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Christie Wilcox, PhD

Christie is a senior editor with The Scientist, editing the magazine’s News & Opinion articles. She was a well-established science blogger and writer when she was awarded a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology with a specialization in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Hawai‘i in 2014 for her research on the genetics of lionfishes. A short two years later, she published her debut book Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry, which received widespread acclaim, and after that, she fully left academia behind and established herself as a science writer and editor. She frequently covers stories in the fields of evolutionary biology, ecology, zoology, genetics, and molecular biology. She joined The Scientist in 2021 as newsletter editor and is a member of the Author’s Guild, the Northwest Science Writers Association, and the National Association of Science Writers. She is currently based on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Articles by Christie Wilcox, PhD
composite of images from favorite posts
Our Favorite Genetics Stories of 2022
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 22, 2022 | 4 min read
This year’s stories highlight the expanding versatility of genetic techniques and the increasing utility of such research in all life science fields.
A fishing cat with a fish in its mouth
Genome Spotlight: Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Dec 22, 2022 | 5 min read
A high-quality reference genome for this vulnerable feline may help scientists understand why they’re so prone to transitional cell carcinoma in captivity.
A lobed leaf next to a rounded leaf, both from the same Boquila trifoliolata vine
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 30, 2022 | 10+ min read
A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.
A Nile rat sitting atop fruits
Genome Spotlight: Nile Rat (Avicanthis niloticus)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 23, 2022 | 4 min read
A reference sequence for this emerging model organism will facilitate research on type 2 diabetes and the health effects of circadian rhythm disruption.
A tetraplegic patient navigates a thought-controlled wheelchair
Tetraplegic Patients Take Mind-Controlled Wheelchair for a Spin
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 18, 2022 | 2 min read
The mobility device interprets its paralyzed user’s thoughts to steer through cluttered spaces, a study reports.
Primatologists Judith Masters and Fabien Génin
Primatologist Pair Murdered in South African Home
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 16, 2022 | 3 min read
Judith Masters and Fabien Génin had both recently retired from the University of Fort Hare after celebrated careers researching lemurs and their kin.
Paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill sitting next to museum collection bones
New NAS Awards Honor Science Communication in “Post-Truth World”
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 7 min read
The Scientist speaks with paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill, who won one of the 24 awards recognizing efforts to communicate scientific issues to the general public.
A tropical angelfish 
Genome Spotlight: Freshwater Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 27, 2022 | 4 min read
A high school student uses crowdfunding to produce the first genome assembly for this popular aquarium species, underscoring the increasing feasibility of whole-genome sequencing.
Microscope visualization of Candida albicans in an esophageal sample from a rhesus monkey with thrush
Fungal Pathogens Flourish in the Pandemic’s Shadow
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 25, 2022 | 3 min read
The World Health Organization’s first ever fungal priority pathogens list highlights the growing threat of fungal diseases and antifungal resistance.
A dead northern gannet (Morus bassanus) on a beach
Unprecedented Avian Flu Epidemic Could Presage Year-Round Outbreaks
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Oct 4, 2022 | 2 min read
Nearly 50 million birds have been culled amid efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which continues to ravage the Northern Hemisphere.
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