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Katherine Wu

2018 AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow

Harvard University, Microbiology & Immunology
Fellowship Sponsor: TBA
Fellowship Site: Smithsonian Magazine

I’m an aspiring scientist, writer, and science writer, not necessarily in that order. As a fourth-year PhD student at Harvard University, I study how bacteria deal with stress so that I can one day learn to do the same. Although I started out as an English major in college, I quickly fell in love with science communication and outreach and never looked back. For the past two years, I’ve led Science in the News, a graduate student organization dedicated to making cutting edge science accessible to the general public and training student scientists to better communicate their work. I am also the Curriculum Director of the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP), an outreach program that mentors underserved and minority high school students from the greater Boston area. Even though I’m technically a microbiologist, I love writing about all things science, whether or not they have nuclei – in particular, the fascinating ways in which reproduction and gender dynamics play out across the animal kingdom (ask me about hyenas!). In my spare time, I serve as a heat-generating pillow for my cats and continue my quest to find the authentic tacos east of the Mississippi.

Fellowship publications at Smithsonian Magazine

6/12/2018        Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better

6/13/2018        Like Birds, Some Bats Warble to Woo Their Mates

6/15/2018        Eyes Wide Shut: What most people don’t know about sleep

6/21/2018        Operation Calamari: How the Smithsonian Got Its Giant Squids

6/22/2018        A Living Lump of Atoms: Looking at evolution through the lens of physics

6/22/2018        It's Pooches vs. Poachers in the Fight Against Wildlife Smugglers

6/26/2018        Why Bioluminescence Evolved to be Red Light, and Blue

6/28/2018        A Primer on the Zoo’s Possibly Pregnant Giant Panda

6/28/2018        Alternatives to Heterosexual Pairings, Brought to You By Non-Human Animals

6/28/2018        The Earliest Mammals Kept Their Cool With Descended Testicles

6/29/2018        A Mind of One’s Own: When it comes to brains, it’s surprisingly hard to figure out what counts as “normal”

7/02/2018        For His Patriotic Birthday, Five Facts About Calvin Coolidge

7/02/2018        The Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse Will Shroud the Moon This Month

7/02/2018        The National Zoo’s Golden Lion Tamarins Delight Curators with the Delivery of Twins

7/03/2018        Five Real Life Wasp Superpowers Not in Ant-Man and the Wasp

7/05/2018        How Artificial Ovaries Could Expand Fertility Options For Chemo Patients

7/05/2018        Giant Panda Mei Xiang Will Not Give Birth

7/09/2018        How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests

7/09/2018        How Tiny Trackers Could Help Humans Avoid Kissing Bugs’ Deadly Smooch

7/10/2018        Settling a Heated Debate—Do Zebra Stripes Keep These Animals Cool?

7/10/2018        New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx

7/11/2018        A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats

7/16/2018        This is Your Brain on Fatherhood

7/17/2018        How Fruit Flies Stay Young at Heart

7/17/2018        Homecoming King: The Nation’s T. rex Returns to the Smithsonian

7/18/2018        Both Mice and Men Struggle to Abandon Their Best-Laid Plans

7/18/2018        Combing Through the Fishy Origins of Human Hair

7/20/2018        It's Not Without Caws That Crows Desecrate Their Dead

7/23/2018        New Research Suggests Dr. Seuss Modeled the Lorax on This Real-Life Monkey

7/24/2018        Why the Most Helpful Dogs Keep Calm and Carry On

7/24/2018        A Jamestown Skeleton is Unearthed, but Only Time—and Science—will Reveal His True Identity

7/25/2018        Compelling Evidence Suggests There’s a Liquid Lake Beneath Mars’ Surface

7/26/2018        Dads Pass On More Than Genetics in Their Sperm

7/27/2018        To Pinpoint the Origin of a Fish, Check Out Its Physique

7/30/2018        At Nearly Four Months Old, the Zoo’s Youngest Gorilla Has Begun to Show His Rambunctious Roots

7/31/2018        How Dad’s Genes Can Prepare Mom for Parenthood

8/01/2018        Lemurs Smear Bugs on Their Privates to Ward Off Infection

8/01/2018        Death Valley Scorches Its Own Record for the Hottest Month in History

8/03/2018        The Real Science Behind the Megalodon

8/03/2018        The Other Amelia Earharts: Five daredevil women who led the way into the wild blue yonder

8/06/2018        Popcorn-Powered Robots? Get ’Em While They’re Hot!

8/06/2018        Koalas Use Ancient Viral DNA to Neutralize New Invaders

8/06/2018        Four Foals Join the Herd of Przewalski’s Horses at the Smithsonian

8/07/2018        Zebra Finches Dream a Little Dream of Melody

8/08/2018        Why This Year’s Perseid Meteor Shower Promises to Be Especially Dazzling

8/08/2018        What the Fox Genome Tells Us About Domestication

8/09/2018        Behind the Scenes With the Spacecraft That Will Soar Through the Sun’s Atmosphere

8/09/2018        The National Zoo’s Beloved, Aging Emu Has Died

8/13/2018        A Macaw Breeding Center Supplied Prehistoric Americans With Prized Plumage

8/14/2018        Cancer Is One Worry Elephants Can Feel Free to Forget

8/15/2018        See Shells of Sea Spuds on the Seashore

8/16/2018        Museum Curators Reflect on the Legacy of the Queen of Soul

8/16/2018        Oldest Cheese Ever Found in Egyptian Tomb

8/20/2018        Do Not Fear the Drones Air-Dropping 50,000 Mosquitoes From Above

8/21/2018        In the Quest for Universal Blood, Go With Your Gut

8/23/2018        Newly Discovered Turtle Ancestors Chomped With Beaks But Bore No Shells

8/23/2018        Like Humans, Some Birds Blush to Communicate

8/27/2018        For Men, Gains in the Gym May Come at a Cost to Sperm

8/28/2018        Pregnant Male Pipefish are the Sea’s Swaggery Swingers

9/04/2018        The Mysterious Origins of the Smallpox Vaccine