Mirjam Guesgen

Freelance Science Writer

I am a freelance science writer currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a particular interest in animal welfare.

I love communicating complex, scientific ideas in an engaging, balanced, thought-out and informative way.



The following are examples of articles and magazine pieces I have written for publications in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. Other writing samples are available on request. I also write scripts for SciShow.


Pigs, Video Games, & Slaughter Houses Find Common Ground

In an idealized future free from crates, many pig farmers are taking the next step; they are designing barns filled with natural materials, toys, and sometimes yes, even video games.

Published in Slic/ed by FED.

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Cracking the Code of Your Pet’s Facial Expressions

Facial expressions project our internal emotions to the outside world. Reading other people’s faces comes naturally and automatically to most of us. What if we could just as easily read the faces of other living beings? Will there come a day when we can hold up a smart phone to our cat and know how he’s feeling?

Published in New York Magazine.

“Chemical Velcro” catches and detects toxins leaching from plastic

Engineers from Massey University have developed a highly sensitive device able to detect synthetic compounds that leach from plastic food packaging into the contained food or beverage. These kind of compounds are a major health concern worldwide as they have been linked to genetic, developmental and fertility defects in humans.

Published by Massey University.



The Power of a Word

For many people, the idea that an animal is capable of feeling is not difficult to accept. However, the concept of animals being able to experience the world and having emotion (sentience) is a fairly recent development in our long association with animals. The inclusion of sentience in law is even more recent.

Published in VetScript Magazine.

When beauty is pain

Animal welfare scientist Ngaio Beausoleil likens the life of a brachycephalic breed to spending your whole day trying to breathe through a pillow. She describes their daily experience as always being conscious of not getting enough air, and feeling suffocated during exercise. It hardly sounds pleasant.

Published in VetScript Magazine.


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Saving Darwin's Mockingbird

Growing up in Mexico, Dr Luis Ortiz-Catedral’s childhood was spent outdoors, crawling under rocks to study the creatures beneath, and catching and taking home turtles, parrots and fish. Now saving species has become the Massey biologist’s life’s work and Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands the site of a career crusade – to save the critically endangered Floreana mockingbird.

Published in Massey Magazine.