Brigitte Osterath

Since 2009, I have worked as a freelance science writer and editor for radio, print and online media, in German, English and Dutch. Most of my stories cover the fields of chemistry, health or environment/conservation.

Samples of my work
Externer Verweis folgtMeat in Switzerland is pricey, but does everyone benefit?
In Switzerland, meat costs more than anywhere else. This alone doesn't ensure animal welfare or fair conditions for farmers and workers. Yet there are reasons why the country's meat industry could set an example.
Deutsche Welle, August 2020

Externer Verweis folgtDo fuels made from plastic make eco sense?
Several companies have come up with pilot plants to convert plastic waste into crude oil, diesel or other fuels. It is sold as a way to get rid of trash and help the environment. But is it?
Deutsche Welle, May 2020

Externer Verweis folgtAre cities Europe's new biodiversity hotspots?
While rummaging through part of Amsterdam's city park, citizen scientists discovered new insect species. Their aim was to show that even in Earth's busiest places, biodiversity is still underexplored.
Deutsche Welle, March 2020

Externer Verweis folgtLiving Planet: New species in Amsterdam's city park
With a population of more than 800,000 people, Amsterdam is the Netherlands most populous city. It also receives over 4 million international visitors and 16 million day-trippers each year. So, it is crowded. But that didn't prevent researchers from setting out to look for new animal species.
Living Planet, Deutsche Welle, November 2019

Externer Verweis folgtPicture gallery: Learning how to be wild
Every year, orphaned marine mammal pups get stranded on beaches around the world. Most of them don't have a chance of survival. In some cases, conservationists nurse them in captivity and release them when they're ready. (Externer Verweis folgtLiving Planet)
Deutsche Welle, October 2019

Externer Verweis folgtHope to save critically endangered vaquita porpoise from extinction is dwindling
The vaquita in the Gulf of California is the most endangered cetacean in the world. Its extinction is imminent — and some even say, it's for the best.
Living Planet, Deutsche Welle, August 2019

Externer Verweis folgtA deep sea paradise under threat
At hot-water vents around the world, creatures live off the chemical energy that flows from underground volcanic activity. Such places are a paradise for biologists striving to understand evolution and discover new species.
Living Planet, Deutsche Welle, June 2019

Externer Verweis folgtDo-it-yourself insulin: Biohackers aim to counteract skyrocketing prices
In the US, many patients have to ration the vital drug due to soaring prices. Now, biohackers have come up with a plan to produce it more cheaply.
Deutsche Welle, May 2019

Externer Verweis folgtThe deep sea: Where poisons become nutrients
Researchers recently explored hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California, up to 4,000 meters deep. DW spoke with marine biologist Greg Rouse about what kind of creatures live down there.
Deutsche Welle, May 2019

Externer Verweis folgtNew territories for sea otters
Sea otters were hunted extensively until the beginning of the 20th century. Now, their population has regrown, but the species is still threatened. In California, conservationists are worried.
Living Planet, Deutsche Welle, January 2019

Externer Verweis folgtPlastic pollution: Do beach clean-ups really make a difference?
Picking up trash from river beds and beaches has become a popular activity around the world. But do clean-ups really help tackle the growing problem of plastic pollution? (Externer Verweis folgtLiving Planet)
Deutsche Welle, December 2018

Externer Verweis folgtCalorie counter: Cannibalism is just not worth the effort
It's scientific fact: You are better off eating a bison or a horse than a human — nutritionally speaking.
Deutsche Welle, September 2018

Externer Verweis folgtTechnology that helps us fall asleep
Dutch researchers have set out to help the insomniacs. They have come up with devices, mobile apps – and even a sleep robot.
Deutsche Welle, August 2018

Externer Verweis folgtBeware of potentially harmful stem cell therapies, researchers warn
They're touted as miracle cures. But the stem cell treatments on offer at private clinics are often anything but.
Deutsche Welle, July 2018

Externer Verweis folgtInsects perish at the frontlines of humans' war with nature
Surveys in Europe and North America show a dramatic decline in the number of bugs buzzing around. Although global data are missing, many researchers are convinced this environmental disaster is happening worldwide.
Deutsche Welle, June 2018

Externer Verweis folgtDutch outrage as animals starve in fenced-in wilderness
A nature reserve in the Netherlands aims to create unspoiled wilderness – but has sparked animal lovers' ire. If thousands of cattle, ponies and deer die each winter, is it nature's way – or animal cruelty? (MP3-Datei folgtPodcast Living Planet)
Deutsche Welle, May 2017

Externer Verweis folgtSunscreen poses another threat to coral reefs
Some chemicals in sunscreen can kill corals, researchers have discovered. So how to protect your skin and reefs at the same time?
Deutsche Welle, April 2018

Externer Verweis folgtCorals in Bonaire: Trouble in paradise
On the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, a conservation project is hoping to restore the corals to their former glory, and is asking tourists to lend a helping hand.
Deutsche Welle, Living Planet, January 2018

Externer Verweis folgtTake a bite
Here's the story of a piranha named "Bert" biting a man's finger - and why the man deserved it! (starts at 18:53 min)
Deutsche Welle, Spectrum, January 2018

Externer Verweis folgtWood as fuel: A good idea?
Is burning wood for fuel bad? I visited an award-winning, model biomass facility in Germany to find out.
Deutsche Welle, Living Planet, December 2017

