Elizabeth Svoboda

Contributing Writer

ecology

Cores From Coral Reefs Hold Secrets of the Seas’ Past and Future

Layered deposits of coral skeletons hold vast stores of environmental data from thousands of years ago, including annual records of ocean temperatures, water pollution and storm activity.

Short term VS Long term memory illustration
neuroscience

Light-Triggered Genes Reveal the Hidden Workings of Memory

Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa’s lab is overturning old assumptions about how memories form, how recall works and whether lost memories might be restored from “silent engrams.”

evolution

Can Microbes Encourage Altruism?

If gut bacteria can sway their hosts to be selfless, it could answer a riddle that goes back to Darwin.

Marcus Feldman in his office at Stanford University, CA
Q&A

Finding the Actions That Alter Evolution

The biologist Marcus Feldman creates mathematical models that reveal how cultural traditions can affect the evolution of a species.

microbes

Below Our Feet, a World of Hidden Life

The soil teems with billions of hidden microbes. Researchers have begun to catalog how these organisms are changing the world.

About the author

Elizabeth Svoboda is a science writer in San Jose, California, and the author of What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness. She also contributes to magazines including Discover, Newsweek, Aeon, and Nautilus.