics at the University of Massachusetts- Boston and his AS in patisserie and baking at Le Cordon Bleu. Notably, Bryan also once received the title of Best of the city folk in a cow milking competition.

When Bryan isn’t busy with research projects, he is probably preoccupied with spoiling his cat, Pancake, trying to find Oregon’s best doughnut, or convincing his friends to play some weird obscure board game. Bryan is also heavily involved in LGBT+ outreach and activism, and if you want more queer science content in your life – you can follow him on twitter.

Joseph Valencia (2022 – )

Joseph Valencia is a PhD student in Computer Science. Joseph works with Dr. Dave Hendrix on computational modeling for scientific discovery in molecular biology. His primary research focus is developing interpretable artificial intelligence models for predicting properties of RNAs. His long term career goals include using AI to design novel therapeutics for treating human diseases. Before coming to Oregon State, Joseph received his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Tulsa. Outside of school, he likes playing guitar and writing music as well as tennis and enjoying the outdoors.

Jenna Fryer (2022 – )

Jenna Fryer is a PhD student in the Department of Food Science and Technology. Jenna’s research focuses on the impact of wildfire on wines, specifically the flavor changes, as a part of Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino’s enology lab. Jenna completed her master’s degree with Dr. Tomasino and received her bachelor’s in food science from the Ohio State University. When she’s not in the lab, she can be found in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes or out exploring the beautiful scenery of the PNW.

Selene Ross (2022 – )

Selene (she/her) is an MFA student in fiction at OSU. Her short stories often explore themes of power and trust. She’s an audio producer, artist, and musician from Berkeley, California, and a big believer in the power of words, stories, and sound. Her audio stories have aired on Radiotopia’s The Kitchen Sisters, KALW, NPR, KCRW, and independent podcasts. More at




Former Hosts

Joey Hulbert (2012 – 2014)

Joey grew up in the Midwest where he started at University of Kansas as an Environmental Science student. However, in 2006 he decided to study forestry when his family committed to moving to Washington State. After completing a BSc in Forestry at Washington State University, Joey began working for Oregon State University as a Biological Science Research Technician in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Then, after nearly two years, Joey decided to go back to school and began a Dual MSc focusing on Plant Pathology and Wood Science in the fall of 2012. During the two years he spent completing his Dual MSc, Inspiration Dissemination featured more than a hundred graduate students and mentored a handful of undergraduate students from around the University. After Joey completed his MSc, he decided to pursue a PhD in South Africa at the University of Pretoria where he continues to communicate science to the public and attributes much of his inspiration to his experience co-hosting Inspiration Dissemination.

Zhian Kamvar (2012 – 2016)

2015-08-30 19.49.04 HDRZhian is a Ph. D. student in the department of Botany and Plant Pathology working under Dr. Niklaus Grünwald studying the population genetics of the plant destroyer genus, Phytophthora, in Oregon. He has had a passion for radio ever since he started in 2004 at Truman State University’s radio station: KTRM, Kirksville. Beyond being a scientist and radio host, he speaks intermediate Korean and enjoys baking, writing music, listening to the Screaming Females, and watching bad SF/Horror movies.

Matt McConnell (2014 – 2016)

10599267_10102159864765620_1619909486904506312_nMatt McConnell is a master’s student in the History of Science program at Oregon State University. He is studying the ecological collapse of freshwater fisheries at Lake Victoria, Africa. Matt has a passion for telling the stories of scientists and the work they do, and joined the hosts of Inspiration Dissemination in 2014 just after arriving in Corvallis. Inspiration Dissemination is Matt’s first radio show. In his spare time, Matt also enjoys hiking and camping, crafting beer (often explosive, not always imbibable), playing acoustic guitar, watching Pavel Datsyuk win in a shoot out, and taking sci fi and fantasy way too seriously.


Steve Friedman (2016 – 2017)

Steve is a Ph.D student in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, studying chromosome structure and genome evolution of filamentous fungi in Michael Freitag’s lab. He loves talking with new people and hearing about all types of science, regardless of the field of study. After graduate school, Steve hopes to continue communicating science to the public and help to ensure that the blood, sweat, and tears of graduate students around the world aren’t for naught. In his free time, Steve can be found in the mountains…his natural habitat.

Mackenzie Smith (2016 – 2017)


Mackenzie is a Creative Writing MFA candidate in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. Her writing interests include the science fiction sub-genres of dystopia and cli-fi; she is currently writing a dystopian novel set in a post-plague America. Mackenzie joined ID after being a guest on the show. She’s also an avid long-distance hiker and has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.


Harrison Stierwalt (2017 – 2018)

Harrison is a PhD student in Kinesiology studying skeletal muscle physiology in obesity-related insulin resistance models. He is keenly interested in why and how exercise positively impacts disease conditions. His advisors are Sean Newsom and Matt Robinson in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. During his free time, he enjoys the outdoors backpacking, hiking, or mountain biking.

Check out our blog post about Harrison’s research.


