Writing samples

Nonfiction storytelling by Allyson Rowley — feature stories, articles on scientific research, profiles of interesting folks, stories about awesome students, and some award-winning articles:


Why the future of farming might be … bugs? An ancient food for a modern challenge.

Building EDI into an engineering culture: McGill’s Faculty of Engineering leads the way in advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

‘Cities are becoming the fulcrum for how we manage biodiversity’: Biodiversity expert Andrew Gonzalez discusses how cities can help protect nature and human health.

Avoiding the ‘valley of death’: How to take valuable academic research and turn it into a viable commercial product?

Remembering, reckoning, and reconciling: How McGill University is coming to terms with its complicated past.

The advocate for a better Anthropocene: Elena Bennett wants you to imagine a radical, inspiring, and realistic future for our planet.

Reinventing architecture for a new era: One of today’s most influential architects, Amale Andraos wants to disassemble and reassemble a better world.

Celebrating a cautious centennial: One hundred years after May 24, 1918, how much closer are we to gender parity?

O Cannabis! The highs and lows of legalization.

The butterfly effect: Bobbi Lancaster reflects on her journey as a transgender pioneer.


‘The defining challenge of our time’: McGill’s Alternative Fuels Lab explores metal powders as a recyclable, clean energy alternative to fossil fuels.

A conversation with McGill’s ‘guru’ of mRNA: Nahum Sonenberg reflects on his storied career, the new Centre for RNA Sciences, and the importance of basic science.

From AIDS to COVID-19: Virologist Anne Gatignol has explored the molecular world of RNA and RNA viruses for more than 30 years.

Translating intelligent biomaterials into precision medicine: Nano-engineering expert Guojun Chen explores efficient and safe nano-systems for the delivery of RNA therapeutics.

The air that we breathe: Meet the McGillians striving to ensure equitable access to good air quality in Canada and around the worlds.

Seeing the light: A research breakthrough by a McMaster PhD student creates a simple, cost-effective laser on silicon.

A computer screen you can fold: U of T researchers have discovered a better way to make flat-panel displays.

Debugging: A local parasite could help protect Ontario’s ash trees from a deadly invader.

Breath of life: Developing the technology to give hospitals in low-income countries a more reliable supply of medical oxygen.


‘Every one of us has a role to play’: A profile of health care leader and philanthropist Dr. Anita Brown-Johnson.

Changing the weather: Walter Schroeder explains why Newfoundland music strikes a chord.

Taking the leap: Sabrina Habib launched a career as a global health practitioner and co-founded a day care network in East Africa before she turned 30.

McMaster’s ‘bug man’I’ve only known Marvin Gunderman for about 20 minutes and already he’s asked if I want to hold a cockroach.

Canada’s new Noah: Growing rare plants, befriending giant tortoises, and getting bit by a scorpion. All in a day’s work for biologist Laura King.


A summer of scientific exploration: “Valuable” and “unforgettable.” That’s how Nada Ibrahim describes her experience with the McGill Biomedical Research Accelerator.

Physics that’s practically fun: Students give high marks to a new kind of science lab.

Climate change getting you down? Mac has a course for that: Some awesomely talented students come up with equally awesome ideas to fight climate change.

Math, physics, French … and Buddhism? Cissy Suen missed her convocation in June, but she had a pretty good reason.

Learning how to teach made them better students: Two psychology students psychoanalyze how their experience as teaching assistants changed their lives.


The oldest rabble-rouser on campus: For more than 100 years, the McGill Daily has trained some of the country’s best reporters, while poking and prodding the powers-that-be.

Whose life is it, anyway? The story of Hanne Schafer, one of the first Canadians to receive a medically assisted death.

Seeing through snake oil: Forget Dr. Oz. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal is the real deal.