Sharon Oosthoek

Freelance Writer

Sharon Oosthoek is a freelance science journalist who lives in Toronto, Canada. She has written about how bed bugs have favorite colors, why your shoelaces untie themselves and how chicken cologne can protect you from malaria.


She likes writing for young readers. They ask good questions, like how do scientists know the Earth is warming?


Sharon also writes for adults. Her articles have appeared in New Scientist, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and Chemical & Engineering News. She is the winner of an American Academy for the Advancement of Science Kavli Science Journalism Award for children’s science writing.

All Stories by Sharon Oosthoek

  1. Health & Medicine

    Is your home chilly? This might just be healthy

    Feeling mildly cold (or a bit too warm) forces the body to adjust what it’s doing to maintain a healthy temperature. And that can do a body good, data now show.

  2. Life

    Weird mega-worm found to have odd diet

    Giant shipworms have bacteria in their gills that produce food for them. This has made their digestive organs shrink from lack of use.

  3. Physics

    Why your shoelaces untie themselves

    High-speed video shows how the combined motions of a shoe’s swinging and landing on the ground provoke shoelaces to come untied.

  4. Animals

    These killer whales exhale sickening germs

    A group of endangered killer whales are exhaling disease-causing germs. Researchers worry these microbes could make the animals sick.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Active teens build strong bones for life

    Adult bones develop much of their strength during adolescence. That’s why teens should stay active with running, jumping and other weight-bearing exercises, a new study finds.

  6. Life

    Cities drive animals and plants to evolve

    Biologists are finding that some species have used genetic changes to evolve — adapt — to the pollution and other stressors that they encounter in cities.

  7. Oceans

    Deep-sea dump: Trash is collecting on the Arctic seafloor

    Trash is building up on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, including plastic bags, glass shards and fishing nets.

  8. Ecosystems

    Under blanket of ice, lakes teem with life

    Life under frozen lakes is vibrant, complex and surprisingly active, new research finds. In fact, some plants and animals can only live under the ice. But with climate change, will that continue?

  9. Environment

    Cleaner water helps male fish again look and act like guys

    Water pollution can give male fish female traits — such as the ability to make eggs. And that’s not a good thing. Better water treatment may prevent that, data now show.

  10. Oceans

    Deep-sea mining could imperil rare, ghostlike octopus

    A newly discovered octopus lays its eggs in a dangerous spot: where companies are looking to mine valuable metals for use in cell phones and computers.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Outdoor time is good for your eyes

    Being outdoors exposes children to bright light that can be good for their eyes. Spending just one extra daylight hour outdoors each week can substantially lower their chance of becoming nearsighted, a study finds.

  12. Tech

    Fingers leave tell-tale clues about you on your phone

    Analyzing chemicals on a cell phone tells researchers what the caller had been up to. That includes recent meals and where they'd been.