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Anthea Lacchia

Freelance science journalist and science communicator

Hello, my name is Anthea Lacchia and I'm a freelance science journalist with a PhD in geoscience (Trinity College Dublin) and an MSc in Science Communication (Imperial College London). I have won a number of awards and grants for my writing and public engagement (most recently the EGU public engagement award). I also produce and present audio, and give talks to school children and other publics about science.

I write about science, environment, science policy, research culture and universities for a number of outlets. I am very interested in creative non-fiction as a means of exploring science and environmental processes and issues.

How did I get here?

I grew up in Biella, a town at the foot of the Alps in northern Italy. My love for animals led me to study fossils (dead animals!) for my PhD in Trinity College Dublin. Specifically, I studied ammonoids, the extinct relatives of squid and cuttlefish. Over the years, I have developed both as an academic and as a science writer and communicator (most recently, I have written sections of a children's book about earth science published by DK).

I have worked in the Nature press office and have over seven years experience working in academic research. My work has appeared in Nature, The Guardian, RTE', Science Spin, Earthzine and Earth Science Ireland, among other outlets.

I am interested in projects that combine topics related to nature and animals with writing and communications, and am always looking for story ideas that connect people to wildlife, landscape, nature, animals, and the environment.

I am currently based in Dublin, and divide my time between Dublin and London.

TO GET IN TOUCH: [email protected]


Science News

The strange creatures that lived in Ireland millions of years ago

By Anthea Lacchia, UCD Imagine a tropical, shallow sea, its waters glistening in the warm sunshine. Underwater, corals dance in the waves and fish swim gracefully by, as a tiny, tentacle-bearing creature retreats into its spiral shell. Is this your dream holiday destination? Dream no further.

On The Rocks
A Good Eye For a Fossil

What did a Jurassic sea predator look like? For the first time, scientists have described the three-dimensional eye-structure of Dollocaris ingens, a 160-million-year-old arthropod from the Jurassic of southeast France. Fossils typically do not preserve delicate, soft organs such as the eyes, leaving palaeontologists none the wiser about how visual systems evolved through geological time....

5 ways towards sustainable resource production

Opinion: can we meet the insatiable global demand for metals for electric vehicles and clean energy in a sustainable way? By Anthea Lacchia, UCD There is a growing awareness in Ireland and worldwide of humanity's strain on our planet's resources, coupled with a recognition that radical change is needed if we are to prevent further climate breakdown.

Research Policy and Culture & Universities

Better measures needed for research cooperation

Researchers wrestle with a measure of collaboration increasingly used to assess the impact of their work. ANALYSIS PhotoDisc/ Getty Images Tracking the names and affiliations of co-authors on a research paper is the most widely used method of measuring scientists working together, including by the Nature Index.

UK deliberations leave young researchers in limbo

Lack of clarity on changes to the country's research assessment system provokes anxiety among early-career researchers. Stockbyte Royalty Free Photos In 2013, Richard Butler, a young and well-published palaeontologist, was a scientist in demand.

EU funding formula revealed

Three factors can help institutions secure one of these sought-after grants. Andrew Paterson / Alamy Stock Photo Three factors have a significant influence on whether a research institution will apply for and win a prestigious Horizon 2020 grant, researchers have found.

I, Science
Watching out for retractions

Ivan Oransky, Distinguished Writer In Residence at New York University, co-founded the popular blog Retraction Watch, which reports on and investigates the retractions of scientific papers. We caught up with him to talk science journalism, scientific misconduct and more. Can you give me a sense of any major developments or news in the area of research misconduct?

Historic co-authorships speed up editor handling times

Journal editors tend to accept manuscripts written by prior collaborators more quickly. Lane Erikson / Alamy Stock Photo Academic editors at one of the largest multidisciplinary journals tend to accept manuscripts from previous collaborators an average of 19 days faster than other papers, a new study has found.

Prominent female scientists struggle to retain their edge

Tracking the careers of leading scientists reveals maintaining greatness is harder for women in Italy. Matej Kastellic / Alamy Stock Photo For female scientists, shattering the glass ceiling is often difficult. But for those who do reach a high-status, clinging to the upper echelons can be even harder, a new study by Italian researchers has found.

