Liza Gross, a freelance science writer and senior editor at the biomedical journal PLOS Biology, channeled an early love of wildlife into a lifelong exploration of the numerous ways diverse species, including humans, interact in the natural world. She writes mostly about wildlife, conservation, and environmental health. Her stories reflect a deep curiosity about natural and social interactions and often highlight evolutionary relationships that remind humans of their place in, and responsibility to conserve, nature. Her article "Don't Jump!" published in Slate, won an ASJA award in the op-ed category. She's a visiting scholar at NYU, a 2013 recipient of NYU Reporting Award funding and a Dennis Hunt health journalism fellow.
Read her previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.
Migratory monarch butterfly populations have fallen into a tailspin in recent years. Scientists fear that in a classic case of good intentions gone awry, efforts to help the beleaguered butterflies may be inadvertently making matters worse by changing their behavior.
A surprising discovery in woolly mammoth fossils recovered from the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands suggests that inbreeding and harsh conditions plagued the ice age giants near the end of their reign on Earth.
As scientists struggle to find better ways to diagnose and treat mental disorders, an Exploratorium exhibition, "The Changing Face of What Is Normal," experiments with a new way to encourage people to think about what is normal.
Every September, the majestic sandhill crane migrates by the thousands from their breeding grounds as far north as British Columbia to the San Joaquin Valley Delta to fatten up for the next breeding season. Their long-term survival depends on innovative collaborations between conservation biologists and farmers to manage agricultural land as high-quality habitat.
Some parents are choosing to delay, space out or forgo their children's recommended vaccinations. But according to a new study, every shot parents choose to skip greatly increases their children's risk of getting a potentially fatal infectious disease.
Since 2005, the incidence of suicide deaths in the U.S. military began to sharply increase. A new study shows that the same factors that influence suicide risk in civilian populations--including mental health problems and substance abuse--appear to play more of a role in military suicides than combat duty. But experts say the issue is far more complex than any single factor.
Amphibians are going extinct faster than any other class of organisms in human history. Experiments suggest that some species might be able to tolerate certain pesticides in the short run. Whether that could give them enough of a cushion to adapt over the long run remains to be seen.
Mounting research questions the safety and effectiveness of flame retardants used in consumer products. The chemicals are also used in the foam plastic insulation that improves energy efficiency in buildings. But a measure that just passed a Senate committee this week could pave the way for fire-safe, energy-efficient buildings without causing harm.
After more than 150 years on the California landscape, eucalyptus trees have iconic status for some Californians. But the stately trees may not only disrupt the native ecology, but seem to have evolved special adaptations that allow them to thrive after intense fires.
As conservation scientists struggle to stem the catastrophic loss of biodiversity, some synthetic biologists are working to bring extinct species back to life. Some believe it's the right thing to do to atone for driving species extinct. But many conservation biologists say it's far more important to save those still among us.
The past few years have seen the worst outbreaks of whooping cough since the pre-vaccine days. A recent study adds to other research suggesting that though the newer aceullar vaccines have fewer side effects than the old whole cell versions, they don't last as long.
In her new book Animal Wise, Virginia Morell challenges us to recognize the evolutionary roots of animal cognition and to see their rich intellectual and emotional capacities as shaped by natural selection.