About JoEllen McBride

Dr. JoEllen McBride is a mom, science communicator and astrophysicist whose main purpose is to make science inclusive and accessible to anyone that wants to participate. She earned her Ph.D in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. Her research focused on galaxies that live close to each other and how that affected their ability to create stars. After that, she was a AAAS Mass Media Fellow at Voice of America in Washington D.C. and an adjunct faculty member in the physics department at West Chester University. She currently works as an astronomy subject matter expert for hire and a board member of the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy. In her free time, she pets her kitties Thelma and Louise, raises her daughters, Carina and Alessa, with the help of her partner, Ed, and writes and talks about science.

by JoEllen McBride August 1, 2018

During my last year of graduate study in physics, I attended the 2015 ComSciCon Triangle workshop and learned that I could make a career out of science writing. So I began writing for the Pipettepen and applied for the AAAS … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride January 25, 2017

As of last month, the periodic table of elements hanging in your classroom, office, or bathroom is officially out of date. Early in December 2016, the chemistry community officially recognized 4 newly discovered elements that complete the 7th row of … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride January 17, 2017

In the past, the largest obstacle that separated humans was distance. In the first half of the 20th century, we built machines that made it possible to drive non-stop from Wilmington, NC to San Diego, CA in one and a … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride August 10, 2016

The Perseids are here! This annual meteor shower is one of the best and brightest, but this year it’s predicted to be even more spectacular. So, if you’re in a dark place tonight, look up. You may see a 4.5-billion-year-old … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride April 21, 2016

For a few weeks every spring, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are covered in a yellow blanket of pine tree pollen and everything’s a mess. Birches, oaks, pines, and more get the signal to “spread the love” and distribute their genetic … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride January 13, 2016

Humans need to explore. Not because it is in our DNA – the gene for exploration hasn’t been discovered yet – but because it is essential to our survival and well-being as a species. Scarcity of food and changing weather … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride October 29, 2015

Life requires balance. We spend a large part of our existence balancing our careers and our personal lives, our family and work obligations, and our own personal health. If something occurs that displaces one of the elements of our lives, … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride September 4, 2015

We like to think of the Universe as static. Our time is very short compared to the age of the Universe. But there are processes in space that happen on the time scales we inhabit. The variation in brightness of … Continue reading

by JoEllen McBride June 23, 2015

It is well known that the Moon is responsible for the tides on Earth. The effects of the tides at the Earth’s surface are predictable, but the effects of tides deep beneath the ocean’s surface are not as well understood. … Continue reading