As part of our mission to help you feel safe, supported, and empowered as you follow your path towards personal transformation, Third Wave is committed to sharing trusted, research-based content that educates, informs, and engages. Meet our diverse team of writers who make this possible:
Caine Barlow is a fungi educator and mycologist. He has been foraging fungi for 30 years and cultivating fungi for 15 years. He completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Tasmania in 2012, with a strong focus in plant science, microbiology, and chemistry. In 2019 he completed a Master of Science at the University of Melbourne where his research project was to predict a preliminary conservation status for many Australian fungi. As a fungi educator, Caine is passionate about encouraging people to see fungi in a new light by demonstrating how easy they are to grow in kitchen and garden environments. He likes to inspire a sense of creativity in the cloning and propagation of mycelium, experimentation with different substrates, and how to hack together equipment. When not growing fungi, Caine volunteers his time with Entheogenesis Australis, MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology, the Australian Psychedelic Society, and the Entheome Foundation. He writes for DoubleBlind and is also a regular contributor, “trusted identifier” and administrator on a variety of fungi oriented website forums and facebook groups. In addition to fungi, he has had a long term interest in ethnobotany, ethnobotanical literature, and growing medicinal plants – in particular Cacti and Acacias. He edited the Australian Entheogenic Compendium (Volume One) and was lead editor of the Entheogenesis Australis 2017 Journal.
Caine has an Instagram account “Guerrilla Mycology” where he blogs about his cultivation techniques and the enthnomycology of fungi he finds in the field.
Gregory Frederick Ferenstein, M.Sc. has been writing on innovation and psychology for over a decade. His peer-reviewed research was published in the leading journal of its field and his work appears in top media outlets, including New York Times, The Washington Post, and the BBC.
He is now dedicated to advancing world-class, personalized mental healthcare. He holds a Master’s in Mathematical Behavior Sciences, taught stastistics for jounalism at the University of Texas and resides in Austin.
Jeffrey Rindskopf is a freelance writer specializing in culture and mental health, currently based in Seattle, Washington. He was raised and graduated film school in Orange County, California, before moving to the Pacific Northwest to begin his freelance career. He’s written about a little of everything at this point, but found the best home for his feature journalism in the burgeoning fields of cannabis and psychedelic medicine. More importantly, the intersections of psychology and spirituality these substances represent continually inform his fiction and poetry writing, as well as the ongoing journey towards mindfulness and living life as a work of art.
Reilly Capps’s writing on psychedelics has appeared in DoubleBlind, the Telluride Daily Planet and the Washington Post. He contributes articles and guides to Third Wave. He used to be an EMT responding to 911 calls, where he grew fascinated by psychoactive drugs’ impact on his patients and community. His drugs reporting for Rooster, a Colorado magazine, catalyzed Denver’s 2019 vote to decriminalize mushrooms. He co-founded an alliance of businesses and hobbyists growing and using all types of mushrooms in Denver. Twitter: @reillycapps
Shannon Calderon is a copywriter, marketer, and data analyst focusing on the wellness and technology spaces. She loves traveling and spending time in the mountains with her dog Frosty, a very good boy.
Shelley DeMarco is a life long entrepreneur, from the early age of 11 making fabric samples at the family textile business in New York City’s garment district to creating and running her own application development company in the early 00’s. She is passionate about developing and driving solutions and providing value. After many years leading high profile projects for Fortune 50 companies, she joined The Third Wave as Curriculum Program Manager.
Additionally, Shelley has been a coach and mentor for over 20 years. Most recently she graduated as part of the first cohort of The Third Wave’s Psychedelic Coaching Certification. She works in energy healing, is an ordained minister and member of Oviates, Bards, & Druids incorporating spiritual ritual and ceremony into her practice. She is an avid adventurer, triathlete and traveler, spending much of her free time outdoors with her husband, four children and granddaughter at the National Parks in Utah and Arizona.
Drew Birnie is a Third Wave contributing writer and SEO specialist. He holds a degree in neuroscience and behavior, and did research on the physiology and neurobiology of stress before transitioning to a writing career. Since 2014, Drew has worked with Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything Is F*cked: A Book about Hope, as a content manager, editor, and SEO geek. He also wrote some of the early versions of the psychedelic guides for Third Wave, for which was paid in airline miles.
Elena Schmidt is a freelance writer and content strategist in Austin, Texas. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Miami and spent two years writing for an anti-aging magazine, New You, before shifting to content marketing at a South Florida beauty manufacturer. Nearly a decade later, Elena is a freelancer who covers a variety of topics, from technology to green energy. But Elena has found her passion in subjects that drive self-actualization, including plant medicine, yoga, and meditation. She has written countless articles about cannabis wellness and is thrilled to share psychedelics research with the world.
