As a high school student, I fell in love with chemistry and trying to understand the details of how nature worked. I also loved words and language and spent countless hours writing and editing for the school literary magazine. At 16, I had no idea that I could combine those two passions into a rewarding career.
So I started out as a chemist. I built carbon-based molecules in laboratories in both Germany and the United States. During my Ph.D. at Indiana University, I assembled sugary, highly-charged spheres the size of proteins that I affectionately call my “giant balls of negative charge.” I’m still fascinated by atoms and molecules and the role these little cogs play in almost every field of science. But I’m also happy that I’m not cooking them up myself anymore.
In 2004, I moved into science journalism boosted by an internship at Discover magazine and an AAAS Mass Media Fellowship at WNBC-TV in New York. I’ve written hundreds of articles for children, lay audiences, and researchers– about topics including stem cells, carbon fiber cellos, native plants and cancer drugs. I have led workshops to help scientists improve their communication skills. I also work as an editorial consultant, leading the development of web-based publishing projects and assisting with large-scale science exhibits.
I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with my husband and son, where I founded the local science cafe, known as Chatt About Science.