Mel Abler is a fifth year doctoral researcher at Columbia University focusing on experimental studies of turbulence and nonlinear wave coupling in plasmas, particularly as these studies relate to planetary magnetospheres and other astrophysical phenomena. They graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2014 with degrees in Engineering Physics and Astronomy-Physics. Both inside and outside the lab, Mel is a passionate and successful advocate for increased inclusion in physics. They co-founded student chapters of oSTEM (out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at both Wisconsin and Columbia, brought the You Are Welcome Here campaign to Columbia, and served on the local organizing committee for the 2018 CUWiP NYC site.
In their “free time” they coach and compete with TopRow and Row New York, organizations focused on bringing the sport of rowing to everyone regardless of income or ability status.