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Rachel Nuwer

Nuwer at the 2023 Texas Book Festival

Rachel Nuwer is an independent American journalist and author of the 2018 nonfiction book Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking (Da Capo Press). She has covered the issue of poaching from the perspectives of criminals, activists and science for years in prominent publications, including the Smithsonian, BBC Future, The New York Times, and National Geographic.[1]

Early life

Nuwer grew up in Mississippi and studied biology at Loyola University New Orleans where she spent time researching Mekong River fish.[2] She got a masters degree in ecology at the University of East Anglia, and attended New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.[3] The master's thesis she completed for her East Anglia degree was published by the Cambridge University Press.[2]

Nuwer says that her education in biology helped shape her career.[3]


Nuwer has written for Smithsonian, BBC Future, The New York Times, and National Geographic.[1] She is well known for working under cover to access black markets for wildlife.[4] Nuwer's 2023 book, I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World examines the cultural and scientific aspects of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy.[5]

Awards and honors

Nuwer won the Abe Fellowship for Journalists in 2017.[6]

Her book Poached won the American Society of Journalists and Authors general non-fiction book award,[7] a Nautilus Book Award,[8] and the Santa Monica Public Library Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.[9]


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (May 2022)
  • Poached: inside the dark world of wildlife trafficking. Da Capo Press. 2018.
  • "Egg hitchhikers: fish eggs still hatched after passing through a duck". Scientific American. 323 (3): 16–17. September 2020.[10]
  • I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World. Bloomsbury Publishing. June 2023. ISBN 1635579570.


  1. ^ a b Biba, Erin (2018-09-28). "Poachers Will Continue to Kill Animals—But There's Hope". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  2. ^ a b Nuwer, Rachel; Bell, Diana (2013-10-09). "Identifying and quantifying the threats to biodiversity in the U Minh peat swamp forests of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam". Oryx. 48 (1): 88–94. doi:10.1017/S0030605312000865. S2CID 85631089.
  3. ^ a b Zivkovic, Bora. "Introducing: Rachel Nuwer". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2021-09-21.
  4. ^ "Rachel Nuwer | Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking". Jordan Harbinger. 2021-08-10. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  5. ^ Zoeller, Steven. "Book signing of "I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World"". Metro Family. Metro Family Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2023.
  6. ^ "Rachel L Nuwer". Social Science Research Council. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  7. ^ "For The Media". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  8. ^ "2018 Grand/Gold Winners – Nautilus Book Awards". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  9. ^ "Santa Monica Public Library's 2019 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Winners". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  10. ^ Online version is titled "Fish eggs survive journey through a duck".

Official website

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Rachel Nuwer
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