Writing portfolio

Ongoing contributions to The Molecular Ecologist and on Medium. See also my scientific publications.

Dispatches from the redwood rebellion — Review of Lyndsie Bourgon’s Tree Thieves, for Science.

We’ll have to sacrifice Joshua trees to save them — Op-ed on Joshua tree conservation needs and policy solutions, with Christopher I. Smith and Cameron W. Barrows, for the Los Angeles Times.

Getting to the root of forest symbioses — Review of Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree, for Science.

A new age of gay genomics is here. Are we ready for the consequences? for Slate — Reporting on the first large-scale genomic study of sexual orientation, by Ganna et al., and reflections on the risks inherent in this line of research

Let the mystery be? for Slate — Essay on what we could learn from the genes that underlie sexual orientation, and the risks that come with that knowledge

Provident on Medium — Recalling my first summer job, in a Christian bookstore

My graduate advisor: What did he see in me? — Thoughts on establishing the mentor-student relationship, for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Against ecological triage, for the Los Angeles Review of Books — Considering the tensions between practicality and inspiration in conservation advocacy

I found a tenure-track job. Here’s what it took. — A breakdown of the numbers for my time on the academic job market, for Chronicle Vitae.

The March for Science shows how bad scientists are at politics and A scientist’s journal from the March for Science in Washington, DC, for The Stranger — Thoughts and experiences around the 2017 March for Science

A lab of her own, for the Los Angeles Review of Books — Reflecting on the development of scientific careers in the modern era

Gay and in STEM Fields — Letter to the editor, with Allison Mattheis, in the New York Times

Call of the rewild, for The Awl — Review of How to Clone a Mammoth, and the motivations behind the movement to re-create ecological communities that existed before human settlement of the Americas

Coming out Darwinian. Is it time to rewrite the story of sex? for This View of Life — On the role of stories in scientific reasoning, and scientists’ responsibility to consider their consequences

Evolution between the sofa cushions, for the Los Angeles Review of Books — On evolutionary changes in response to human activities

Cluster-struck, for the Los Angeles Review of Books — Review of A Troublesome Inheritance, debunking the books’ argument for meaningful biological differences among human races

The intelligent homosexual’s guide to natural selection and evolution, with a key to many complicating factors, for the Scientific American guest blog; collected in The Best Science Writing Online 2012.


J.B.S. Haldane and the case of the revivified head, on Denim and Tweed; collected in The Open Laboratory 2010: The Best of Science Writing on the Web.

Ecological Opportunity: The seed of evolutionary change in your backyard—and in your veins, for the Scientific American guest blog.

Dudes, did you see the library they’ve got here? for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.