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]
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.
Researchers have shown that the brain's ability to store memories improves after a short burst of exercise
Researchers trick wound cells in mice into becoming healing surface skin cells
Rare, mummified animals discovered by gold miners in Yukon
Oval-shaped Dickinsonia lifeform existed at least 20m years before the 'Cambrian explosion' of animal life
Age at time of freezing is key to whether fertility treatment will succeed, says UK regulator
Research finds probiotics caused 'very severe disturbance' in gut when taken in conjunction with antibiotics
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....
European Space Agency's seven-year, €1bn mission will investigate the effects of the sun on satellite technology
Article about the Geological Survey of Ireland's Tellus Border mapping project
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.
Seasoned brewers know that behind every successful beer, there is a very precious yeast at work. When it comes to beer - from ale, to stout, to lager - yeast is a crucial ingredient used to ferment sugars into alcohol.
Research Policy and Culture & Universities
Global study investigates prevalence of psychological disorders among first-year university-level students
Scientists are more concerned about the impact of sloppy science than outright scientific fraud.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Locating a country in the title of a scientific paper may lower its visibility.
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.
Years of groundwork underpins the increase in research partnerships between India and the UK, but a decline in the number of Indian students enrolling in British universities may weaken the relationship.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
You may love the time and freedom to explore your subject in depth - but dangers abound when you leave the safety of the timetable
This short feature on birdwatching with Birdwatch Ireland in Pollardstown Fen, Co. Kildare, was broadcast on IC Radio. I researcher, produced and presented the feature, which is about one of my big passions, birds!
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.
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
The introductory episode of the iCRAGorama podcast, which is all about Irish geoscientists, their passions and interests, from rocks and climate, to books and witchcraft! Produced and presented by Anthea Lacchia and Ben Couvin
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
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 [...]
Q&A with Prof Heuer
Interview with Prof Luke O'Neill
Science is your answer, says the Delphic Oracle
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.
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.