Marie McNeely, PhD
Marie is passionate about communicating the wonders of science in a way that is accessible and meaningful to all audiences. As a kid, she was fascinated by rocks, stars, dinosaurs, and just about everything else. In particular, she devoured books on marine mammals, fish, and the great adventures of Jacques Cousteau. Though her research interests gradually shifted away from marine biology and toward the dazzling frontiers of the brain, Marie’s enthusiasm for science never waned. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University for her undergraduate education and tripled majored in neuroscience, zoology, and psychology. While there, Marie immersed herself in several research areas including cell division mutatations in C. elegans (tiny roundworms), bacterial degradation of feathers in birds, zooplankton populations in ponds, and chemical communication in salamanders. Marie received her PhD in neuroscience in 2012 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation examined walking and balance deficits in Parkinson disease. Over the next two years, Marie worked as a health economics analyst for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Shortly after departing her position in the healthcare industry, the People Behind the Science podcast was created. Marie is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of science with the world through this podcast. In fall of 2014, Marie returned to Washington University in St. Louis as a faculty member, continuing her research on movement in neurodegenerative disease as well as her science communication endeavors. In 2017, she made the leap to pursuing science communication and entrepreneurship full time.