James Kingsland writes about the wonders of science and medicine for publications including Medical News Today, BBC Science Magazine, The Guardian, and New Scientist. He has written two books: Am I Dreaming? The New Science of Consciousness and How Altered States Reboot the Brain, and Siddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment. In the late 1980s, James studied neuroscience and psychology, among other things, at the University of Durham in the UK. He went on to work as a sub-editor and editor at New Scientist and The Guardian, before becoming a full-time freelance writer. He tweets (@JamesAKingsland) and blogs (plasticbrainblog.com). In his spare time—as antidotes to all those words—he meditates and gardens.
Liz Zhou is a freelance writer and graduate student in the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling program at Naropa University. She was a recipient of the 2018-2019 Watson Fellowship, a one-year travel grant through which she studied altered states of consciousness across cultures. Liz has conducted immersive research on shamanism and spirituality across 12 countries, and previously worked as a translator and facilitator at an ayahuasca center in Peru. Currently based in Boulder, Colorado, Liz aspires to bring science into conversation with spirituality through her writings on psychedelic healing. Her passions include singing, drawing, playing the steel-tongue drum, practicing yoga, and being a cat mom. She shares her personal experiences with medicines and meditation on her blog, arisingawareness.com.
Samantha Morse, PhD was an English professor and high school teacher before turning to freelance writing and editing while she traveled the U.S. full time in a self-converted Ford Transit van. Her studies in English taught her the power of stories told by others, while her work with plant medicines taught her the power of stories we tell ourselves. Samantha has explored expanded states of consciousness through meditation, breathwork, and plants for over ten years. As a participant in Third Wave’s Coaching Certification Program, she’s excited to build her own transformational coaching practice. Connect with Samantha at shroomwithsam.com and Instagram @ascendinbend.
Tessa Love is a writer whose work has appeared in Outside Magazine, BBC, Longreads, Gossamer, Slate, Elemental, OneZero, and more. Her articles and essays have covered everything from dream research and psychedelics to wildfire and dark sky preservation. You can find her (mostly lurking) on Twitter @tessamlove or at www.tessalove.com.
Edan Armas is a VortexHealing® energy healer and holds a Human Biology degree from Stanford University, where he studied the multifaceted nature of health through a concentration in the Neurophenomenology of Emotion. His mission is to catalyze collective awakening through psychedelics and radical love, and when not writing for the Third Wave, you can find him reading metaphysical tomes or reveling in some fresh papaya.
Emma Stone, Ph.D. is a journalist who specializes in covering cannabis and psychedelics. She loves creating compelling, informative content for those curious to learn more about these substances and their therapeutic potential. Her work has featured in Leafly, Weedmaps, Psychedelic Science Review, and the Cannigma.
Jeff Kimes is Third Wave’s copywriter and messaging wizard. Combining a background in psychoneuroimmunology with extensive experience in plant medicine traditions, Jeff brings a valuable perspective to Third Wave’s mission. In the marketing universe, he’s written multi-million dollar campaigns in multiple industries for well-known brands and gurus. He lives in the lovely town of Heidelberg, Germany and is probably the best didjeridoo artist you’ve never heard.
Maria Nazdravan is a writer, psychedelic integration coach, and trauma-sensitive meditation teacher. Formerly an advertising creative, she quit her job at the end of 2019 to follow her passion for psychology, psychedelics, and consciousness, and has been sharing her best insights in a monthly newsletter. She’s also an avid reader, a comedy improviser, cat whisperer, and a lifelong hater of raisins.
Paul F. Austin is a pioneer in the 21st century for the responsible use of psychedelics for healing, leadership, and personal transformation. He has been featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and WebMD for his work amplifying awareness around the benefits of microdosing psychedelics. Paul is the author of the book “Microdosing Psychedelics: A Practical Guide to Upgrade Your Life” and the founder of two companies in the emerging psychedelic space, Third Wave and Synthesis.
Through his initial seven-month microdosing protocol, Paul experienced the tangible benefits of microdosing LSD, including accelerated learning, easier access to flow states, and a deeper sense of presence. His experience with microdosing inspired him to push for legitimizing psychedelic substances via the topic of microdosing.
Most importantly, intentional psychedelic use helped him to further uncover his own truth, enabling an alignment of purpose and mission with contribution to community and society. Paul’s unconventional path has now placed him in a position to serve the lives of many millions through psychedelic education and literacy.
Samuel Douglas, Ph.D. is a freelance writer, philosopher, and drug law reform, activist. Drawing on his academic background and lived experience, Samuel writes about current events in psychedelics and what they might mean for therapy, society, and the ordinary person just trying to make sense of it all. When not writing, teaching, or volunteering with the Australian Psychedelic Society, Samuel likes to read science fiction, garden, and spoil his cat. You can follow him on twitter via @beachphilosophy.