When it comes to echolocation, some bats just wing it

Although fruit bats such as this one were thought not to be able to echolocate, new research finds that some fruit bats can use sonar clicks from their wings to navigate in the dark. Credit: Current Biology, Boonman et al.

Although fruit bats such as this one were thought not […Read More]

Article about an insect-sized flying robot for Motherboard

Robotic fly with pyramidal onboard sensor on top

Robotic fly with pyramidal onboard sensor on top

I wrote my first piece for Motherboard, Vice magazine’s online science & technology site. I just happened to find a pitch that worked well for them, and it was fun to write a more […Read More]

Boring wasp not so boring

A parasitic wasp prepares to drill into a fig. Photograph by Lakshminath Kundanati

A parasitic wasp prepares to drill into a fig. Photograph by Lakshminath Kundanati

I’ve been a little slow to post these past few weeks, just busy with summer activities. I wrote another story for National Geographic’s “Weird & Wild” blog, about the parasitic fig wasp’s metallic ovipositor tip. The […Read More]

Washington State mudslide’s speed may have made it particularly deadly

Wrote a quick turn-around piece for NationalGeographic.com on the devastating mudslide that hit rural Washington State last Saturday.

While mudslides are fairly common in the US, and cause a lot of property damage, they rarely have this large a death toll: 25 dead so far, and 90 people still missing. This mudslide’s speed may have made it particularly deadly, and unfortunately, the size of the mudslide has made rescue operations challenging and is likely to hamper cleanup efforts.

NationalGeographic.com also had …Read More]

Extinct porpoise had a pronounced underbite

Skimmer porpoise skull and jaws Credit: Rachel Racicot

Skimmer porpoise skull and jawsCredit: Rachel Racicot

I got to write about a fossilized porpoise that had a pronounced underbite, a feature that’s seemingly unique among mammals. Based on their study the researchers think the extinct California porpoise may have used its extended lower jaw to probe for prey on the ocean floor.

The fossil […Read More]

Getting into science writing: a BioCareers blog post

I had the opportunity to write a blog post about how to get into science writing for BioCareers, a site that seems to have lots of useful information about various career/job options for grad students and post-docs. I added my 2 cents about careers in science writing.

I tried to emphasize how broad a field science communication is, with many different kinds of opportunities. I also mentioned how competitive a field it can be, as I remember how being in academia sometimes makes you forget that other fields are not necessarily easier to get […Read More]

How crazy ants live up to their name

A crazy ant detoxifying itself next to a fire ant. Photograph by Lawrence Gilbert

A crazy ant detoxifying itself next to a fire ant. Photograph by Lawrence Gilbert

Crazy ants (named for their strange, jerky walk) are displacing fire ants from the Southern US. Fire ants are notorious for their toxic venom, so researchers wondered how the […Read More]

Back to work: Of bats and bumblebees

Bumblebee on a flower. Credit: Christian Bauer

Bumblebee on a flower. Credit: Christian Bauer

Well, I had a nice, relaxing, vacation in India. It was great to see friends and family after a long while, and enjoy the good food and warm weather. Now I’m back, well refreshed, and it’s time to get back […Read More]