Portfolio

Scroll for a selection of my published work. Click here if you’d like to find out more about me, or ping me to find out what I’m currently up to.


SELECTED WORK

 

Why bats make such good viral hosts. The Scientist. Jun 2018. The bat version of the STING protein helps dampen the mammals’ immune response to infection, researchers have found.

We’re asking the wrong questions about glyphosate. The New Food Economy, May 2018. It’s not enough to talk about how safe glyphosate is. We need to consider what “safe” actually means—and who gets to define it.

These tiny ‘guardians’ are helping protect the world’s forests. NBC News MACH, May 2018. Illegal logging accounts for up to 90 percent of deforestation, and there’s never a good way to stop it.

Rise in tailless whale sightings has scientists concerned. National Geographic, May 2018. Experts say that entanglement in fishing gear or other objects is a likely cause for the gruesome injuries.

Fruit flies likely enjoy sex, offering clues into drug addiction. National Geographic, Apr 2018. Deciphering the brain mechanisms involved in pleasure may help scientists learn how to help people addicted to heroin and cocaine.

Why the sad demise of the last northern white rhino male might not mean extinction for his species. NBC News MACH, Mar 2018. Assisted reproduction may save endangered animals or even resurrect extinct ones.

Soil and satellites are telling a new story about ancient civilizations in the Amazon. Atlas Obscura, Mar 2018. With new technologies, scientists are looking for clues in manmade ‘terra preta.’

Twitter’s fake news problem isn’t caused by bots. It’s you. VICE NEWS, Mar 2018. In a perfect world, news that is true would triumph over news that is false, but that isn’t the case, a new study shows.

Babcock Ranch aims to be America’s greenest city—and an inspiration. NBC News MACH, Mar 2018. The development near Fort Myers, Florida is being built for sustainability from the ground up.

Stressed rodents make different choices. The Scientist, Mar 2018. Chronic stress tweaks a circuit in the brain that influences how lab rodents make tough decisions.

A systematic approach to finding unannotated proteins. The Scientist, Mar 2018. A study suggests that there is more to the eukaryotic genome than was previously suspected.

Circulating mitochondrial DNA alerts immune system to danger. The Scientist, Mar 2018. In response to short DNA fragments, lymphocytes release mitochondrial DNA that helps trigger an immune response.

Jermaine Jones seeks to untangle the genetics behind substance abuse. The Scientist, Mar 2018. Studying pharmacogenetics in lab rodents prepared the Columbia University professor to investigate the biological underpinnings of substance use disorders in humans.

How toxic is the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup? The Scientist, Feb 2018. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is designed to be toxic to plants, but scientists observe some untoward effects on animals in the lab.

The world’s loneliest frog seeks a mate to save his species. Roaring Earth, Feb 2018.

Researchers catalog Earth’s microbiome. The Scientist, Feb 2018. The new database includes data from 27,000 samples collected in sites ranging from Alaskan permafrost to the ocean floor.

A newly identified photoenzyme helps algae pump out fuel. The Scientist, Feb 2018. The finding could lead to a new way of producing “green” alternatives to fossil fuels.

Cellular senescence in astrocytes may play central role in Parkinson’s disease. The Scientist, Jan 2018. The elimination of these glia in the mouse brain ameliorated the development of Parkinsonian neuropathologies induced by the pesticide toxin paraquat.

Like humans, walruses and bats cuddle infants on their left sides. The Scientist, Jan 2018. These mothers and babies keep each other in their left visual fields during maternal care, which aids right-hemisphere processing

What bat quarrels tell us about vocal learning. The Scientist, Jan 2018. New research shows humans aren’t that different from our winged cousins.

Linoleic acid derivatives potentially mediate pain and itch in the skin. The Scientist, Jan 2018. Researchers uncover a family of compounds that may be involved in pain transmission.

Skin “remembers” wounds, heals faster the second time around. The Scientist, Jan 2018. After an initial wounding, genes needed for repair remain ready for action.

One of the most important jobs at sea may get more difficult and dangerous. Oceans Deeply, Dec 2017. Independent fisheries observers are crucial for fisheries management, but their job is often threatened.

One way to fix reproducibility problems: train scientists better. The Scientist, Nov 2017. Leonard Freedman, president of the Global Biological Standards Institute, discusses the causes of irreproducible science and his latest effort to spread best practices.

A newly identified species represents its own eukaryotic lineage. The Scientist, Nov 2017. The 10-micrometer-long flagellate cell might have a big story to tell about the evolution of eukaryotes.

Telomere length and childhood stress don’t always correlate. The Scientist, Nov 2017. Shorter telomere length is widely considered a manifestation of stress in young children, but the results of a new study find it’s more complicated than that.

Seafood processed by forced labor is illegal. So why is it still on our shelves?  The New Food Economy, Oct 2017.  North Korean forced laborers filet some salmon steaks sold at Walmart. That shouldn’t happen. Here’s why it does.

Ghost poachers are still at large after the biggest shark-smuggling bust in Galapagos history. Quartz, Aug 2017.  A 3,000-ton ship waltzed right through one of the world’s most heavily protected marine reserves with a haul-load of illegally caught hammerhead sharks. But despite 20 arrests, the poachers are still at large.

How seafood’s ‘dark web’ obscures fraud, fish laundering, and slavery on the high seas. The New Food Economy, Aug 2017. Ships routinely transfer fish on the open ocean. Most of the time, no one’s watching.