Elsa Youngsteadt is an entomologist and science writer based in Raleigh, NC. As an assistant professor of applied ecology at NC State University, she works at the interface of urbanization and climate change to understand ecological responses to anthropogenic stressors, especially among plants and insects.

Other past and ongoing work addresses the reproductive ecology of rare plants, including the Venus flytrap. Her PhD research, also at NC State, focused on chemical communication between ants and seeds in Neotropical ant gardens. There’s more about these and related projects on the research page.

Her science writing has appeared in Science, PRI’s The World, and other publications. She has written about topics from composting with worms to simulating space junk with giant gas guns, and currently edits the book review section for American Entomologist.

Elsa also likes long runs in the woods, motorcycles, and gardening. She and her husband, Skinny, keep a yard full of vegetables, chickens, native plants, and wild bees, and they take care of a handsome, well-educated cat named Babou.