Hannah Waters
freelance writer
My writing on science and the environment has been published by National Geographic, Audubon, Slate, Smithsonian, Hakai and Vice Motherboard. Read selected recent work below.

The House Wren: The Unjustly Accused


Audubon — In the 1920s, ornithologist Althea Sherman was horrified to find House Wrens poking holes in the eggs of their neighbors. But is the bird a “demon,” as she claimed?

Bird CSI: A Loon, a Swollen Spleen, and a Mysterious Disease


Audubon — Pathologists documented the first death of a loon in New England from avian malaria. Here’s how they got from corpse to diagnosis.

Deadly Brain Disease Is Driving Swamp Birds Insane


National Geographic — A mysterious disease has been killing ducks and eagles in Florida’s wetlands, and endangered snail kites may be its next victims.

There’s Still Hope for the Great Barrier Reef


Slate — Fixing climate change isn’t the only thing we can do to help the reef recover.

How to Prevent the Next Extinction


Audubon — In the past 40 years, Carl Jones saved nine species from going extinct. Now he’s sharing his methods so that others can follow suit.

Tensions Rise As Florida’s Fresh Water Grows Scarcer


Audubon — Saltwater seeping from a nuclear power plant underscores the need to restore the Everglades’ natural water flow.

Darwin’s Cage Match


Hakai — In the Australian outback, researchers are pitting small endangered marsupials against feral cats to see if they can force evolution’s hand.

Storks Are Skipping Migration to Stay Home and Eat Garbage


Audubon — It’s hard to blame the birds for choosing junk food in human cities and landfills over thousand-kilometer flights. But will it hurt them in the long run?

A Shot of Lime


Hakai — Lime juice is a cheap and easy way to exterminate crown-of-thorns starfish.

Should the World Have a Strategic Dawn Detergent Reserve?


Hakai — Dawn is heralded as the best detergent for cleaning oiled wildlife. But in most countries, you can’t buy it at the store.

Climate Change May Swallow Albatross’ Nesting Grounds Sooner Than We Thought


Audubon — Bigger storms caused by rising seas will flood seabird nests long before their colonies are actually submerged—and albatrosses may be too stubborn to adapt.

The Ocean’s Laboratory


Hakai — Where the Red and Arabian Seas meet the Indian Ocean, coral reef fish interbreed at the world’s hybrid hotspot.