Did you know that there’s a plant in the Namib Desert that relies solely on air moisture for water, yet lives for thousands of years? Or did you know that some toads are so eager to mate, they’ll hump anything that moves, including other males or frogs of a completely different species? Or did you know that the number one cause of mortality in three-toed sloths is climbing down from their leafy perches to poop?
Much as I’d love to keep talking about frog sex or sloth defecation, this is my portfolio website, so I need to tell you about myself. My name is Betsy Ladyzhets. Last spring, I graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University, where I studied English (with an official concentration in Creative Writing) and biology (with an unofficial concentration in Loving Trees). I use she/her pronouns. I currently work as a Research Associate at Stacker Media, based in Brooklyn, New York, and I am a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
I am passionate about finding connections between scientists and readers with all levels of scientific knowledge. To that end, I’ve sought to communicate science where science has not been communicated before. In my current position at Stacker, I launched and now manage the publication’s Science & Health vertical, which is producing unique, data-driven stories about everything from our warming climate to extinct plants. I additionally created the position of Science Editor and significantly increased science content at Bwog, a Columbia student news publication, when I was its Editor in Chief. And I wrote a research blog about my undergraduate senior thesis project in plant physiology to share information and stories from my time in the field; in spring 2019, I was named a Young Botanist of the Year by the Botanical Society of America for this research.
So far, the highlights of my burgeoning science communication career are attending the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting as a National Association of Science Writers Travel Fellow and finding out that my Avengers: Infinity War fanfiction helped one reader ace an intro biology exam.
I am actively seeking both opportunities to grow Stacker’s data-based science content and opportunities to grow my own writing and data journalism skills through freelance work. Outside of science and writing, most of my neural power is spent over-analyzing movie soundtracks, dreaming of Costco free samples, and mourning the fact that I never got to see Maynard Ferguson live in concert.
Thank you for your time. I love you.