Carolyn Wilke

Former Staff Writer, Science News for Students

Carolyn Wilke recently 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. Prior to working at Science News for Students, Carolyn 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Animals

    Here’s what bats ‘see’ when they explore the world with sound

    High-speed cameras, fancy microphones and slick software are helping scientists get the best look yet at what bats perceive through echolocation.

  4. Animals

    A wasp nibbled a baby bird for breakfast

    Scientists found an injured baby bird in a nest they were studying. The culprit wasn’t another bird or a reptile. It was a wasp.

  5. Environment

    Analyze This: Perfumes from everyday products collect in distant ice

    Common scent-bearing chemicals are trapped in ice cored from Europe’s tallest peak. Dig into the data to find a story behind that pollution.

  6. Animals

    Analyze This: Hurricanes may help lizards evolve better grips

    Lizards have larger toepads in areas that tend to have higher hurricane activity. This suggests high winds select for those that can hang tight.

  7. Fossils

    American crocs seem to descend from kin that crossed the Atlantic

    A fossil hints that early crocodiles crossed over from Africa, millions of years ago, to colonize a new land.

  8. Science & Society

    For teens, big problems may lead to meaningful research

    Several teens who competed at the Regeneron Science Talent Search applied their STEM know-how to solve problems they or their communities faced.

  9. Ecosystems

    Pooping ducks can shed the live eggs of fish

    Some carp eggs survived and even hatched after being pooped by a duck. This may help explain how invasive fish reach isolated waterways.

  10. Physics

    Shape-shifting cuts give shoes a better grip

    With pop-out structures inspired by kirigami and animals, a shoe sole goes from flat to spiky to boost friction on slippery surfaces such as ice.

  11. Physics

    A contrast between shadows and light can now generate electricity

    A new device exploits the contrast between bright spots and shade to produce a current that can power small electronics.

  12. Fossils

    Fossil stomach reveals a dinosaur’s last meal

    A rare fossilized stomach reveals a dino’s dining preferences. It also provides clues to the ecosystem in which the reptile lived.