Experienced, professional assistance for your science writing and publication

Bill Light, Ph.D.

Scientific Writer, Editor, Technical Consultant
Research Associate, California Academy of Sciences


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Bill Light's first professional biological positions included five years at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he participated in seagoing trips aboard oceanographic ships, numerous SCUBA dives, and week-long "temperature runs" down the Baja California peninsula.

He has lived extensively abroad, spent six months at sea in the Norwegian Merchant Marine, and saw military service during the Vietnam War. Following his separation from the U.S. Army, he worked as aquatic biologist at Steinhart Aquarium, California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco. He later returned to school and completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in biology at San Francisco State University while working in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at CAS.

He published his first two research papers in peer-reviewed journals while still an undergraduate. A research biologist at CAS, he was internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of polychaete systematics and ecology. He was the principal investigator on several grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Sea-Grant (NOAA). He was a highly regarded consultant in benthic biology and environmental impact surveys for many federal, state and local public agencies, as well as private consulting firms. His clients included the Stanford Research Institute, Bechtel Corporation, Woodward-Envicon, and Science Applications International.

He later returned to school, earning a joint doctorate in biology and geosciences at age 42. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in environmental toxicology and limnology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison under an NIEHS grant. There, he studied heavy metal uptake by the cuticles of freshwater cladocerans and copepods. This work resulted in the discovery of a previously unknown storage kidney for microcontaminants in these organisms. Following that, he received joint appointments to Metropolitan State College and the University of Colorado at Denver where he taught undergraduate and graduate biomedical courses in several disciplines.

He is the author of numerous research papers in scientific journals and five books, including a treatise on marine worms, and a four-volume series on the biomedical complications of alcohol abuse. He authored a major manuscript on the biology of venoms under contract to the California Academy of Sciences. His popular articles about science and natural history have appeared in such national magazines as San Jose Magazine, Pacific Discovery, California Wild, and Fauna.

In recent years he has worked as a senior medical writer for an international medical education agency in Atlanta and as environmental toxicology writer-editor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He continues to write articles about science and natural history for national magazines. His writing projects also include short stories, novels, and movie screenplays. He is an ardent devotee of the opera and enjoys wildlife photography, camping out in remote locales, and is a serious lifelong birder. He is multicultural and trilingual, and has served as an interpreter for both Spanish and German.