Externer Verweis folgtBurning wood under fire: Are forests going up our chimneys?
To meet the EU's renewable energy target, countries have rediscovered wood as a fuel. But conservationists fear this new hunger for wood might have disastrous consequences.
Deutsche Welle, November 2017

Externer Verweis folgtBird's eye view: Life at a research aviary
More than 2,000 birds currently reside at a bird research facility in southern Germany. What’s life like for them? Well, a zebra finch explains…
Deutsche Welle, September 2017

Externer Verweis folgtAugust Hofmann and the chemists factory
How two German chemists shaped chemistry education and research in Britain
Chemistry World, August 2017

Externer Verweis folgtGermans divided over return of the wolves
Wolves have been making a comeback, with a few dozen packs already roaming Germany's forests. But the return of a predator feared since ancient times has the human population fiercely divided. (Externer Verweis folgtLiving Planet)
Deutsche Welle, July/August 2017

Externer Verweis folgtRecord-breaking snakes
Many people fear them, some people love them. In any case, snakes are fascinating and versatile. Here are the most amazing snake species that evolution has given us.
Deutsche Welle, July 2017

Externer Verweis folgtDon't wait for sniffer dogs to screen you for cancer
Dogs can sniff out drugs, cash and explosives. Now media and researchers are celebrating a new canine skill: their ability to detect tumors.
Deutsche Welle, June 2017

Externer Verweis folgtWould you have an abortion if you knew your baby had Down syndrome?
People with Down syndrome can live healthy, happy lives. That is, if they are born at all.
Deutsche Welle, March 2017

Externer Verweis folgtSafe space travel: Protecting alien worlds from earthlings
The discovery of seven new Earth-like planets has risen hope to find extraterrestrial life. During space explorations, though, researchers have to be careful.
Deutsche Welle, March 2017

Externer Verweis folgtThe legacy of Deepwater Horizon
The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010 caused an environmental disaster. But an oil spill like that could happen again, scientists say. Will they be able to prevent worse in the future?
Deutsche Welle, February 2017

Externer Verweis folgtFunding for gun research is non-existent but it would save lives
More people die due to guns in America than in any other high-income country. But the US congress has restricted funding for gun violence research. (MP3-Datei folgtPodcast Spectrum)
Deutsche Welle, February 2017

Externer Verweis folgtConcerns about Trump's impact on science
In Boston, American and international scientists have come together to share their research results. But discussions are focused on Trump and how he is endangering modern science.
Deutsche Welle, February 2017

Externer Verweis folgtAs early as six years old, girls believe boys are smarter
A study shows even very young girls believe a "really, really smart" person can only be male.
Deutsche Welle, January 2017

Externer Verweis folgtPlayful rats reveal brain region that drives ticklishness
Experiments also reveal that rats are ticklish in similar places to humans.
Nature News, November 2016

Externer Verweis folgtIllegal ivory mostly from recent elephant killings
Carbon-dating study suggests governments are not fuelling trade by selling off old tusks.
Nature News, November 2016

Externer Verweis folgtEuropean diseases left their mark on First Nations' DNA
Change to immune-system genes in indigenous Canadians linked to epidemic introduced by Europeans.
Nature News, November 2016

Externer Verweis folgtColorful fish tanks with destructive side effects
Kids in Germany have been waiting in anticipation for "Finding Dory," which features a forgetful tang fish. But conservationists and animal welfare activists have mixed feelings about it. (MP3-Datei folgtAudio)
Deutsche Welle, Living Planet, September 2016

Externer Verweis folgtDo animals mourn their dead?
Whales, chimps, dogs - animals seem to suffer when they lose a beloved companion or offspring. Do animals understand death, and do they grieve like humans?
Deutsche Welle, September 2016

Externer Verweis folgtPet savages? Piranhas are shy, easily startled and conservative
Do you think piranhas are bloodthirsty monsters, who skeletonize any creature they can eat within seconds? Then you will be surprised!
Deutsche Welle, May 2016

Externer Verweis folgtOne, dos, drei: Why speaking more than one language is good for the brain
Here is why teaching children to speak more than one language is a brilliant idea. (MP3-Datei folgtAudio)
Deutsche Welle, Spectrum, June/August 2016

Externer Verweis folgtConvincing Australians that bats aren't so bad
Fruit bats carry a lot of dangerous viruses, which makes them unpopular. But bats provide an important contribution to the ecosystem - so some people are trying to save as many as possible. (Externer Verweis folgtAudio, presented by Sue Cox)
Deutsche Welle, Living Planet, June 2015

Externer Verweis folgtScotland to cull thousands of grey squirrels
North American gray squirrels may drive Britain's native red squirrels into extinction. (MP3-Datei folgtPodcast)
Deutsche Welle, April 2014

English Adaptations of my German work
Externer Verweis folgtLichens: Astonishing microcosmos
Lichens are the curious result of cohabitation between algae and fungi. Biologist Frank Bungartz tells DW about his passion for lichens.
Deutsche Welle, January 2017

Externer Verweis folgt10 facts you probably didn't know about great apes
Bonobos have runny noses, gorillas like to swear and both species have the same blood types humans do. Facts about our closest animal relatives that will surprise and delight you.
Deutsche Welle, April 2016

More English articles and radio pieces at "Aus aller Welt"

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