Look Out, Bill Nye! Earyn McGee Rises to Social Media Stardom

Thursday, November 19, 2020
McGee began her education as a field research-focused undergraduate but then became a science communication sensation on social media. Now a UArizona graduate student, she advocates for conservation and inclusivity in the sciences.

If you don't already recognize Earyn McGee's name, you might soon.

Known as @Afro_Herper to her over 36,000 Twitter followers, nearly 19,000 Instagram followers and a growing number of YouTube subscribers, the University of Arizona graduate student began her higher education journey with her sights set on field research. She has since expanded her focus to include advocacy for environmental conservation and inclusivity in the sciences, through mentoring and science communication campaigns on social media.

After earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Howard University in 2016, McGee came to the University of Arizona to study amphibians and lizards. She wanted to be a wildlife biologist and run her own research lab. But she was also interested in getting out the message on wildlife conservation and perhaps someday hosting her own natural history show, like "Bill Nye the Science Guy."

"After a couple of conversations with Earyn, I recognized that both of those goals were within her reach," said Michael Bogan, an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and McGee's graduate adviser.

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Rosemary Brandt
Media Relations Manager, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences