Scientist, journalist, journalism history researcher, and professor


As a young child I was fascinated by the natural world, yet as an adult I temporarily put away those childish things, took up something more serious and graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law


After a career in criminal law, I returned to science — my first love. In 2000 I graduated with a master’s degree in biological science from Sacramento State University and in 2005, I graduated with a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, Davis.

Flowers foliage

Red bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) blooms annually in my front yard (photograph by Susan E. Swanberg).

I worked as a research scientist for six additional years, studying autism genetics and telomere biology. I have authored or co-authored 12 scientific articles, including research papers, reviews and book chapters.


In 2008 my husband and I bought a house at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The region offers a multitude of topics to choose from: the natural history of the Southwest, the first-class research at the University of Arizona, not to mention the creatures in my own backyard. 

In 2014 I graduated from the University of Arizona with a master’s degree in journalism. I now work as an associate professor at the UArizona School of Journalism. The common thread across my various careers is writing. I have written legal briefs, scientific manuscripts as well as newspaper and magazine articles. With my experience and background, becoming a science writer and a journalism professor were logical steps.

horned toad

Portrait of a Regal horned lizard, Tucson, Arizona (photograph by Susan E. Swanberg).


The last blossom of the season on a prickly pear cactus in my yard (photograph by Susan E. Swanberg).

My pal, Red, the desert spiny lizard, Tucson, Ariz.
(photograph by Susan E. Swanberg).

Susan E. Swanberg © 2012, 2019, 2022. All rights reserved in text and photos.