I am a Ph.D. scientist and professor, disabled by a devastating neuro-immune disease called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and, more recently, long COVID. I write about the science of ME/CFS and long COVID, the experience of having these diseases, and my other passions – especially ecology and food – when energy permits. My primary goal is to help raise awareness about ME/CFS, a disease affecting over 20 million people worldwide. My other goal is to tell stories that connect readers with the universal themes of loss, love, and renewal that occur while on the path to healing, whether from a chronic illness like ME/CFS or other setbacks in life.
Prior to becoming disabled with ME/CFS, I was a professor of environmental studies at Sonoma State University. My academic interests are in invasion biology, fire ecology, restoration ecology, and conservation biology. I’m a population biologist by training (UC Davis) and am drawn increasingly to questions in medicine. My personal interests are in natural history, world politics, Buddhism, and literature. I have a strong sense of place and have had the good fortune to fall in love with Lake Michigan, Sierra Nevada, and South Africa. More recently, I find myself in Reno, Nevada, where I am attempting to put down some roots. My story can be found here.
My research has appeared in Nature, Ecology, Journal of Ecology, and other academic journals. I am playing around with other forms of writing and look forward to publishing in other venues and sharing my work here. – Caroline Elizabeth