Allison Byrd poses in her doctoral regalia

Allison R. Byrd



Allison R. Byrd (previously Allison R. Fortner) has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia (UGA). She will graduate with her Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication with a focus in science communication and a certificate in International Agriculture in May 2024. Allison received her Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education (M.A.E.E.) from UGA in December 2021. Her thesis research explored the influence of university scientists’ perceived age, race, and gender on social media engagement on Instagram and Twitter. She received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communication (B.S.A.) from UGA in 2016. Previously, she worked as assistant marketing director at Super-Sod (2016-2019) and as a staff member at the University of Georgia (2019-2020) before pursuing her education full-time as a graduate research assistant in fall 2020.

Research Interests

Allison’s research interests include relationship dimensions between science and the public, specifically related to culture and communication. Allison is passionate about understanding how individuals’ cultural characteristics and personal experiences influence their interpretation of scientific information surrounding the food system.

Current Projects

Allison has worked with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Associate Dean for Research to explore effective methods for communicating scientific research from a university to various stakeholders. Her dissertation work is focused on communicating science from colleges of agriculture with prospective graduate students while considering cultural needs.

Allison completed an internship with the Safe Seaweed Coalition to assist with developing a communications model for sharing research about safely and sustainably scaling up the global seaweed industry.

Favorite Quote

“For what is more versatile? … coffee can energize the industrious at dawn, calm the reflective at noon, or raise the spirits of the beleaguered in the middle of the night.”

Amor Towles
Allison holds up a leaf of Saccharina latissima or sugar kelp amidst a dense population of wild seaweed in Plougeurneau, France. Allison joined in on this field work in which a PhD student studying red seaweed was collecting data

Allison’s Recent Work

Allison’s CV