Profiles and Feature Articles

Corvallis’ Own Snake Scientist Talks Snake Sex, and More

Integrative Biology Professor Bob Mason might just know everything about the intimate life of the garter snake. For over three decades, Mason led the way in unraveling some of the mysteries on snakes, pheromones, and what makes a snake sexy. The Mason Lab at Oregon State University is primarily focused on reproductive biology and a subspecialty of chemical ecology. Much of his research focuses on the red-sided garter snake, who he sees as a model species paving the way to research...

Caesar the Legendary Llama: Fame, Therapy, Education, and Activism

Caesar the No Drama Llama is many things to many people. He is a therapy llama, a llamactivist, a school educator, and an internet celebrity. Juggling all these roles keeps Caesar and his human team busy. Caesar’s human counterpart, farmer and activist Larry McCool owns the Mystic Llama Farm in Jefferson, Oregon. McCool is a Hewlett-Packard retiree with an impressive resume including previous work with GreenPeace in Salem and as a founding member of the Llama Fiber Cooperative of North America.

Lil’ King of the Corvallis Knights

Each summer, baseball fans gather at Goss Stadium to root for the Corvallis Knights. Besides the Knights themselves, fans have mascots Mack the Knight and Lil’ King to thank for the cheers that sweep the stadium. Bringing his 4 foot 2 inches costume to life at every home game, Justin, known as Lil’ King, takes great pride in entertaining fans. “It’s pretty much my dream job,” he said. We agreed to refer to Justin by his first name to protect his privacy and to “preserve the mystery for the kid

Sky Rights: Union Leader Sara Nelson

Corvallis native Sara Nelson is a force to be reckoned with. A rising star of the U.S. labor movement, she garnered national attention after using her AFL-CIO award acceptance speech as a call to action, urging all union members to unite to fight the previous federal government shutdown. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders even publicly thanked Nelson and her union, for motivating congress to end the 35-day shutdown. As International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, Nelson s

Gadusol: Safer Sunscreen for Fish & Humans

Every summer, ocean lovers face the sunscreen dilemma. Fully protective sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and skin cancer, yet some popular sunscreen ingredients may harm marine life and the environment. Gadusol Laboratories is a Corvallis-based startup that hopes to offer a nature-inspired solution to the sunscreen dilemma by developing new sun protection alternatives based on a naturally occurring compound, called gadusol, found in marine organisms which provides UVB protection to the organisms.

Lora DiCarlo Battles Sex Tech Bias

It all started with an orgasm, according to Lora Haddock, founder of Lora DiCarlo. The Oregon sexual tech company gained worldwide attention when their debut product won a Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Award, only to have it taken away due to the show’s so-called standards of decency. Since the Consumer Electronics Show previously included male-oriented sex tech products, this decision prompted conversations about sexual bias in the technology industry.

City Structure and Flu Epidemics

Your city structure may determine the length and intensity of your local flu season, according research published in October’s Science Magazine by OSU Population Biologist Ben Dalziel, assistant professor of Integrative Biology and Mathematics. This research explores the connection between city structure, climate, and flu epidemics. As a population biologist, Dalziel’s research often explores topics that are “too big for the lab,” so he analyzes pre-existing data sets. He and his collaborators


Friendsgiving holds a special place in my heart. What is there not to love about enjoying good times and good food with good friends? It is a welcome respite during the hectic holiday season. It can be easy and casual or extravagant. There are no rules. Friendsgiving is not bound to the same traditions as a family Thanksgiving. I consider my closest friends an extension of my chosen family. Why not take the time to celebrate them? I celebrated my first Friendsgiving while living abroad in the