About Ashley J. Yeager

I am a writer, editor and multimedia producer, focusing on science and travel. Currently, I am the associate news editor at Science News and have worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

Selected works

I am particularly drawn to stories that explore the depths of space, the intricacies of the human body, as well as weird and wacky animals, like tardigrades and super-tough bacteria. My writing has appeared in Science News, The Scientist, Science News for Students, Nature, Sky & Telescope, The Washington Post, Quanta, Knowable, and Hana Hou!, the in-flight magazine of Hawaiian Airlines.

Rosetta readies for its close rendezvous with a comet

Science News

Back in 2014, a spacecraft called Rosetta sidled up to a comet and pushed a robotic lander off its back. That lander, Philae, was the first to set foot on a comet. This piece explores just what a feat that was, since comets and other small space rocks have much less gravity than planets or moons, and it captures just what scientists were after in sending a robot to probe 67P, one of the oldest, most pristine relics of the early solar system.

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Discoveries Fuel Fight Over Universe’s First Light


Not long after the Big Bang, all went dark. The hydrogen gas that pervaded the early universe would have snuffed out the light of the universe’s first stars and galaxies. A series of observations at the very edge of the universe, detailed in this story, has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.

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Human Fetuses Can Contract SARS-CoV-2, but It’s Rare

The Scientist

Compared with Zika and cytomegalovirus, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, appears to have a harder time penetrating the placenta and moving to a woman’s unborn baby. A year into the pandemic, researchers were racing to figure how the virus affects unborn babies. This story looks at what they had learned and what they were still trying to find out.

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Steps to End “Colonial Science” Slowly Take Shape

The Scientist

You wouldn't think whale poop could have much to do with colonial thinking, but a story about studying it serves as an example of how researchers aren’t often explicitly aware of overarching colonialist attitudes in science. This piece looks at specific steps scientists can take to decolonize science.

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After disaster strikes, science often benefits

The Washington Post

Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires. These and other natural disasters regularly make headlines. While gripping tales of loss and heroism rightly fill the news during these events, another story quietly unfolds. These are the natural laboratories of some scientists working tirelessly to quickly gather data in the midst of such chaos, as well as for years afterward, to make rescue­, recovery and resilience possible in future crises. This story chronicles some of those efforts.

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Bumpy air boosts wind power

Knowable Magazine

To ensure the future success of wind farms, researchers need a good grasp of how air twists and turns around each turbine, how it flows through the entire farm and even how one wind farm affects another one sitting, well, downwind. This story explores the science of studying wind turbines' effects on air.

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