I’m from Chicago, where rich literary traditions are as vital to the city’s character as are urban green spaces. Growing up here led me to studying ecology, drawn to the field as much by its empiricism as its poetry. In my research career, I studied how urban development affects migratory birds, surveyed the Chicago River for E. coli levels, investigated hospital-acquired infections, and peered into the brains of finches to determine how they learn song. All the while I was writing about science. I’ve been reporting full-time on climate change, sustainability, and clinical research since 2012.