About me

My name is Valerie Bentivegna. That’s an anagram for Inevitable Avenger, so it’s seemed I destined to be a superhero. I’m still working on that though.

I am a a science-doer, -writer, and -comedian based in Seattle, Washington. Read along to learn more about my background and experience in both the serious and less-serious sides of science and science communication.

Find me on social media:

Science Comedy

In case you didn’t know yet, science is fun(ny)! I write humorous songs about science and academic life and have performed in science communication competitions such as FameLab and Science Slam. I have toured the world (not┬áreally) with Bruno, the blue ukulele. My biggest comedy achievement is performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018.

Check out my video page for some examples of my comedy songs.

Since 2019, I run Geeky Comedy Seattle, a space for local nerds to work on and perform their craft! Find out more about upcoming open mics and shows on the Geeky Comedy Seattle section.

I’ve also written satire pieces for DNAtured and The Foreigner Blog. Check out my satire writing page for more details. (Seamless segue into…)

Science Writing

I’ve written about cool science, both in a professional capacity and for my personal blog, and sometimes for other freelance projects.

Writing and copyediting experience

  • Former Science and Medical Writer for Cognition Studio.
  • Co-author of Inking Science, an art-meets-science book highlighting the lives of inspirational scientists, engineers, and innovators.
  • Various freelance projects, including blog writing for Decafino and script writing for Physics Girl.

Bio-engineering

I have a PhD in Life Sciences but prefers to call myself a bio-engineer. In the last couple of years, I’ve worked as a research associate at a chemical engineering start-up company, and as a consultant for a biotechnology company in the Seattle area. I currently work as a Lab Manager (officially Research Scientist/Engineer) in the akaMatsu Lab at the University of Washington.

Learn more about my previous work as a bioengineer in this video (suitable for all ages):

Education

  • PhD in Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, looking at the biomechanical properties of cells and tissues, and how these change during cancer.
  • MSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, with a final project looking at the potential of nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors.
  • BSc in Bioengineering.

Informal Science Education

Finding new ways to inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators, creators, and engineers is very… inspiring! I’ve worked as an informal educator in different capacities, both as a volunteer during my PhD as on contracted jobs.

Informal Education Experience

  • Teaching LEGO Engineering and LEGO Robotics to elementary and middle school students
  • Working at a science summer camp as operations lead. I also helped test out virtual camps and write virtual camp curriculum during that ‘rona summer of 2020
  • Workshop leader at a CyberSecurity Bootcamp
  • Organizing panels and public lectures at conferences and conventions (including MCAA general assemblies, SciTalk, and GeekGirlCon)