Biography

Here you can find my very short bio, short bio, and a full bio. My surname, Mehlenbacher, is pronounced as "Mel-in-bakh-er." 

More information about my publications can be found in my CV, on Google Scholar, or on ORCID. I can also be found on ResearchGate.

A Very Short BioAR Mehlenbacher looking into camera in professional photo.

Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (pronouns: she/her) is a Canada Research Chair in Science, Health, and Technology Communication at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of On Expertise: Cultivating Character, Goodwill, and Practical Wisdom (Penn State UP), Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet (Ohio State UP) and coeditor of Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (Palgrave).

Short Bio

Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (pronouns: she/her) is a Canada Research Chair in Science, Health, and Technology Communication at the University of Waterloo. Winner of the 2020 Fellows' Early Career Award from the Rhetoric Society of America, Mehlenbacher’s work combines rhetorical studies and science communication to investigate key issues including expertise, trust, mis/disinformation, risk, and ethics in the communication of complex information. Her interdisciplinary scholarship provides novel insights into how both experts and publics talk about science. She is the author of On Expertise: Cultivating Character, Goodwill, and Practical Wisdom (Penn State University Press, 2022), Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet (The Ohio State University Press, 2019), and co-editor, with Carolyn R. Miller, of Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (Palgrave, 2017). 

Full Bio

Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (pronouns: she/her) is a Canada Research Chair in Science, Health, and Technology Communication and an Associate Professor the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. Before joining Waterloo in 2015, she was an Assistant Professor of Communication, Networks, and Innovations in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University. Mehlenbacher has also served as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM) from 2019-2021 and as President of ARSTM from 2018-2019. Currently, Mehlenbacher is a General Co-Editor, with Dr. Carolyn R. Miller, at Genre Across Borders

Mehlenbacher is the author of On Expertise: Cultivating Character, Goodwill, and Practical Wisdom (Penn State University Press, 2022), Science Communication Online: Engaging Experts and Publics on the Internet (The Ohio State University Press, 2019), and co-editor, with Carolyn R. Miller, of Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (Palgrave, 2017). Mehlenbacher's research in rhetorical theory and science communication has also been published in numerous journals and edited volumes, including RhetoricaArgument & ComputationCommunication Monographs, Written CommunicationTechnical Communication Quarterly, Environmental Communication, POROI, and in Landmark Essays on Rhetoric of Science. Mehlenbacher's work has been funded through numerous agencies and programs, i, including the Canada Research Chair program, the Ontario Early Researcher Award (ERA) program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Bob Harding and Lois Claxton Humanities and Social Sciences Endowment Fund, and through a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Science Communication Skills grant. Mehlenbacher has won two Outstanding Performance Awards, in 2017 and 2020, from the University of Waterloo, which are given for outstanding contributions in teaching and scholarship. She is also the winner of the 2020 Fellows’ Early Career Award from the Rhetoric Society of America, a prestigious award given from the field's most significant professional association to an early career member who “has established an innovative and robust research record.”

Mehlenbacher's earliest work in the rhetoric of science, under the supervison of Dr. Randy Allen Harris, explored questions of ethos (character) in popular science books. During her doctoral studies, Mehlenbacher investigated nuclear energy discourse at the state level and, later, examined citizen engagement with regulatory processes and crisis response to nuclear disaster. Her triple award-winning dissertation, directed by Dr. Carolyn R. Miller, explores how citizen scientists responding to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster used new genres of science communication to secure funding and support for their projects and disseminate results. This worked earned her a 2015 NCTE/CCCC Outstanding Dissertation Award in Technical Communication, the 2015 Joan Pavelich Award for the Best Dissertation from the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing, and the North Carolina State University 2013-2014 College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dissertation Award. In 2018, Mehlenbacher won the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University.

Mehlenbacher taught courses in science communication, engineering communication, and Science, Technology, and Society during her time at NC State. While at Purdue University, she taught courses on research methods, genre theory, and social networks. She joined the University of Waterloo in 2015 and has taught courses in rhetorical theory, technical communication, and communication for the public service. Mehlenbacher was also amember of course design committees for first-year science communication courses for the Faculty of Science and engineering communication courses for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Management Sciences Engineering at Waterloo. 

In her scholarship Mehlenbacher has studied how science is communciated to a variety of audiences, including communication among experts and communications between experts and publics as well as emerging sites of science communication such as citizen science efforts. In addition to her scholarly training and experience, she has worked as a technical writer at Blackberry (then Research in Motion) and written for popular science venues including Discover Magazine's Citizen Sci blog, PLOS blogs, and Scistarter.