Life sciences writer Susan Milius has been writing about botany, zoology and ecology for Science News since the last millennium. She worked at diverse publications before breaking into science writing and editing. After stints on the staffs of The Scientist, Science, International Wildlife and United Press International, she joined Science News. Three of Susan's articles have been selected to appear in editions of The Best American Science Writing.

All Stories by Susan Milius

  1. black coucal

    Parenting chores cut into how much these bird dads fool around

    Frantic parenting demands after eggs hatch curtail male black coucals’ philandering excursions the most, a study finds.

  2. mosquito
    Health & Medicine

    Testing mosquito pee could help track the spread of diseases

    A new way to monitor the viruses that wild mosquitoes are spreading passes its first outdoor test.

  3. Silverleaf whiteflies

    A major crop pest can make tomato plants lie to their neighbors

    Insects called silverleaf whiteflies exploit tomatoes’ ability to detect damage caused to nearby plants.

  4. mosquito

    Geneticists close in on how mosquitoes sniff out human sweat

    A long-sought protein proves vital for mosquitoes’ ability to detect lactic acid, a great clue for finding a human.

  5. male bee

    The first male bees spotted babysitting are mostly stepdads

    Some male bees guard young that are likely not their own while mom looks for pollen, a study finds.

  6. black bear eating trash

    Bears that eat ‘junk food’ may hibernate less and age faster

    Wild black bears snacking on leftovers of sugary, highly processed foods in Colorado show possible signs of faster cellular wear.

  7. greater ani bird

    This parasitic cuckoo bird shows cheaters don’t always get ahead

    Birds called greater anis that can slip extra eggs into other nests create a natural test of the benefits of honest parenting.

  8. House fly

    Climate change could increase foodborne illness by energizing flies

    Warmer, more lively house flies could spread more Campylobacter bacteria by landing on more food.

  9. joshua tree

    Shutdown aside, Joshua trees live an odd life

    Growing only in the U.S. Southwest, wild Joshua trees evolved a rare, fussy pollination scheme.

  10. black soldier fly larva

    How black soldier fly larvae can demolish a pizza so fast

    When gorging together, fly larvae create a living fountain that whooshes slowpokes up and away.

  11. swamp sparrow

    Male birds’ sexy songs may not advertise their brains after all

    A biologist backs off an idea he studied for years that the mastery of birdsong is a sign of bird smarts.

  12. honeybee with a Varroa destructor mite

    This honeybee parasite may be more of a fat stealer than a bloodsucker

    Inventing decoy bee larvae prompts a back-to-basics rethink of a mite ominously named Varroa destructor.