One of my favorite aspects of being a scientist is mentoring and training future scientists. As a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher, I have had the opportunity to mentor more than a dozen young scientists. These scientists have gone on to careers in biotech and policy, or are continuing their education in graduate school. Several of these mentorships have resulted in peer-reviewed publications with the mentees (*) as co-authors:
N. Sirison*, N.P. Burnett (2019) Turbinaria ornata (Phaeophyta) varies size and strength to maintain environmental safety factor across flow regimes. Journal of Phycology 56: 233-237. (PDF)
N.P. Burnett, A. Belk* (2018) Compressive strength of Mytilus californianus shell is time-dependent and can influence the potential foraging strategies of predators. Marine Biology 165: 42. (PDF)
A.R. Kothari*, N.P. Burnett (2017) Herbivores alter plant-wind interactions by acting as a point mass on leaves and by removing leaf tissue. Ecology and Evolution 7: 6884-6893. (PDF)
Science lessons in under-served schools As a graduate student at UC Berkeley I participated in the outreach program Bay Area Scientists in Schools that taught science lessons to elementary school students in under-served areas of the San Francisco Bay Area. During my time with this program, members of this program taught more than 100 lessons that reached more than 3,000 students, many of them from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM.
Uncovering biases in postdoctoral interviews As a postdoctoral researcher, I have developed additional focus areas for outreach and broadening participation in science. I was a recipient of a 2017 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology for Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology, and with this funding I began serving as a postdoctoral member on the Broadening Participation Committee for the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, and I began conducting research projects to address barriers to postdoctoral researchers in biology. My first project from this initiative was recently published in the open access journal Integrative Organismal Biology: N.P. Burnett, S.A. Combes (2019) Post-doc interviews in the life sciences: An often-overlooked process that is susceptible to bias. Integrative Organismal Biology. (PDF)
Scheduling of diversity-focused events at biology conferences I teamed up with a group of early career researchers to investigate how the scheduling of diversity-focused events at biology conferences can impact the conferences' diversity initiatives. We discovered that the basic model for scheduling the diversity-focused events places extra logistical and emotional burdens on the attendees of these events. Our findings, along with recommendations for improvement, were published in Nature Ecology & Evolution in August 2020: N.P. Burnett, E.E. King, M.K. Salcedo, R.L. Tanner, K. Wilsterman (2020) Conference scheduling undermines diversity efforts. Nature Ecology & Evolution doi:10.1038/s41559-020-1276-5 (Link)