I am happy to announce the winner of our Fall 2012 Reader’s Choice Award – Teresa Lee for her outstanding feature “Manipulative Microbes”. I had the pleasure of chatting with Teresa over coffee about zombie organisms, sensationalism, crazy cat men.
SL: Thanks again for chatting with me and congratulations.
TL: Thank you! It’s my pleasure.
SL: So, one of my favorite things about “Manipulative Microbes” was that you draw in the reader with these gruesome examples of microbes leading higher organisms to their demise. Did you set out to focus on these examples of “zombification”?
TL: Well, the impetus for the story came from a seminar I took with [Professor] Mike Eisen. I had read about these funguses that prey on ants and make them do crazy things, but in taking the course, I really began to understand how widespread this phenomenon is. So, I definitely wanted the story to include some bits about real-world zombies but I realized I could bring it back and be more personal to the readership.
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