Browse Subject Areas

Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field.

For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click here.

Staff Editors


Joerg Heber


Joerg studied physics at the University of Erlangen. Having obtained a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from Imperial College London in 2000, Joerg went on to postdoctoral positions at Bell Laboratories and the University of Marburg. In 2005 he joined what is now Springer Nature as a manuscript editor at Nature Materials, and moved on to Nature Communications in 2012. Having held several managerial positions there, he became the journal’s Executive Editor in 2015. In 2016, Joerg was appointed PLOS ONE’s Editor-in-Chief.


Emily Chenette

Deputy Editor-in-Chief


Emily studied biochemistry at Columbia University as an undergraduate, and went on to earn her PhD in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She then completed postdoctoral research at Duke University, where she analysed gene expression signatures in lung cancer. Emily has always loved scientific writing and policy and left the bench to pursue an editorial career in 2007. Before joining PLOS ONE in 2018, she held editorial positions at Nature Cell Biology and The FEBS Journal. She is excited to support PLOS ONE’s commitment to community and open science.

Michelle Dohm

Managing Editor, Editorial Board Services 

Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from DePaul University, and then headed north along Lake Michigan to Northwestern University, where she completed her PhD in the Chemistry of Life Processes. Her research focused on the synthesis and biophysical characterization of non-natural polymers that may behave as “protein mimics” in therapeutic applications. She then moved west and undertook postdoctoral work in Bioengineering at the Stanford University Schools of Engineering and Medicine with a similar research focus. Before PLOS, Michelle left the lab to pursue her interests in editing and digital publishing by accepting a Senior Managing Editor role at Shmoop, an educational online publishing startup. During her time there, she built and led a growing content team that wrote, edited, and produced math and science products.


Behavioral and Social Sciences, Neuroscience, Mental Health


George Vousden

Senior Editor, Team Manager

George studied Psychology at the University of Leeds before undertaking a Master’s degree in Systems Neuroscience at the University of Bristol. He then went on to complete a PhD at the University of Cambridge. His doctoral work evaluated novel approaches to manipulate memories relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder and drug addiction. It was during this time that George became interested in improving the reproducibility of scientific research. George’s postdoctoral work investigated causes and risk factors of excessive checking, using a novel rodent model of this behavior. He joined PLOS ONE in 2017.

Vanessa Carels

Senior Editor

Vanessa earned an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. She spent some time studying what happens in bird brains when they learn to sing, then left the Midwest to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focused on the encoding of complex sounds in auditory cortex and the ways that modulating attention can change the sensory code. She worked as a freelance science writer and editor as a graduate student, and came to PLOS in 2017 excited to contribute to open scientific communication.

Yann Benetreau

Senior Editor

After undergraduate studies in France in logic and philosophy of science (Paris-1) and an MA at Boston University, Yann obtained a PhD in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario and the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. Yann then pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science and worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University. His doctoral research was on confirmation theory and inductive reasoning, and particularly on probabilistic reasoning in physical cosmology. He has also been doing research on the role of the history and philosophy of science in science education. Prior to joining PLOS ONE, he served as an assistant editor for Science & Education and as an Editorial Assistant for the European Journal for Philosophy of Science.

Bradford Dubik

Associate Editor

Brad received an undergraduate degree in environmental policy from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University Marine Lab. In his dissertation, he used training in human geography, political ecology, and commodity studies to research the management of disease in global seafood production. He has also researched local and sustainable food systems and climate adaptation in the seafood industry. Prior to his academic training, Brad worked for the World Wildlife Fund and in the US EPA’s Office of Research and Development.

Jason Gellis

Associate Editor

Jason is a biological anthropologist and archaeologist who studies phenotypic variation in modern humans and extinct hominins. His doctoral research at the University of Cambridge focussed on the development novel phenotyping systems and machine learning methods for classification. As part of the In-Africa project, Jason worked several field sites in Turkana, Kenya, where he helped in the analyses of lithic material and fossil human post-cranial material remains from the site of Nataruk. Jason developed an interest in science communication and open access as coordinator at the Cambridge Science Festival. Since then he has worked with researchers and educators on public engagement projects including the creation of an open access database for physical anthropologists.

