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. Animals

    Bugs may have made us brainy

    Finding and eating bugs when other food was scarce helped primates — including our ancestors — evolve bigger and better brains. At least that’s the conclusion of a new study in Costa Rica.

  2. Animals

    Decoding bee dances

    Biologists have started eavesdropping on bees — or their dancing sign language — to identify where these buzzers prefer to forage. This info is pointing to which bee-friendly habitats may be most important to preserve.

  3. Animals

    Helping birds doctor their babies

    Darwin’s finches will soften their nests by weaving in fibers, such as stray bits of cotton. An observant biologist offered those birds some insecticide-treated cotton and the birds took it, which saved their young from deadly parasites.

  4. Animals

    Wild medicine

    Few veterinarians are available to treat sick animals in their natural environment. Fortunately, some critters can doctor themselves.

  5. Environment

    Unconventional spill

    An accidental spill of extra-heavy crude oil points to some unusual challenges in safely getting this petroleum to market.

  6. Animals

    Cool Jobs: Moved by life

  7. Agriculture

    Cool Jobs: Green Science

    In parts of the Arctic, entire forests are creeping northward. Luckily, ecologist Serge Payette is hot on their trail.

  8. Animals

    Cool Jobs: Museum science

  9. Tech

    Cool Jobs: Explosive pursuits

  10. Cool Jobs: Wild science

    Kathy Young at Toronto’s York University studies how water moves within Earth’s environment, from the air to deep underground.