Maggie Exton (2017 – 2019)

Maggie is a PhD student in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering and is from upstate New York. Maggie is motivated to study civil engineering because of the discipline’s focus on applying scientific principles to solve the problems of society. Her research focuses on soil instability as a result of tsunami inundation, which can greatly enhance damage caused by the large wave. For fun, Maggie likes rock climbing, bicycling, live music, costumes, and scrounging thrift stores for the oddest trinkets.


Scott Klasek (2017 – 2019)

Scott is a PhD student in Microbiology studying how communities of microbes in marine sediments consume methane and change across time and environmental gradients. His advisor is Rick Colwell in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science. Scott wanted to study medicine until taking Environmental Studies classes as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin. When he’s not in the lab, Scott can be found running on the trails around Corvallis, trying to grow organic vegetables in his backyard, or playing the drums for Palomino Pants Party.

Kristen Finch (2015 – 2019)

KristenKristen Finch is a PhD student in Botany and Plant Pathology. Kristen is co-advised by OSU’s Andy Jones and Rich Cronn of the United States Forest Service. She’s interested in how different environmental-induced stress can lead to spatial differences in wood chemistry across a landscape and how these differences can be used to identify the origin of timbers. She is very passionate about forest conservation and hopes that her current work may provide useful information regarding the enforcement timber trade regulations. Kristen became a cohost on Inspiration Dissemination in 2015 after being interviewed as a guest herself. She loves getting to know graduate students through the show and spreading the message about research at Oregon State. Kristen’s favorite pastimes are playing volleyball, taking in stunning views, and singing karaoke.


Lillian Padgitt-Cobb (2016 – 2021)

Lillian is a PhD student in the department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. 


Heather Forsythe (2018 – 2021)

Heather is a PhD student in the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Heather works in Dr.Elisar Barbar’s lab where she mostly uses a giant magnet (NMR), along with other molecular biology and biophysical techniques, to study protein structure, dynamics, and interactions. Heather moved to Corvallis from Arkansas where she did research in diverse laboratory, clinical, and field settings. When not in lab, she loves dancing, hiking, rock climbing, writing, and running with her mini Australian shepherd, Piper.


Daniel Watkins (2018 – 2021)

Daniel is a fifth-year PhD student in the College of Earth, Atmosphere, and Ocean Sciences at OSU. Working with Dr. Jennifer Hutchings, he studies the response of the atmosphere to the recent declines in Arctic sea ice. Recently, he spent five and a half weeks aboard the research vessel Akademik Fedorov in the eastern Arctic deploying buoys to track ice motion for the MOSAiC Arctic Expedition. Since December 2018, Daniel is a Science Communication Fellow at the Oregon Museum for Science and Industry. As a Science Communication Fellow, he uses LEGO to teach museum visitors about Arctic sea ice and satellite geophysics.


Lauri Lutes (2017 – 2020)

Lauri is a PhD candidate studying virus and virus-like diseases of sweet cherry with Dr. Jay Pscheidt in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. She fell in love with plant pathology when working for a plant pathogen diagnostics company, before beginning her graduate degree pursuit. Lauri grew up in the Midwest on a small farm where many of her childhood days were spent in the fields and tending to her 4-H animals. She is passionate about global food security and science communication. Lauri enjoys exploring the beautiful PNW with her kayak, playing board games with her tween daughter, and dancing Cuban salsa.


Chelsea Behymer (2019 – 2020)

Chelsea is a second-year Ph.D student in the Free-Choice Learning Lab of OSU’s
Environmental Sciences graduate program. Chelsea’s research interests aim to understand the potential for citizen science in nature-based tourism to act as both an effective means of engaging people with local scientists, while at the same time providing opportunities for the kind of collaborative environment where meaningful conversations between scientists and the public can occur.


Kayla Delventhal (2019 –  2020)

Kayla is a second-year Master’s student in the Botany and Plant Pathology department. Her research focuses on the soil microbiome in the plant rhizosphere and is centered around the idea that research in this area can help move the agricultural industry towards more sustainable goals. Before coming to OSU, Kayla was an environmental educator in the US, Costa Rica, and Mexico. In her free time you can find her outdoors hiking with her dog, climbing, surfing, and doing yoga.


Adrian Gallo (2015 – 2022)

Adrian Gallo completed his PhD in 2022 in College of Forestry studying soil carbon dynamics and nutrient cycling in ecosystems across North America. Adrian first heard of the radio show through Joey (a former host) and loved the idea of showcasing the road to graduate school as well as their research these students undertake. While his research projects were literally ground breaking (you gotta dig some holes to collect all that soil!), his favorite part of graduate school was being part of the radio show team because he learned so much from his fellow graduate students. He enjoys a variety of music genres, most outdoor activities, and will probably lose a game of Catan but will certainly love the time spent with friends. You can read Adrian’s past blog posts, or learn more about him on his website.

Former Practicum Students

  • Casey Joyce – Practicum Student, Post Producer, Intro Jingle Writer (2012 – 2013)
  • Riley Prest – Practicum Student, Post Producer (2012 – 2013)
  • Jodie Davaz – Practicum Student, Post Producer (2013)
  • Matthew Djubasak – Practicum Student, Post Producer (2013)
  • Kimberly Kenny – Practicum Student, Media Writer (2013)
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