Danielle Poole

Associate Editor

Danielle (Dani) obtained her ScD from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in 2019, where she studied health in humanitarian crises. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth College, where her research contributes evidence to humanitarian decision making. Dani has a long-standing interest in the editorial process, a commitment to open access science, and enthusiasm for open reviews. In joining PLOS, she is excited to contribute to science communications.


Cancer and Medicine

Anna Simonin

Senior Editor, Team Manager

Anna received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University and then earned a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in Microbial Biology. Her main focus was understanding the influences of hyphal fusion on nuclear and nutrient translocation in filamentous fungi, using molecular and cell biology techniques to answer ecological questions. After graduate school she became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Sydney where she studied ericoid and ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in Australian bushlands. Her interest in scientific communications led her to freelance medical writing and then to PLOS ONE.

Nancy Beam

Senior Editor

Nancy has Masters’ degrees in Public Health (University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill) and Nursing (Columbia University). She earned a PhD in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. For her dissertation, she conducted a discrete choice experiment in rural Ethiopia to determine childbirth service preferences of couples. In between studying, Nancy has worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, trained refugee community health workers in East and Central Africa, created a pharmacy system for nurses to distribute HIV medications in Rwanda, and worked as a nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner, specializing in HIV and reproductive health care. Nancy is excited to be part of the Open Access movement to advance scientific solutions worldwide.

Richard Hodge

Associate Editor

Richard studied Biochemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol, before moving to King’s College London to study for a Ph.D. in Cell Biology. His doctoral work focused on the role of Rho GTPase proteins in the development of T-cell leukaemia. He then conducted his postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, supervised by Dr. Channing Der, where he investigated the role of novel RHOA mutations in the development of gastric cancer. Richard was always interested in the world of scientific publishing and communication during his research studies and left the bench to join PLOS in 2019.

Susan Hepp

Associate Editor


Susan obtained her bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park, then went on to earn her PhD in microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her doctoral research focused how baculovirus utilizes host actin for viral pathogenesis and replication. Before joining PLOS ONE Susan worked in the legal field on scientific innovations including cancer treatments, immunotherapies, vaccines, and drugs. Susan believes that science should be accessible to all, and has led multiple STEM education initiatives. Susan joined PLOS ONE in March 2020.

Julia Robinson

Associate Editor


Julia studied history at Rice University before serving in the US Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa as a Rural Community Health Volunteer. Upon her return, she earned a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Health at the University of Washington. Before joining PLOS ONE, Julia managed HIV programs and research in Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa and is active in global health policy and advocacy work. She joined PLOS in July 2020.


Cardiovascular and Public Health, Epidemiology, Sports Science

Sara Fuentes Pérez

Senior Editor, Team Manager


Sara grew up in the Basque Country. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Sciences from Salamanca University. After a brief work placement at an environmental NGO in Greece, she moved to the UK where she obtained a MSc in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology at University of East Anglia. Inspired by lectures on the genetics of plant breeding, Sara then joined Lars Ostergaard’s lab to complete a PhD in the genetic and hormonal regulation of parthenocarpic fruit development. During her postdoctoral research work on sexual antagonism in fruit flies at University College London, Sara became interested in scientific publishing which led her to work as a freelance scientific copy editor. Before joining PLOS in November 2015, Sara worked as an Editorial Project Manager at a medical communications company.

Carmen Melatti

Associate Editor

After receiving her MSc in Genetics and Molecular Biology in Rome, Carmen had the opportunity to work on rodent malaria at the Institut Pasteur of Paris. There, she developed an interest in parasite biology, and flew to Scotland to obtain a PhD in Molecular Parasitology in the University of Glasgow in 2018. During her PhD, she became aware of the numerous challenges and opportunities which today face the scientific publishing world, and decided to pursue a career as an editor, joining PLOS ONE in December 2018.

Dario Ummarino

Associate Editor


Dario received his BSc and MSc degrees in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Naples. His MSc thesis focused on cardiac differentiation of embryonic stem cells. In 2011, he moved to London, to undertake a PhD in Cardiovascular Biology at the BHF Centre of Excellence at King’s College, where he studied the mesenchymal transdifferentiation of human endothelial cells. Before joining PLOS ONE in 2018, he worked at Nature Reviews Cardiology and Nature Reviews Rheumatology as an Assistant Editor.

