Rowena Rae

Rowena Rae headshot

Rowena is a Canadian author who writes science, health and nature related books. After earning two degrees in biology and working as a field biologist, she returned to school to earn a master’s degree (MA) in science writing. She worked at a government ministry focused on the environment before deciding to become a freelance, full-time science writer and biology consultant. 

How did you first become interested in science? 

When I was a kid, my mother brought home an old microscope from her work—she was a doctor in a microbiology lab at a hospital. She showed me how to mount something on a slide under a coverslip and then how to use the eyepiece and focus on the specimen. It was so cool! I examined all kinds of things, mostly from our garden and kitchen.

What was your favorite science class?

Definitely biology. I loved nature, and I liked learning about plants and animals and how they worked. I liked drawing, too, and there’s a definite part of biology that involves drawing what you’re observing. I also enjoyed working with Punnett squares in genetics: so much fun!

What advice do you have for students interested in a STEM career? 

Be curious, ask lots of questions, and read as much as you can from all sorts of sources and by all sorts of people. Also keep an open mind—you might start down one path and then get interested in another. That’s totally OK. 

What is your favorite part of your job? 

I don’t have a single favorite part. I love lots of things about being a science writer and author. I get to learn new things, talk to fascinating people, read a lot, and write stuff. As a freelancer, I can often choose what topics I want to work on next, especially when it comes to pitching ideas to my book editor and publisher. Being a freelancer means having to be super disciplined about getting my work done—it’s pretty much up to me when and where I work. This can be tough sometimes, but it’s worth it for the flexibility my job gives me and the freedom to explore information and ideas. 

Learn more about Rowena and check out the books she has written.