Mary Alexandra Agner

Mary Alexandra Agner

I'm a freelance writer.

I've worked with Argonne National Lab, Muse, Sky & Telescope, and others. Member NASW, NESW, Broad Universe, VPXX.

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Improving the Development of New Materials for Nuclear Energy | Advanced Photon Source

Highlight summarizing the research discussed in "MeV per nucleon ion irradiation of nuclear materials with high energy synchrotron X-ray characterization," J. Nucl. Mat. 471, 266 (2016).

Musep16feb2017issue article

Muse February 2017 Science@Work Valerie L. Buxton Behavioral Ecologist

Met Valerie L. Buxton, park ranger turned frog wrangler. Buxton began her biology career as a kid collecting caterpillars and chasing butterflies. ... Here she shares how tips on how to make a recording of a Cope's gray tree frog calling---and how to use it for conservation.

Pollachius pollachius aquarium article

"Frozen Fish Stick Blues" in the April 2016 issue of ChemMatters

I am indebted to Dr. Roxane Karimi, Dr. Celia Chen, Dr. Stephen Koch, Dr. Jessica Polka, and Dr. Arthur Carty for jumpstarting my research for this story.
This photograph © Citron / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Blue mussel mytilus edulis article

"Stuck on You" in the February 2016 issue of ChemMatters

Many thanks to Dr. Jian Yang for his help with one of the sidebars in this story.
Photo used here by Andreas Trepte,

Sculpting Science in Polu Texni

Mara Haseltine leans over the side of the boat as she lowers the weighted net into the Seine. Haseltine is fishing for plankton...

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Muse January 2016 Science@Work: Helen Scales Marine Biologist

Meet Dr. Helen Scales— deep-sea diver, author, and seashell whisperer. She visits ocean animals in their native habitats and tells their stories.
Here she shares secrets about the hidden lives of seashells.

Hidden Carbon in the Earth's Core | Advanced Photon Source

Highlight summarizing the research presented in "High Poisson’s ratio of Earth’s inner core explained by carbon alloying," Nat. Geoscience 8, 220 ( (March 2015)

Setting a Baseline for Iron's Isotopic Clock | Advanced Photon Source

Highlight summarizing the research presented in "Reduced partition function ratios of iron and oxygen in goethite," Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 151, 19 (2015)

A surprise from your gut: Good blood pressure |

Researchers at Johns Hopkins think they might have come up with a novel way to manage blood pressure. Hint: Microbes.

Sky & Telescope

Inside the May 2015 Issue - Sky & Telescope

Fight to save dark skies, find a hidden agenda in craters on the Moon, learn how century-old plates are enabling new science, and more in the May 2015 issue of Sky & Telescope....

Sky & Telescope

Table of Contents

Feb 27, 2015 ... 20 Old Glass, New Insights. Astronomers working with historic photographic plates are making novel discoveries. By Mary Alexandra Agner....

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Solar Sails: Not Just Special Effects

Sci-fi like Avatar and Star Wars depict spaceships using solar sails, but NASA has a real solar sail mission planned....

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Cambridge Science Festival Blog: Safety First

Cambridge Science Festival Blog: Safety First

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Touring Titan: The Alien Sights of Saturn's Largest Moon

NASA's Chief Scientist takes us on a guided tour of the wonderfully alien sights of Saturn's largest moon, Titan....

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Acid and Iron Make the Most Sugar | Advanced Photon Source

Dec 16, 2014 ... Mary Alexandra Agner. See: Hideyo Inouye1, Yan Zhang1, Lin Yang2, Nagarajan Venugopalan3, Robert F. Fischetti3, S. Charlotte Gleber3, ......