Dr. Tillinger holds a Ph.D. in ocean and climate physics from Columbia University. She works at the American Museum of Natural History as an educator on climate change and at Marymount Manhtattan College as an adjunct professor of physics. Her current research is based at NASA/GISS and focuses on the effects of declining sea ice on global climate. In addition to formal science education, Dr. Tillinger also presents scientific information through the arts in character as "Dr. Mermaid."