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Friends of The DateKeepers

Below, you'll find individuals of extraordinary talent offering a diverse array of goods and services and/or advancing innovative projects across a wide variety of disciplines. We're proud to showcase them and their work. We're proud to call them Friends. 


To contact a Friend of The DateKeepers, inquire about their services, or propose a collaboration, email us to request an introduction at

Apply to be featured on our Friends Page:

Science & Tech Friends

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Paresh Kumar Samantaray

Dr. Paresh Samantaray is a materials scientist by training with expertise in the synthesis, characterization, and applications of polymers, nanostructured materials, and polymer nanocomposites. He is especially passionate about charting new structure-property-function relationships in synthetic materials chemistry and polymer nanocomposites for diverse application such as Aerospace Shielding Materials, Plastics Packaging, Domestic and Wastewater treatment, Desalination, and Heavy Metal Remediation.

Dr. Samantaray obtained his B. Tech in Plastics Engineering from CIPET, Bhubaneswar and his MSc. Engg. and Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He completed his postdoctoral research at the International Institute for Nanocomposites Manufacturing (IINM), WMG, University of Warwick, and in mid-2021, he joined the California Institute of Technology as a Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship Trainee with the Fulbright-Nehru Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Caltech Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship. He also serves on the Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars Advisory Board of the American Chemical Society. 


Aditi Lele

Dr. Aditi Lele holds a PhD in ecology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA and an MS in Biodiversity from Sabitrivai Phule Pune University in Pune, India. As a doctoral candidate, she conducted extensive field research on the relationship between gray hornbills and ecologically important tree species in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats in Kerala, India while also pursuing many volunteer opportunities, which opened her eyes to the possibility of a career beyond academia. 

Since completing her PhD, Dr. Lele has taken a position as an EducationUSA adviser based in India, where she derives deep and enduring satisfaction from helping students realize their American dreams. Originally from the remote central Indian village of Pahur, she now resides in the vibrant metropolis of Mumbai, where she shares her life with an incredibly kind partner and their four mischievous feline companions. 

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Lígia Fonseca Coelho

Lígia Fonseca Coelho holds a PhD in Bioengineering and Astrobiology and is interested in biosignatures with a focus on biological pigments, extreme environments, and planetary field analogs. In 2022, she earned a Fulbright Schuman scholarship, becoming the first Portuguese national ever to do so, to pursue research at Cornell University and develop database of colorful biosignatures to facilitate searches for extra-terrestrial life.

In addition to these projects, Lígia has also co-authored a series of studies aiming to improve the lives of astronauts in space. These have involved everything from conducting fundamental inquiries into the impact of microgravity on photosynthesis to developing the first fully functional zero-G menstrual cup. On Lígia's watch, payloads supporting these experiments have been deployed on various rockets, including Blue Origin's New Shepard.


Valeriia Poliukhova

Dr. Valeriia Poliukhova is a material science researcher with experience in Ukraine, Luxembourg, Korea, and the USA. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Micro- and Nanoelectronics from the National Technical University of Ukraine, and her PhD in Nanomaterial Science and Engineering from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul. Following her PhD, she conducted postdoctoral research at the Purdue School of Engineering in Indianapolis and now works on a team at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, exploring bionanocomposites and other nanomaterials. 

Dr. Poliukhova's research efforts have contributed  to the development of high-performance photocatalyst synthesis targeting water purification and hydrogen production, and to optimizing Mxene synthesis for large-scale manufacturing. When she's not immersed in academic projects, Valeriia savors reading, yoga, hot coffee, and meditation. Her zeal for science is matched only by her love for nature, art, and mesmerizing sunsets.

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Dr. Alpha Ousmane Toure

With over 10 years of experience in the lab and field, Dr. Alpha Ousmane Toure has established himself as one of the world's leading experts on industrial waste valorization (i.e. recycling waste back into usable products). His research interests include low-carbon cement, green processes, sustainability, and circular economies. He earned his master's and doctorate from Ecole Superieure Polytechnique at Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar in Senegal and has published over 28 papers in international journals.

Dr. Toure is also a passionate advocate of international education and exchange and has contributed to a joint research project with Howard University at Washington, DC and the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse in France; participated in COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) with Lehman College at the City University of New York; and been a Fulbright scholar. 


Sebastian Giacomino

Sebastian Giacomino is a biologist and PhD student at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina and a member of the Centro para el Estudio de Sistema Marinos (CESIMAR) - CONICET (National Research Council), Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina. His primary research interest is developing stable carbon and nitrogen isotope landscapes from the pelagic baselines of two commercial and touristic gulfs in the Córdoba region.


Since childhood, Sebastian has nourished an interest in marine life, and now, in addition to his academic pursuits, he is also a passionate advocate for conservation of ocean environments in Argentina and around the world.

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Luis Quijano

Luis Quijano is a Fulbright scholar and PhD candidate in Fashion & Biotechnology at Queensland University of Technology. His doctoral research is situated at the intersection of fashion design and biotechnology with a focus on bacterial cellulose as a biomaterial for the textile industry.


Luis also researches other potential materials and emerging technologies for a sustainable future. His professional affiliations include the International Textile and Apparel Association, ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, and Sustainable Fashion Consumption Network.

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Sinan Morcel

Sinan Morcel is a software architect, entrepreneur, and Fulbright alumnus. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and a Master's of Science in Robotics Engineering. Instead of pursuing a Ph.D., he disembarked from the traditional academic conveyor belt to work for a few years in the corporate sector as a Software Engineer in Cyber Security. He then went on to bootstrap a software-making business with his brother. They are currently building something massive, which will remain a surprise for the time being.


Sinan's services include mentoring teams, advising clients on recruitment and hiring decisions, providing consultations on which software development methods, standards, and tools to use in greenfield and brownfield development, and offering Chief Technology Officer (Fractional CTO) services to clients interested in launching software-powered businesses. When taking clients, Sinan avoids conflicts of interest and offers flexible, subscription-like contracts.

Languages & Humanities Friends

Arts & Design Friends

Social Science & Policy Friends

Legal Services Friends

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