Meet the Media Relations science news team

The AGU Newsroom is a small but mighty team of scientists-turned-journalists. We are passionate about helping AGU scientists and anyone who publishes in one of our 23 peer-reviewed journals spread the word about their research. For information about working with the Newsroom to publicize work published in AGU journals, see our Publicity FAQ. Don’t hesitate to email the newsroom with any inquiries.

Liza Lester, Ph.D.
Senior Media Relations Specialist

Liza joined the AGU Newsroom in 2018. She holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Washington and previously worked as a press officer for the Ecological Society of America.  Liza is based in Washington, D.C.




Rebecca Dzombak, Ph.D.
Media Relations Specialist

Rebecca has been with the Newsroom since 2021. Prior to that, she received her Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan. She is based in Olympia, Washington, and does not miss the humidity of the Midwest. She has an affinity for stories about agriculture, environmental injustice, and straight-up nerdy geology.





Derek J. Smith
Media Relations intern

Derek is with the Newsroom for Fall 2022. He is a science writer with degrees in marine biology and environmental science. Find him on twitter @djsmitty156






Kirsten Steinke
Media Relations Intern

Kirsten is with the AGU Newsroom through April 2023. She is a science communicator with a bachelor’s in marine biology and is working on her Ph.D. in ocean ecology and biogeochemistry. Find her on twitter @Kirsten_Steinke¬†




Previous Media Relations interns

Aara’L Yarber, Summer 2022 | @yarber79
Emily Cerf, Fall 2021 
Jack Lee, Fall 2020 | @jackjlee
Jerald Pinson, Fall 2020 | @jerald_pinson
Rachel Fritts, Summer 2020 | @rachel_fritts

Newsroom consultants

Beezus and Ramone

Beezus cat and Ramone live in D.C. with Liza.






Angelo and Audrey

Angelo, who has thumbs and is grumpy, and Audrey, who is very snuggly but has terrible breath, live in Olympia with Becca.