Mary Bates

Mary Bates

Mary is a freelance science writer and author who covers topics in the life and social sciences. Her writing for adults and children has been published in dozens of online and print publications. Mary earned a PhD from Brown University, where she researched bat echolocation and bullfrog chorusing. She’s currently based outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Follow her on Twitter @mebwriter and read her work on her website

Articles by Mary Bates
Thomas Clements dissects fish
Researchers Watch Fish Rot, for Science
Mary Bates | Mar 1, 2023 | 4 min read
Recording the pH within decaying organs for the first time, researchers come closer to understanding why some soft tissues are more likely to be preserved as fossils than others.
Male common fruit fly (Drosophila Melanogaster) - about 2 mm long - sitting on a blade of grass with green foliage background
The Sex Appeal of Symmetric Songs
Mary Bates | Aug 1, 2022 | 5 min read
Female fruit flies assess the physical symmetry of male suitors through the songs they sing, a study claims.
Photo of a Dwarf mongoose
Dwarf Mongooses Shun Bullies to Manage Conflict: Study
Mary Bates | Apr 4, 2022 | 5 min read
These social animals keep tabs on aggressive members of the group and groom them less after fights to punish them.
Saving the Hellbender, a Giant Salamander Under Threat
Mary Bates | Sep 1, 2019 | 4 min read
Populations of the two-foot-long amphibians are declining across North America. Scientists are struggling to find out why, before it’s too late.
Meet the Arachnid That May Add a New Chapter to the Book on Sensory Biology
Mary Bates | Dec 1, 2017 | 4 min read
The whip spider senses the world in weird and wonderful ways.
These Flies Hijack Frogsā€™ Love Calls
Mary Bates | Nov 1, 2017 | 5 min read
The phenomenon is one of the few examples of eavesdropping across the vertebrate/invertebrate barrier.
The Caterpillar that Cries Wolf
Mary Bates | Sep 22, 2017 | 3 min read
In a case of acoustic deception, caterpillars mimic bird alarm calls to defend themselves.
Jaws, Reconsidered
Mary Bates | Mar 1, 2014 | 3 min read
Biologist Jelle Atema is putting the sensory capabilities of sharks to the test—and finding that the truth is more fascinating than fiction.
Feeding Frenzy
Mary Bates | Feb 28, 2014 | 1 min read
Take a peek into the shark tank where Boston University biologist Jelle Atema is testing how well the fish actually smell.