Carolyn Wilke

Former Staff Writer, Science News for Students

Carolyn Wilke earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Northwestern University, where her research drew on the fields of environmental chemistry, materials science and toxicology. She got her start in science writing by blogging for HELIX, Northwestern’s science magazine and wrote as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow at The Sacramento Bee. Now a freelance science writer. Carolyn worked as a staff writer at Science News for Students and interned at Science News and The Scientist. When not delving into a new scientific discovery, you might find Carolyn behind her sewing machine or trying to amuse her cat. 

All Stories by Carolyn Wilke

  1. Materials Science

    Analyze This: Hardened wood can make sharp steak knives

    Researchers treated wood to make it hard and dense. Out of it, they carved sharp knives and nails that could substitute for ones made of steel.

  2. Animals

    Analyze This: Some female hummingbirds go undercover

    Some female white-necked jacobin hummingbirds boast bright blue colors similar to males. That may help females blend in to avoid attacks.

  3. Animals

    Analyze This: Sharks aren’t as scary as what you see on TV

    In Shark Week shows, scientists found mixed messages about sharks, insufficient research support and little info on conserving endangered animals.

  4. Ecosystems

    Analyze This: Invasive species cost the world billions each year

    A new study estimates that invasive species have cost the world more than $1 trillion since 1970. That’s almost certainly an underestimate.

  5. Fossils

    An ancient hippo-sized reptile may have been a speedy beast

    An Anteosaurus was a hefty reptile with a large snout. Its fossil skull hints that it may have moved fast for its time.

  6. Animals

    Analyze This: Cows burp less methane after early-life treatment

    Calves that receive the 14-week treatment belch less of the greenhouse gas, possibly due to shifts in their gut microbes.

  7. Animals

    Analyze This: Some dogs quickly learn new words

    Two dogs picked up new words after hearing them a few times during play, but 20 other pets didn’t fare so well at learning the names of new toys.

  8. Climate

    Analyze This: 2020 ties with 2016 for hottest year on record

    Last year capped the warmest decade on record. It coincided with a growing increase of warming greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.

  9. Environment

    Analyze this: Microplastics are showing up in Mount Everest’s snow

    Microplastics have made their way to the snow on Earth’s tallest peak. Most of the plastic likely comes from climbers’ equipment and clothes.

  10. Oceans

    Analyze This: Shipwrecks provide a home for bottom-dwelling fish

    Fish have found a habitat in a submarine and freighter that sunk to the seafloor during World War II.

  11. Animals

    Analyze This: Ropes restore a gibbon highway through a rainforest

    When endangered Hainan gibbons started making risky leaps across an area mowed down by a landslide, researchers provided them a rope bridge.

  12. Materials Science

    Analyze This: Insect shells could help builders on Mars

    When mixed with rocky soil, a compound called chitin makes a strong material. It could be pulled from the shells of insects used for food.