|I like this picture because it is from a trip|
to Yellowstone, it includes my youngest son,
and my legs look sorta skinny.
The business of my life has been writing and science. My work as a research scientist has led me to many cool things, including ultrasound and surgery on a spotted hyena, plastic casting of the inside of the mammalian penis, chasing tiny blazing-fast lizards around in the desert, and innumerable activities involving gonads. My work as a writer has done the same, from stories about the black bears of Big Bend to one of my all-time favorites, a piece on zombie grasshoppers. There are hundreds of adventures in between, and I wouldn't trade in the science or the writing for anything else.
I have been a dedicated writer since about 1972 and engaged in doing science since 1996. My background, as I say in cover letters, includes a bachelor's degree in English and a PhD in biological sciences, both from The University of Texas at Austin, with a completed postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric urology at the University of California, San Francisco. Throughout, my focus was vertebrate development and genetics, specifically how gonads and penises develop and how the brain might be involved. Talking about my work has always carried a frisson of the risque.
Every day, in addition to being a research scientist, I combine my degrees by writing about science or editing science writing. I'm also am a university instructor and have taught biology (developmental bio, physiology, genetics, general bio, physics, and chemistry) to thousands of university students in Texas and California, and language arts to a younger crowd. I've worked the health, science, and medicine news beats for a local paper and online health sites, writing hundreds of pieces, and written features for newspapers and magazines. You can find my work at places like the New York Times, Scientific American, Slate, and Discover. My deep past includes serving as a public affairs officer, writer, editor, and media campaign manager at a large state agency for four years, where we produced a 16-page tabloid newspaper for the department's 26,000 employees, and interning at Texas Monthly Magazine. You can find the books that feature my writing listed here, some of my writing samples here, and my ongoing writing and editing gigs here.
Conflict of interest statement: I have no fiscally related conflict of interest to declare relative to vaccines, pharmaceuticals, GMOs, global climate change, autism, parenting, or feminism. I have COIs for autism, parenting, and feminism in that I am a human with children and part of the autism community. I fully and completely declare that my sole overriding interest is presenting accurate, evidence-based information.