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Meet the Team


Dia L. Michels

Founder and Publisher

Dia L. Michels founded Science Naturally in 2006. With Platypus Media focusing on attachment parenting, she wanted a vehicle to promote entertaining and accurate ways to engage children in STEM topics. She loves working with the authors and selecting illustrators, and really enjoys developing and licensing world language editions of the books Science Naturally publishes. 


In addition to editing and publishing manuscripts, she has written or coauthored over a dozen books for children and adults. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, Bengali, Hebrew, Haitian Creole, and Washoe. A popular speaker, Dia presents at healthcare, parenting, and education conferences across the country. She is the mother of three grown children, who still keep her busy with their crazy lives, and has several cats.

Favorite Children's Books: 

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee

Tommy at the Grocery Store by Bill Grossman


Ali Trujillo

Operations and Finance Manager

Ali keeps Science Naturally running by managing day-to-day operations and logistics. He works with the publisher to implement systems to streamline operations and finances. Ali also works on production coordination, proofreading, and translating Spanish titles. 

Prior to joining Science Naturally, Ali worked at World Wildlife Fund as senior assistant for the food waste program where he managed contract processes for private sector consultants. At WWF Ali also collaborated in admin meetings with clients and colleagues on conservation efforts. He also worked at R Street Institute, a DC-based think tank as a finance and operations associate. Previously he was a production coordinator at Asia Pacific Offset, an international print management company.

Ali lives in Washington, DC. 

Favorite Children's Book: 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Hannah Thelen

Editorial and Production Director

Hannah just likes to be included, whether it's in the concept development, editing, design, and printing of books, the translation of manuscripts, or the creation of sweet, sweet workflow spreadsheets. She received her BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University, where she also minored in print design and technology (and dance). Hannah recently moved to Fort Myers, FL, and is trying out this new remote work thing that everyone talks about.

Favorite Children's Books: 

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields


Caitlin Burnham

Managing Editor and Marketing Director

Caitlin loves all things books, which makes having a hand in the editorial, design, licensing, and marketing phases of book development a dream come true. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in English, and a minor in studio art. Caitlin lives in Washington, DC, where she's constantly visiting her neighborhood's Little Free Libraries and working on new sticker designs for her Etsy shop.

Favorite Children's Books: 

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart 

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Violet Antonick

Associate Editor and Outreach Coordinator

Violet traveled extensively in search of metamorphosis, stories, and inspiration, culminating in an honors degree in English from the University of Vermont. Shaping her path, she transitioned from roles as an indie bookseller and digital marketer to elevating her expertise at the Columbia Publishing Course in Oxford. At present, she expertly intertwines her deep passion for literature and editorial work with strategic outreach initiatives for Platypus Media.

Her commitment to transforming the literary landscape is evident in her multifaceted dedication to writing, reading, and promoting literacy. Violet's narrative is not merely a personal odyssey but a testament to her unwavering commitment to enriching the literary world.

Favorite Children's Books: 

The Barnabus Project by the Fan Brothers

The Universe in You: A Microscopic Journey by Jason Chin

Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment by Levi Pinfold


Sofía Ramírez

Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfillment Specialist

Sofía, a graduate in Political Science and Economics from FAU, effortlessly combines their academic expertise with a strong dedication to children's education at Platypus Media. Not limited to traditional classrooms, they actively nurture curiosity and a love for reading in young minds. This commitment extends to Sofía's home, a cozy apartment brimming with books and stationary. Their passion for knowledge goes beyond academia, involving engagement with various art forms, creating an environment where every interaction becomes a chance for personal growth.

Believing in continuous learning, Sofía encourages adults to approach education with the same enthusiasm as children, recognizing that the journey of learning is ongoing. Sofía's journey is characterized by the intersection of academic excellence, a sincere connection to fostering young minds, and an enduring love for education. 

Favorite Children's Books: 

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 

La Edad de Oro by José Martí

Der Prinz und die Blume by Ingrid Mylo


Darwin Castillo

Information and Technology Coordinator

Darwin has many talents that keep the company afloat, like building and repairing computers, troubleshooting technical difficulties, designing and building storage solutions, and generally fixing everyone's problems. He also has experience in graphic design and home renovation. In his free time, Darwin enjoys mountaineering across the US. 

Favorite Book: 

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Interested in joining our team?

Learn more about our Editorial and Marketing Internship Program here.

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