Nina Finley grew up among the moss and garter snakes of Seattle, Washington. She then moved east of the Cascades and graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in biology-environmental studies. Nina is passionate about microbes, especially those maligned organisms we call pathogens, and she seeks curiosity and compassion for tiny life. Nina’s research has led her to fish jaws, lemur viruses, algal sea turtles, wasting sea stars, bleaching corals, canine distemper, Arctic foxes, blood-sucking mosquitoes, goose fleas, cattle ticks and beyond. As a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Nina spent the past year collecting stories of humans surviving collaboratively with microbes in Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the Canadian Arctic.
Nina just finished her second field season in the mountainous rainforest of Madagascar, where she investigated deforestation, viral spillover, and the connection between climate change and sand-flea disease. Currently, she volunteers for Health in Harmony, a Planetary Health non-profit serving humans and rainforests in Indonesian Borneo. Next year, Nina will begin a joint Master of Science in One Health at the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, United Kingdon. She’s excited to become a translator at the interface of human, animal and environment health.
In the future, Nina hopes to earn a PhD in disease ecology and dedicate her career to identifying ecological solutions to public health problems. When she’s not working, you can almost always find her playing ultimate frisbee. Recently, she’s begun sketch-noting scientific conferences using watercolor and ink. You can take a look at her artwork on Twitter and Instagram. Nina’s writing has appeared in Edge Effects, Camas, Arminda, and her blog Natural Selections.