Anastasia is the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc. BFI is an independent 501(c)(3) that fosters conversation about issues in food and agriculture. BFI projects include the popular 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.
Originally from Florida, Anastasia has a BS in Biology from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Genetics, with a minor in Sustainable Agriculture, from Iowa State University. In her research, Anastasia used both biotech 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.
In 2011, Anastasia was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked at the National Institutes of Health. She conducted special projects in science policy, science communication, and legislative affairs. Anastasia currently works for the US Department of Agriculture in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as a Senior Environmental Compliance Specialist, helping to ensure that pest control programs comply with all applicable environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
While away from work, Anastasia enjoys spending time with her family, learning and writing about biotechnology and agriculture, reading science fiction, playing board games, and exploring the Washington, DC area.
Anastasia is the mother of Rose Marie and Ada MaryJo. Ada was born still. A shocking 1 in 4 women are affected by fetal loss, and 1 in 100 suffer through stillbirth. We must break the silence.
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. She is thankful for her freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, within the reasonable ethics guidance of her employer. Any mention of a product is for educational purposes and is not an endorsement. She is not paid by anyone to conduct social media. She is just a crazy 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 continue taking leave from her day job 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.