Meet Our Team

Undark's work is assigned, edited, fact-checked, and produced by a dedicated team of full- and part-time journalists. The magazine is published through the generosity of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT.




Editorial Staff

While our headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we are a distributed team working across multiple timezones, from western Montana to the south of France, and multiple spots in between.

Tom Zeller Jr., Editor in Chief — Tom co-founded Undark magazine in 2016 after a career spanning 15 years as a journalist contributing to a variety of publications, including 12 years on staff as an editor, columnist, graphic designer, and reporter at The New York Times. In 2013-14, he spent an academic year at MIT as a research fellow with the Knight Science Journalism Program, and he is the co-editor of the recent essay collection “A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism” (Oxford, 2022).

Jane Roberts, Deputy Editor — Jane graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism and Economics, with a minor in Environmental Studies. Before coming to Undark, Jane interned with the wealth team at Forbes, where she valued and wrote about some of the country’s richest billionaires. She joined Undark Magazine as Associate Editor in 2016 and has since developed its widely respected fact-checking program.

Brooke Borel, Articles Editor — Brooke is an award-winning science journalist whose writing has appeared at Popular Science, BuzzFeed News, the Guardian, Scientific American, Nature, Science, FiveThirtyEight, among others, and has also been anthologized in the 2017 book “What Future.” Her own books include “Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World” and “The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking.”

Nora Belblidia, Senior Editor, Features — Nora is a senior editor and fact-checker with Undark. As a journalist, she is interested in long-form narratives that explore science and subcultures, and her writing has appeared in Al Jazeera and Columbia Journalism Review, among other publications. Additionally, she has fact-checked for The Washington Post Magazine, Boston Globe, and Longreads. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Amanda Grennell, Production Editor — Amanda oversees production, page design, and art for Undark. She was previously a AAAS Mass Media Science and Science & Engineering Fellow with PBS NewsHour. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, she earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Adriana Lacy, Audience Engagement Manager — Adriana is an award-winning journalist and consultant in Boston, Massachusetts. She has previously worked as a senior associate for audience & growth at Axios, an audience engagement editor at The Los Angeles Times, and a senior news assistant at The New York Times. Adriana is the founder of Journalism Mentors, a website dedicated to advancing early-career journalists through mentoring and paid media opportunities.

Michael Schulson, Contributing Editor — Michael is a contributing editor for Undark, where he has written about everything from animal trapping to lab leaks, often exploring the entanglement of politics and science. His work has been published by Aeon, NPR, and Wired, and recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and the National Center on Disability and Journalism. He lives in New York City.

Ashley Smart, Senior Editor, Opinion — In addition to managing the opinion section of Undark, Ashley is the associate director of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. He previously spent eight years as an editor and reporter at Physics Today magazine, and he was a 2015-16 Knight Science Journalism Fellow. He is co-editor of “A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism: Lessons From the Frontlines,” published in 2022 by Oxford University Press.

Sara Talpos, Senior Editor, Features — Sara is a Michigan-based journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in Undark, Science, Mosaic, and The Kenyon Review, among other outlets. Before joining Undark in 2018, Sara spent ten years teaching writing classes at the University of Michigan, where she received an MFA in creative writing. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, kids, and beagle.

Scott Veale, Senior Editor, Books — Scott is a former editor at The New York Times who had a variety of roles during his 30-year career, including editor of the Sunday Arts & Leisure section and newsroom editor for The Sunday Review. Before that, he was the books editor for the Culture department and story editor in the Week in Review section. He also wrote for the Sunday Book Review and and a number of other sections.




For more information about Undark’s mission and funding, please visit our About Us page. For information on reaching submitting story ideas, please follow out submissions guidelines, which are outlined here. If you have a question about Undark’s editorial content, please visit our contact page, or email us at