I am a bilingual scientist, science communicator, and community builder. I use storytelling and my multidisciplinary scientific training to connect communities and to amplify the positive impact of science.
Please explore my page to learn more about the different collaborations and projects that inspire me. Feel free to visit my About.me page too.
Scientific expertise(*): Ivan Fernando Gonzalez got a BS in Physics from Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) working on both experimental High Energy Physics and theoretical Biophysics. He volunteered for four years at the Atmospheric-Muons Telescope, and pioneered in the Biophysics group with his dissertation on a Computational Model of Electroreceptor Cells.
After graduation, he started doing electrophysiology with Carlos Sevcik during a short stay in Venezuela, measuring the effects of toxins from scorpion and venomous fish on the electric function of nerves and muscles.
Later he moved to California to become an expert on the electric sense of sharks and rays with Adrianus J. Kalmijn, and got his PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. As a graduate student in oceanography–while training sharks and studying the ampullae of Lorenzini– he also had the chance to learn about our changing ocean and our warming planet.
As a postdoc with Sharona Gordon at University of Washington- Seattle, he learned how to measure the electric currents of neurons and cultured cells, while simultaneously recording movies of fluorescent molecules inside the cell. He spent three years at Gordon’s lab doing basic-research experiments that wanted to unveil the early stages of chronic pain by using pharmacology, electrophysiology, imaging, and optogenetics.
Click here to download a copy of a final draft from my dissertation: "The Electric Sense of the Thornback Ray, Platyrhinoidis triseriata: Linear Dynamic Range in Single-Unit Electrophysiological Recordings in vivo from the Afferent Nerve Fibers of the Ampullae of Lorenzini."
Author: Ivan Fernando Gonzalez lives in Richland, Eastern Washington. Recently, he traded an academic life that included walking on top of molten rocks, training sharks, and dealing with keyboards covered with capsaicin (the pungent substance of chili peppers) for the more adventurous life of an independent writer.
He writes in English and Spanish for local and international audiences, and he also spends some time trying to build communities on Twitter. You can find him at @GonzalezIvanF (English) and @SalsaDeCiencia (Spanish).
He is co-founder of “Red Comuniciencia” a regional effort bringing more and better science content for Spanish-speaking audiences, and he is a founding member of “Seattle Escribe”, a group of writers that brings storytelling in Spanish to the Pacific Northwest.
Ivan Fernando also likes to take pictures with his cell phone and takes care of a preschooler that is always two steps ahead of him. You can find his writings, community projects, and pictures at his Tumblr blog and Instagram.
He has published in Scientific American Blog Networks, Latin American Science Blog, and Minority Postdoc Blog.
“Wonderful as are the laws and phenomena of electricity when made evident to us in inorganic or dead matter, their interest can bear scarcely any comparison with that which attaches to the same force when connected with the nervous system an with life (…)”
Michael Faraday 1838