Sharon Oosthoek

Freelance Writer

Sharon Oosthoek is a freelance science journalist who lives in Toronto, Canada. She has written about how bed bugs have favorite colors, why your shoelaces untie themselves and how chicken cologne can protect you from malaria.


She likes writing for young readers. They ask good questions, like how do scientists know the Earth is warming?


Sharon also writes for adults. Her articles have appeared in New Scientist, Canadian Geographic, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and Chemical & Engineering News. She is the winner of an American Academy for the Advancement of Science Kavli Science Journalism Award for children’s science writing.

All Stories by Sharon Oosthoek

  1. Health & Medicine

    Tiny vest could help sick babies breathe easier

    A new invention helps sick babies breathe easier. It looks like a tiny lifejacket and it avoids the mask and tubes that get in the way of breastfeeding.

  2. Earth

    Americans consume some 70,000 microplastic particles a year

    The average American consumes more than 70,000 microplastic particles a year. Scientists hope this estimate will spur others to look at health risks.

  3. Environment

    City living makes trees grow fast but die young

    Many cities plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide. But city trees grow fast and die young, which means they absorb less carbon dioxide than forest trees do.

  4. Plants

    Rare-plant hunters race against time to save at-risk species

    One in five plants is at risk of extinction. Meet the rare plant hunters who rappel down cliffs and trek through forests to save them.

  5. Environment

    Microplastics take flight in the bellies of mosquitoes

    In polluted water, mosquito larvae may eat microplastic — and it will stay in their bodies as they grow. That might pose risks to skeeter-eating birds.

  6. Environment

    ‘Boot camp’ teaches rare animals how to go wild

    Animals raised in captivity cannot safely re-enter the wilds without first understanding how to find food and avoid becoming a predator’s lunch. Scientists are helping some species learn this.

  7. Environment

    Plastic taints most bottled water, study finds

    Tiny bits of plastic contaminated nearly every tested sample of bottled water from nine countries. Whether ingesting the plastic might pose some risk remains unknown.

  8. Environment

    Fish get pooped living in polluted water

    Living in polluted water can tire fish out, a new study finds. This can make it harder for them to find food and avoid being eaten, themselves, by predators.

  9. Agriculture

    New ‘tattoo’ could lead to drought-tolerant crops

    Scientists create stick-on 'plant tattoo.' It measures how efficiently crops use water, a key to better identifying breeding stock for more drought-resistant crops.

  10. Brain

    Woodpecker brains host protein linked with human brain damage

    Woodpeckers peck with a force great enough to give people concussions. Now a study shows that birds, too, may suffer some brain damage.

  11. Climate

    Climate change threatens future Winter Olympics

    Higher temperatures, less snow mean many former Winter Olympics sites soon will no longer qualify to host future games, concludes a new analysis.

  12. Brain

    Trading smartphone time for sleep? Your loss

    A new study shows more and more teenagers are hanging out on devices when they should be catching ZZZs, putting their health at risk.