Lucinda Shen

Associate Editor


Lucy received her BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2017, and decided to further pursue a MSc in Experimental Internal Medicine at the University of Amsterdam. Her master focused on clinical research which focused on non-invasive imaging of the microcirculation in the perioperative setting. Being fascinated by clinical research, she worked as a clinical researcher leading projects investigating changes in microvascular physiology during cardiac surgery. She is a passionate advocate of transparency in science and open scientific communication.

Beryne Odeny

Associate Editor


Beryne has a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi and holds a Master of Public Health degree in Global Health from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a PhD candidate in Implementation Science at the University of Washington where she is experienced in the use of quasi-experimental research designs to analyze high volumes of observational data. For her PhD dissertation, she is utilizing interrupted time series analysis to assess the impact of scale up of Electronic Medical Records on quality of health care and patient outcomes in 195 health facilities throughout Kenya. Her key interests are in health systems strengthening and promoting population health through equitable dissemination and communication of high-quality scientific knowledge. Her desire for open and discoverable science is what drew her to PLOS. Here, she seeks to bridge the communication gap in dissemination of research discoveries and barriers to implementation of evidence-based interventions.


Life Sciences

Alejandra Clark

Senior Editor, Team Manager

Alejandra was born and raised in Argentina. She graduated with a degree in Molecular Biology from Edinburgh University. Inspired by undergraduate lectures on the RNA world, she stayed in Edinburgh to undertake a PhD on the mechanism of mRNA localisation in Ilan Davis’ lab. Alejandra moved south to the University of Cambridge to work on the role of miRNAs in Eric Miska’s lab at the Gurdon Institute. Before joining PLOS in 2013, she worked as an editor for EMBO Reports in Heidelberg.

Nicola Stead

Senior Editor

Nicola received her undergraduate Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Bath, with a research project at Dartmouth College, investigating cell cycle regulation in budding yeast. After a brief period as a Research Assistant working on sweet taste receptors and artificial sweeteners, she moved to the Babraham Institute to work on chromatin biology, receiving her PhD from the University of Cambridge, in 2012. Having always been interested in science communication and publishing, she then undertook an internship with the Journal of Experimental Biology before joining PLOS ONE in 2013.

Jamie Males

Senior Editor

Jamie received an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, where he became especially fascinated by plant ecophysiology, before undertaking a PhD in Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge. His doctoral research focussed on the evolutionary physiology and ecology of one of the largest families of tropical plants. He has extensive experience of fieldwork in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and Australia, and has participated in a range of science education and outreach initiatives. Through interacting with researchers in the developing world, Jamie developed an interest in science communication and the opportunities of Open Access publishing, leading him to join PLOS ONE in June 2017.

Miquel Vall-llosera Camps

Associate Editor

Miquel received his BsC in Biology from the University of Barcelona. In 2012 he completed a PhD in Ecology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His topic of research was the ecology of avian invasions, particularly what makes a species a successful invader and how this knowledge can be used to prevent the impacts of the invaders. He then moved to the University of Adelaide for a postdoctoral position examining the pet trade as a pathway of introduction of invasive bird species. In 2017 he became an Assistant Professor at Shinshu University researching international exotic bird trade. Miquel has a wide range of interests in life sciences including biodiversity conservation, global change ecology, natural history, evolutionary biology, and paleontology. He joined PLOS ONE in June 2018.

Jianhong Zhou

Associate Editor

Following her undergraduate studies in Pharmaceutical Administration, Jianhong obtained a Masters in Bioinformatics from China Pharmaceutical University and a PhD in Systems Biology at Soochow University spending two years in Indiana University for her PhD training. Her doctoral research initially focused on protein structure/function predictions, and later changed into protein disorder/function predictions. She then worked as a postdoc at iHuman institute in ShanghaiTech University investigating the functions of intrinsically disordered regions in signaling and regulatory proteins. She joined PLOS ONE in July 2019.


