Can New Technology Put a Dent in the Rape Kit Backlog?
This story is my first for Undark, a publication I have long admired and hoped to contribute to. I found the story after I noticed a flurry of research papers focused on rape kit forensics. I have a Google Alert for certain keywords like "sperm," and I kept getting DNA analysis hits, so I wondered if there was a reason for the apparent uptick in work. It turned out that there was an upward trend, and I learned that this trend was at least in part the result of increased atten
Do plants poop?
I responded to a public pitch request from a PopSci editor, and she invited me to suggest some topics for a new online series geared at kids aged 9-12. I sent her about a dozen ideas and she asked me to write about this one, my favorite of the bunch. I got to talk to an expert on tree farts and was thrilled be able to run it by my kid, who happened to fit the target audience. He told me he appreciated the humor, and it ran soon after with minimal editing. These are quick, fun
Grass, Trees, and Fire: Elements of a Savanna Lifecycle
It was a pleasure to read and write about mathematical modeling of savanna and forest ecology for SIAM News. SIAM News is "the newsjournal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics." I worked closely with all three authors to ensure that I understood their work and correctly translated it. This article is unusual in that it represents the first time I have sent an editor a draft and was asked to make it more complex: more math please. Ha! But of course, their rea