Elsa Youngsteadt is an entomologist science writer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a research associate in the lab of Clyde Sorenson at North Carolina State University, she studies the reproductive ecology of rare and endangered plants in North Carolina.

She also works with Steve Frank’s lab on the effects of climate and urbanization on plant-insect interactions. 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.