Physical Sciences and Engineering

Carla Pegoraro

Senior Editor, Team Manager (on maternity leave)


Carla grew up in Pisa, where she obtained BEng and MEng degrees in Biomedical Engineering working on molecularly imprinted membranes for the recognition of specific biomolecules. She then earned a doctorate from the University of Sheffield, UK, with a project focused on transdermal needle free drug delivery under the supervision of professors Sheila MacNeil and Giuseppe Battaglia. During her PhD and research fellowship working on polymersome vaccine delivery, she became intrigued by the other side of scientific research: communication and publishing. This led her to the Royal Society of Chemistry in Cambridge, UK. There she worked for 4 years as a Publishing Editor on a variety of journals covering all aspects of chemistry. She was also strongly involved in cover commissioning and writing for Chemistry World. She joined PLOS ONE in November 2016.

Joseph Donlan

Associate Editor

After growing up in the north east of England, Joe started his scientific career by studying for a BA and MSci in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in chemistry. He then moved on the University of Oxford to study for a PhD in the Department of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, supervised by Prof Carol Robinson, where his research focused on characterising membrane protein-lipid interactions by mass spectrometry. During his PhD, Joe became interested in the world of scientific publishing, and in particular in how the process of publishing scientific research could be improved for the benefit of researchers and the wider public. He joined PLOS in 2019.

Hanna Landenmark

Associate Editor

Hanna received an undergraduate degree in Astrophysics (MPhys), from The University of Edinburgh, before pursuing a PhD at the UK Centre for Astrobiology at the same institution. Her research focussed on microbial community assembly and the colonisation by microorganisms of novel rocky environments, and the associated rock weathering and geochemical alterations. She has a strong interest in understanding the complexity of the biosphere and the Earth-life system, as well as a personal interest in zoology and biodiversity. Hanna is passionate about science communication and Open Access publishing, with an interest in how scientific knowledge is disseminated and curated, and how this affects and enhances society as a whole. She gained extracurricular experience in editing and publishing through various endeavours during her PhD studies, before joining the PLOS ONE team in 2018.


Natasha McDonald

Associate Editor

Natasha began her research career as an oceanographer, working for a NASA-funded program in the Sargasso Sea, studying the factors that control the underwater light field. She then went on to pursue a PhD in marine biogeochemistry at the University of Kiel in Germany. Her research focused on organic carbon cycling and the optical properties of dissolved organic matter. Her interest in transparent and open access science led her to join the Physical Sciences and Engineering team at PLOS in 2019.


Publication Ethics

Renee Hoch

Senior Editor, Team Manager

Renee received a BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, after which she pursued pre-doctoral research opportunities in developmental biology, cancer biology, and microbiology before attending graduate school. She earned a PhD from the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and then returned to the Bay Area to do postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. In her doctoral and postdoctoral research, Renee used mouse genetics to study cell-cell signaling mechanisms and gene regulation during mammalian development, first looking broadly at embryogenesis and then focusing on forebrain development. In early 2014, Renee transitioned away from the bench and joined PLOS ONE, eager to pursue her longstanding interests in publishing, policy, and ethics. In addition to other editorial responsibilities, Renee plays a lead role in addressing publication ethics concerns that are raised to the journal.

Sarah Bangs

Senior Editor

Sarah studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge, eventually choosing to specialize in virology and immunology. She went on to earn a Doctorate at the University of Oxford Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. There she worked with Xiaoning Xu and Andrew McMichael to investigate mechanisms and consequences of activation of bystander T cells during immune responses. She then relocated to California and simultaneously made the transition out of the lab and into scientific writing and editing, taking up a position in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She was fortunate to join UCSF as the National Institute of Health Public Access Policy was coming into effect for annual grant reporting, and she soon developed an interest in the Open Access movement. She joined PLOS ONE in February 2011 and has worked on editorial screening of manuscripts, animal research reporting and ethics, and issues around research integrity and publication ethics.

Maria Zalm

Senior Editor

Maria studied molecular biology and genetics as an undergraduate degree at the University of Hertfordshire, before moving on to complete a Master’s degree in Molecular Medicine and a PhD in Biomolecular Science at the University of East Anglia. Her doctoral research focused on the structural and biochemical properties of periplasmic chaperones in Salmonella in response to envelope stress. During her PhD Maria realised she had a strong interest in scientific writing and science communication and took on the role of Editor for various BMC Series journals following the completion of her PhD in 2017. As Editor of several medical journals, Maria developed further interest in both Open Access publishing as well as research and publication ethics, and in November 2019 she joined the Publication Ethics team of PLOS ONE.