UW’s most interesting Twitter accounts you need to follow

October 3, 2018 By Parker Schorr

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has over 21,000 faculty and staff, each with their own areas of expertise and experiences. Thankfully, many of them have Twitter, too, so you don’t have to be in their class to learn from them. Below are some of the best UW–Madison accounts you can follow, from world-renowned political science researchers to insect photographers and everything in between.

Laura Albert, (@lauraalbertphd)

“I do not believe teaching is confined by the walls of the classroom or the boundaries of the university,” Professor Laura Albert writes in her blog Punk Rock Operations Research. The same principle could be applied to her Twitter, which regularly updates followers on her own studies in engineering, analyzes the latest research conducted by others, and explains how to use math to pick the winning team.

Karl Broman (@kwbroman)

Biostatistician and Professor Karl Broman’s specialty is genetics, but you’ll find plenty of other topics discussed on his Twitter, including the travails of being a lecturer, the importance of open data, and milkshakes.

Bill Cronon (@wcronon)

Environmental historian Professor Bill Cronon highlights the most intriguing and important environmental issues of the day, often with a historical lens. If you want to learn more about the ecology of North America and its future under climate change, give Cronon a follow.

Scott Bachmeier (@CIMSS_Satellite)

While many people’s Twitter feeds are a medley of the person’s various interests, Scott Bachmeier’s feed does one thing and does it well: posts stunning image after stunning image taken from weather satellites. Bachmeier, a research meteorologist at UW, is a must follow –  whether you know a lot about meteorology or nothing at all.

Charles Franklin (@PollsAndVotes)

With the fall elections inching closer each day, you should be up to date on the latest political polling predictions. Professor Emeritus Charles Franklin, on both his blog pollsandvotes.com and on Twitter, does just that, dissecting the details of polling, vote choices, and election outcomes from a scientific, non-partisan angle.

Mike Wagner (@prowag)

Need some insightful analysis of our current political situation from someone who knows what they’re talking about? Follow Mike Wagner, associate professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Part crash course in political science and part running journal of our chaotic world, Wagner’s feed is regularly insightful and witty

Tracey Holloway (@tracey_holloway)

Graduating college can be overwhelming and scary, but Tracey Holloway, a professor, scientist and educator at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, tries to relieve some of that stress for her Twitter followers. By offering advice and encouragement for those setting out into the STEM field and sharing her own love for science, it’s hard not to read her feed and feel more confident and inspired about what comes after college.

Dietram Schuefele (@scheufele)

Life Sciences Communication Professor Dietram Schuefele is an expert on many things – politics, communication, marketing – and his feed reflects that, imparting to readers a vast array of information about how the world works.

PJ Liesch (@WiBugGuy)

PJ Liesch, as hinted at by his username, is really into bugs. Like, really into them. An entomologist and director of UW’s Insect Diagnostic Lab, Liesch’s feed is full of creepy-crawlies that, owing to his detailed descriptions and high-quality photography, become strangely beautiful.

Ahna Skop (@foodskop)

Professor of genetics and champion of women in the STEM field, Ahna Skop is a great follow for those wanting a mixture of scientific breakthroughs and sober reflections of what it is like being a woman in a male-dominated field. Plus, she tweets about food.

Hilary Dugan (@hildug)

Hilary Dugan, limnologist and assistant professor, is a lake fanatic. With the many problems facing Wisconsin’s lakes – from dangerous algae levels to flooding – Dugan has never been more of an urgent and essential follow.

Jennifer Angus (Insta: insectgurl)

If you weren’t convinced by PJ Liesch’s Twitter that bugs are actually cool and not gross, Jennifer Angus’ account is sure to do the trick. A professor in the Textile and Apparel Design Program within the School of Human Ecology, her Instagram is a bona fide art exhibit of the most incredible insects you’ll ever see.

Dominique Brossard (@brossardd)

Professor and chair of the Department of Life Sciences Communication, Dominique Brossard knows science. And you can, too, as long as you follow her account. Science can be a fast-paced and confusing field, but Brossard promotes the most vital studies for you to know and communicates them clearly to readers of all educational backgrounds.

Soyeon Shim (@uwdeanshim)

Soyeon Shim, dean of the School of Human Ecology, is unwaveringly positive about the work SoHE is doing on campus. Her exciting feed promotes the school’s research and design work, with an eye towards how both are bettering the world.

Lori Reesor (@LoriReesor)

UW’s new vice chancellor for student affairs, Lori Reesor, hasn’t been on campus long, but as evidenced by her Twitter feed, she’s already making an impact on campus. Reesor leads major units that serve students – the Wisconsin Union, the Division of Recreational Sports, University Health Services and the Division of Student Life – and together work to make UW even more responsive to student needs. Whether you’re new on campus or nearing graduation, Reesor’s account is a must-follow.

UW-Madison Archives (@UWMadArchives)

UW is as old as Wisconsin – literally. Founded in 1848 when Wisconsin achieved statehood, it is the first university established in Wisconsin. UW–Madison Archives documents the university’s long and storied history, from its first class of 17 students to now, where it stands 44,000 students strong.

Quinn Sorenson (@qmsorenson)

Quinn Sorenson, a PhD student and teaching assistant in Wisconsin Ecology, rarely posts about himself. Instead, he documents and highlights the work of his students. Follow along as his class samples invertebrates in local streams and takes a trip to the Arboretum, and you’ll wish you were one of his students.

Want more suggestions? Check out On Wisconsin’s “12 Alumni Twitter All-Stars” for former students who are killing it on Twitter and in the real world.

Did we miss a cool account? Send your suggestions to theweekly@uc.wisc.edu.