Dr Nicole Lee

Assistant Professor

Picture of Dr Nicole Lee


Nicole Lee’s research focuses on the intersection of science communication, public relations and digital media. Her primary program of research examines how public relations practitioners can utilize online dialogue to more effectively communicate about science with lay audiences. She is particularly interested in communication about politically polarized topics such as climate change. Lee has professional public relations experience in a variety of industries, including the sciences, which informs her research and teaching.

Teaching and Research Interests

Public Relations

Science Communication

Digital Media


Lee, N. M. & Merle, P. (in press). Media relations and universities: A assessment of digital newsrooms. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education.

Lee, N. M. (2018). Fake news, phishing, and fraud:  A call for research on digital media literacy education outside the classroom. Communication Education, 67, 460-466. doi:10.1080/03634523.2018.1503313

Lee, N. M. & Seltzer, T. C. (2018). Vicarious interaction: The role of observed online exchanges in fostering organization-public relationships. Journal of Communication Management, 22, 262-279. doi:10.1108/JCOM-11-2017-0129

Abitbol, A., Lee, N. M., Lee, S. Y., & Seltzer, T. C. (2018). #RaceTogether: Starbucks’ attempt to discuss race in America and its impact on company reputation and employees. Public Relations Journal, 11.

Lee, N. M., VanDyke, M. S., & Cummins, R. G. (2018). A missed opportunity? NOAA’s use of social media to communicate climate science. Environmental Communication, 12, 274-283. doi:10.1080/17524032.2016.1269825

Lee, N. M., Seltzer, T., & Callison, C. (2017). Relationship building in the craft beer industry: A study of public relations within the growing artisanal and locavore movements. Public Relations Journal, 11, 1-20.

Neill, M. & Lee, N. M. (2016). Roles in social media: How the practice of public relations is evolving. Public Relations Journal, 10, 1-25.

Lee, N. M. & VanDyke, M. S. (2015). Set it and forget it: The one-way use of social media by government agencies communicating science. Science Communication, 37, 533-541. doi:10.1177/1075547015588600 

Lee, N. M., Sha, B.-L., Dozier, D. M., & Sargent, P. (2015). The role of new public relations practitioners as social media experts. Public Relations Review, 41, 411-413. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.05.002


  • Ph.D. in Media & Communication from Texas Tech University, 2016
  • M.A. in Mass Communication from San Diego State University, 2012
  • B.A. in Journalism - Public Relations from San Diego State University, 2010