Carolyn Wilke

Carolyn Wilke

Carolyn Wilke is a freelance science journalist and former staff writer at Science News for Students. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Northwestern University, where she studied how light plays into the chemistry and toxicity of different types of nanoparticles under environmental conditions. Her experience as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow at The Sacramento Bee convinced her to leave the lab to write about science instead. Carolyn is a former Science News intern and has also reported on the life sciences for The Scientist. She enjoys writing about materials science, chemistry, microbiology and all things related to the environment.

All Stories by Carolyn Wilke

  1. Life

    Big and bold wasp queens may create more successful colonies

    A paper wasp queen’s personality and body size could help predict whether the nest she has founded will thrive.

  2. person reading

    Imaging scans show where symbols turn to letters in the brain

    Scientists watched brain activity in a region where reading takes root, and saw a hierarchy of areas that give symbols both sound and meaning.

  3. Asian carp jumping

    A mussel poop diet could fuel invasive carp’s spread across Lake Michigan

    Asian carp, just a human-made waterway away from reaching Lake Michigan, could live in much more of the lake than previously thought.

  4. New Delhi water line

    One in 4 people lives in places at high risk of running out of water

    An update to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas reveals that 17 countries withdraw more than 80 percent of water available yearly.

  5. skunk

    A fungus makes a chemical that neutralizes the stench of skunk spray

    A compound produced by fungi reacts with skunk spray to form residues that aren’t offensive to the nose and can be more easily washed away.

  6. Fenrow Experimental Forest

    Decades of dumping acid suggest acid rain may make trees thirstier

    Acidified soil loses calcium, which can affect trees’ ability to hang on to water.

  7. hydra

    Mapping how the ‘immortal’ hydra regrows cells may demystify regeneration

    In the continually regenerating hydra, fluorescent markers help researchers track stem cells on the way to their cellular fate.

  8. mimic poison frog

    A frog study may point to where parenting begins in the brain

    Two brain regions, including one active in mammal parents, lit up with activity in both male and female poison frogs when caring for their tadpoles.

  9. zombie ant

    A deadly fungus gives ‘zombie’ ants a case of lockjaw

    Clues left on infected ant jaws may reveal how the ‘zombie-ant-fungus’ contracts ant muscles to make their death grip.

  10. Noctilucent clouds

    Night-shining ‘noctilucent’ clouds have crept south this summer

    Clouds high in the atmosphere that catch the sun’s rays even after sundown may be seen farther from the poles due to an increase in moisture in the air.

  11. right whales

    Southern right whale moms and calves may whisper to evade orcas

    Mother-calf whale pairs call to each other quietly to stay in touch while avoiding attracting the attention of predators, a study suggests.

  12. smoke stacks

    CO2 emissions are on track to take us beyond 1.5 degrees of global warming

    Current and planned infrastructure will exceed the level of emissions that would keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new analysis finds.