Menu Close

Michaela Barnett

Founder, KnoxFill, University of Virginia

Michaela Barnett, PhD is the founder of KnoxFill, a zero waste refillery in Knoxville, Tennessee. She received her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia, where her research focused on waste behaviors. Previously, she worked in university recycling and as an outdoor educator abroad. Michaela has a B.S. from Furman University, where she studied sustainability science and Spanish.

Michaela also writes about waste, sustainability, and behavioral science for popular audiences. Her writing has appeared in Gizmodo’s Earther, MIT Sloan Management Review, Behavioral Scientist, Alluvian, and others.


  • 2021–2023
    Founder, KnoxFill
  • 2018–2022
    PhD Fellow, University of Virginia
  • 2020–2021
    Editor, Behavioral Scientist
  • 2017–2018
    Food Systems Coordinator, University of Tennessee Knoxville Recycling