High-impact papers score well in REF, study finds

Researchers in the UK find that the impact factor of journal articles matches judgements by a panel of experts on research quality. retrorocket/Getty A study has found that, in science-based subjects, universities with a large proportion of articles published in high-impact-factor journals are likely to score highly in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), the United Kingdom's system for assessing the quality of university science.

UK researchers want quotas to redress lack of diversity

Efforts to increase diversity in research assessment panels don't cut it. GlobalStock/Getty Measures to increase diversity in the panels of experts that assess university science don't go far enough, say researchers. Bolder steps such as quotas are needed to ensure the academic population is represented adequately, says sociologist Kalwant Bhopal, who studies race and social justice at the University of Birmingham.

Cite unseen? Then step aside

A large number of professors in Italian universities produce no cited work. Agata Gladykowska / Alamy Stock Photo Most academics are familiar with the adage 'publish or perish'. But a study examining the output of Italian scientists has revealed a large number of academics either publish very few papers or produce work that remains uncited.

Data transparency: Making the most of your data

Contributor Anthea Lacchia Amongst the scientific community, there is increasing awareness of the value of data transparency and reproducibility. But how can we achieve transparency in practical terms? Catherine Goodman, Senior Editor at Nature Chemical Biology , delivered a workshop on handling scientific data during the Boston NatureJobs Career Expo 2015.

Not Just Science
'On Thin Ice' exhibition opens in UCD

For the next three weeks, the Discovery Institute in University College Dublin will house a new Climate Change exhibition, On Thin Ice. The exhibition tells the story of an expedition by a team of Norwegian researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute. The researchers embedded their research ship in the ice near Svalbard, close to the...

Making it in academia: Before and after you apply

Contributor Anthea Lacchia The pursuit of science makes for an attractive career, but academic positions are hard to come by. What will really set your application apart? During the Boston NatureJobs Career Expo 2015, Esther Bullitt (Boston University School of Medicine), Rich Gurney (Simmons College), Vanja Klepac-Ceraj (Wellesley College), and Kim McCall (Boston University), shared their insights into how to get an academic job and how to keep it.

the Guardian
Beware the perils of postgrad research

You may love the time and freedom to explore your subject in depth - but dangers abound when you leave the safety of the timetable


Wonderlabs podcast
Geology, fossils & outreach

I was delighted to be a guest on the Wonderlabs podcast. In this episode we get into the importance of molluscs as an index and keystone species, the giant insects and trees of the Carboniferous period, and revisit the story of revered fossilist and glass ceiling smasher Mary Anning.

Imperial College Radio and Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences
Seeing further: Poetry and Geology

What can we learn about the Earth from landscape poetry? Join Dr Anthea Lacchia and geologists from iCRAG, along with Prof. Mike Stephenson of the British Geological Survey as we explore the geology of Dingle peninsula through the medium of poetry. Produced and presented by Dr Anthea Lacchia

iCRAGorama Podcast
Interview with Dr Niamh Shaw, artist and science communicator

Dr Niamh Shaw is an artist and performer with a UCD engineering background, who has lead science communication workshops in iCRAG among other things. Her main life goal: to go to space and tell her story from an artist's point of view. In this Science Week special, Niamh shares her experience of getting as close as it gets to being in space and tells us how to find the confidence to pursue our childhood dreams. Presented and produced by Anthea Lacchia and Ben Couvin

Science Features

10 top tips for getting into science communication

By Anthea Lacchia (@AntheaLacchia), Press Officer at Nature As Richard Dawkins reminds us in 'Unweaving the Rainbow', understanding the origin of the colours of the rainbow does not take away from its beauty or the awe it inspires. Communicating science as a career is all about inspiring those moments of wonder, from the eye-widening and jaw-dropping [...]

Earth Science Ireland
Myth and science

Science is your answer, says the Delphic Oracle

The Geological Society of London - Resourcing a sustainable future

We must resource present and future generations sustainably. But how? Jen Roberts and Anthea Lacchia report on an international summer school that is building a global community to bridge disciplines and sectors, and tackle sustainable resource extraction Roberts, J. & Lacchia, A., Resourcing a sustainable future.

The ReSToRE summer school on the sustainable development of Earth resources: reflecting back

How can we source and use Earth resources in an ethical and responsible way? And how can we bring different actors and communities together to achieve sustainable resource development? These are just some of the questions that early career researchers from around the world came together to discuss during the inaugural Researching Social Theories, Resources, and the Environment International Summer School, held at the University College Dublin last month.

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