I was first exposed to the natural world in the city’s forest preserves and museums, and I fell in love with the written word in its public schools and libraries. In the early aughts I was writing and performing spoken word poetry around the city when a professor at Harold Washington College resolved to interest me in the life sciences. He succeeded, and I got a B.S. in Biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I spent a few years in research after graduating: I monitored invasive plants’ takeover of lakeshore dunes, investigated the spread of hospital-acquired infections, and peered into the brains of finches to find the genetic pathways involved in learning how to sing. I’ve been writing about science, health, and the environment since 2015. In the spring of 2018 I was a journalism intern at The Scientist. Since September, I’ve been a science writing intern at Fermilab.