Viviane Callier

Viviane Callier

Viviane was a Churchill Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she studied early tetrapods. Her PhD at Duke University focused on the role of oxygen in insect body size regulation. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Arizona State University, she became a science writer for federal agencies in the Washington, DC area. Now, she freelances from San Antonio, Texas.

Articles by Viviane Callier
Brown-red ants climb over a pile of white translucent larvae and orange pupae. Some use their mandibles to position the larvae.
Ant Pupae Feed Adults, Larvae with Secreted Liquid 
Viviane Callier | Nov 30, 2022 | 4 min read
The molting fluid of ant pupae functions as “metabolic currency” in the ant colony and may have enabled the evolution of eusociality. 
Close up of ant mandible
Science Snapshot: The Need for Speed
Viviane Callier | Aug 4, 2022 | 1 min read
Understanding the biomechanics of the trap-jaw ant could help humans build better, faster robots.
Microscopy image of a cricket embryo, illuminated in green, pinched near one end, with one side full of bright green dots representing cell nuclei
How Wandering Nuclei Shape Developing Embryos
Viviane Callier | Jul 29, 2022 | 3 min read
As cricket blastoderms form, cell nuclei are pulled into an egg’s remaining empty space to form the new cell layers that will shape the developing animal.
Antibiotic resistant bacteria inside a biofilm, 3D illustration. Biofilm is a community of bacteria where they aquire antibiotic resistance and communicate with each other by quorum sensing molecules
How a Bacterium Manages to Reproduce During Famine
Viviane Callier | Jul 18, 2022 | 3 min read
When Caulobacter crescentus finds itself in a nutrient-poor environment, it clusters an enzyme necessary for cell division thanks to a physical phenomenon known as phase separation so it can make better use of dwindling fuel.
Caulobacter crescentus, concentrating DivJ
Infographic: Nutrient Scarcity Drives Phase Separation in Bacteria
Viviane Callier | Jul 18, 2022 | 1 min read
When the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus runs low on fuel, it can still replicate by clustering its remaining ATP around the cell division enzyme DivJ.
Wild water striders (Microvelia longipes) on a puddle. The animals with long third legs are the males; the others are females.
A Multipurpose Gene Facilitates the Evolution of an Animal Weapon
Viviane Callier | May 11, 2021 | 4 min read
A single gene called BMP11 regulates not only the size and proportions of a water strider’s massively long third legs, but also how it uses the limbs in fights.
Updated Dec 21
mentor gender bias stem science citation index publications women
Paper Recommends Women Avoid Female Mentors, Drawing Outrage
Viviane Callier | Nov 24, 2020 | 6 min read
A study makes policy recommendations to optimize citations, but critics say it fails to acknowledge that citations are a biased and narrow measure of scientific success.
Newly Found Proteins Stop Fungal “Bleeding”
Viviane Callier | Nov 12, 2020 | 3 min read
Mechanically sensitive proteins called gellins sense and respond to protoplasm flowing out of severed hyphae, quickly sealing up injuries in these root-like structures of fungi.
mosquito compound eye nanostructure water repellent insect
Insects Showcase Unexpected Ways to Make Water-Repellent Surfaces
Viviane Callier | Jul 17, 2020 | 4 min read
The intersection between water, air, and insects’ intricately decorated surfaces turn out to be the key to explain why droplets bounce so quickly off of them.
How a Pea Aphid Decides to Make Wings or Not
Viviane Callier | Jun 1, 2020 | 2 min read
Wing development in females is environmentally controlled, but in males, an insertion on the sex chromosome appears to dictate whether the insects grow wings, according to a study.