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Staff Editors

You can book a meet-the-editor session with the PLOS Biology editors if you would like to discuss your research with them or have any questions about publishing in PLOS Biology. Please click on the Zoom Scheduler link next to their names.

Nonia Pariente
Twitter: @npariente

Nonia received a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the Autonoma University of Madrid, the latter for studies on RNA virus evolution and new antiviral strategies in the lab of Esteban Domingo. Nonia then moved to UCLA for postdoctoral research, where she focused on developing lentiviral vectors for gene therapy in Irvin Chen’s laboratory. In 2007, Nonia joined the EMBO reports editorial team and over 8 years, held various editorial roles in which she was responsible for a broad range of topics within molecular and cell biology. In 2015, Nonia joined the launch team of Nature Microbiology and, after handling microbiology at Nature for a year, became Chief Editor of Nature Microbiology in 2019. In March 2020, Nonia joined PLOS Biology as Editor-in-Chief.


Ines Alvarez-Garcia

Senior Editor, Section Manager

After graduating with a degree in Zoology, Ines moved to Cambridge and became very interested in molecular biology and development while she worked as a Research Assistant in a Drosophila lab. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge and moved to Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Fellow. After a short collaboration at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, she moved back to Cambridge to do a second postdoctoral fellowship. She joined the PLOS Biology team in April 2008, and has since enjoyed collaborating closely with scientists to help them share their results.


Joanna Clarke

Senior Editor, Front Section

Joanna studied Natural Sciences with a focus on Biology and Biochemistry at The University of Birmingham before moving to London and receiving a PhD in Immunology from King’s College London. After completing her PhD, she studied photography and video production in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as working with an NGO that raised awareness about human trafficking. Upon returning to the UK, she worked on a national infrastructure project with a GIS and mapping organization before joining Nature Reviews Rheumatology as an Associate Editor in 2016. She was promoted to Senior Editor at Nature Reviews Rheumatology in 2018 and worked on several cross-title projects, including pioneering a blog and video series for researchers working in areas related to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing. Joanna joined the PLOS Biology team as the Front Section Senior Editor in January 2022.


Richard Hodge

Richard studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, before moving to King’s College London to study for a PhD in Cell Biology. His doctoral work focused on the role of Rho GTPase proteins in the development of T-cell leukemia. After graduating, he moved to the US for a postdoctoral fellowship in Channing Der’s lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he investigated the role of novel RHOA mutations in the development of gastric cancer. In 2019 Richard moved back to the UK to begin his editorial career at PLOS ONE and joined the PLOS Biology team in November 2020.


Roli Roberts

Senior Editor, Section Manager

Brought up in Zambia, where he was home-schooled in the remote town of Mulobezi, Roli returned to the UK at the age of 11. He studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford and did his PhD at Guy’s Hospital in London. After Postdoctoral Fellowships in King’s College London and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, he returned to the UK as a Principal Investigator (Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer) for 13 years at King’s College London. He moved to Cambridge and became an Editor at PLOS Biology in 2011. Roli oversees PLOS Biology’s homepage, social media, and the blog named PLOS Biologue.


Christian Schnell

Senior Editor, Section Manager

Christian studied Biology at Osnabrück University before moving to Göttingen for his PhD in neurophysiology. His PhD work focused on the role of brainstem astrocytes in maintaining the respiratory rhythm and neuron-glia interactions. He then moved to Cardiff (Wales) to work on stem-cell derived neurons for modelling Huntington's disease and studying their therapeutic potential. Christian started working as an editor in 2017, when he successively worked for Nature Methods, Nature Neuroscience, and Nature Biomedical Engineering as a Locum editor, before joining the Neuroscience & Psychology team at Nature Communications. In 2022, Christian moved to Cell Reports as a Senior Editor & Strategic Analyst. In 2023, Christian joined PLOS Biology as a Neurosciences Senior Editor and Section Manager.


Lucas Smith

Luke received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. After graduating, he moved to San Francisco and became interested in research while completing a yearlong internship in industry. Luke then moved into academia to pursue a PhD at the University of California, San Francisco. There, he studied in the laboratory of Dr. Saul Villeda, examining systemic mechanisms governing brain aging. He joined the PLOS Biology team shortly after completing his doctoral studies in June 2020.


Melissa Vazquez Hernandez

Raised in a small city in Mexico, Melissa received a BSc in Biotechnology from the Autonomous University of Queretaro where she studied the enzymatic capacities of the fungus Aspergillus. After graduating she moved to Mexico City to do a MSc in Biochemistry at the National Autonomous University of Mexico on Streptomyces and genome mining. She then did her PhD at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany under the supervision of Julia Bandow and Ken Keiler, studying the physiology of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and novel antimicrobials. After a year as a postdoc, she switched careers and joined the PLOS Biology team in December 2023.