Bio & Contact

 If you’d like to contact Tara, please email thaelle (at) gmail (dot) com.

I am equal parts storyteller and educator in nearly everything I do, whether it’s science and health journalism, photography, public speaking, writing children’s books, or other professional pursuits. My TEDx talk in Oslo, Why Parents Fear Vaccines, offers a glimpse of how I weave together information and storytelling at once. My topics of expertise include vaccines/infectious disease, parenting, child/prenatal/maternal health, women’s health, mental health, medical research in nearly all areas, marine biology, children’s writing, education, test prep, and travel.

I have been a photographer for more than 18 years and a journalist for more than 20 years, specializing for the past six years on health and science reporting. I also write nonfiction and fiction for children and develop curricula, drawing on my years as a Texas high school teacher and my graduate work in reading comprehension instruction. Since earning my Master’s in Photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!), I have expanded my work to include more multimedia projects.

I am a regular Forbes contributor and the core topic leader in medical studies for the Association of Health Care Journalists, a capacity in which I explain how to read, understand, and report on medical research. As a freelance science and health reporter and parenting blogger, my consumer pieces frequently appear in NPR, Scientific American, Slate, Forbes, Politico, HealthDay, Everyday Health, and Consumer Reports. I blog about health, science, and evidence-based parenting news at Red Wine & Applesauce, and I write the monthly column Science and the Sea for the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.

My medical trade work appears in Medscape, Frontline Medical Communications (formerly IMNG), and Haymarket brands such as Psychiatry Advisor. My children’s science writing has appeared in Science News for Students and Muse Magazine. Other clients have included the Washington Post, Wired, NOVA Next, Science, Parents Magazine, Self, KQED, Scuba Diving Magazine, Cure Magazine, MedShadow, Mental Floss, Quartz, and Hakai, among others.

In April, my first book, The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years, coauthored with Emily Willingham, was published under Tarcher Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and is available here. Two of my nonfiction children’s books, Seasons, Tides, and Lunar Phases and Edible Sunlight, are available now, and Insects as Predators and Insects as Parasites will be available in August.

I also continue to tutor in ACT/SAT/GRE test prep and do public speaking events. Previously, I taught as an adjunct journalism professor at Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois). I am also an aspiring children’s picture book and young adult author, avid scuba diver, sometimes yogi, occasional triathlete, frequent cyclist, former ballroom dancer, and eternally curious observer of the human condition and the natural world.

I was once a world traveler — backpacking, hiking, train-hopping and motorbiking through more than 40 countries on six continents while eating strange insects, climbing ancient ruins and swimming with sharks — but that was before she became a mom, the other role I take seriously and not-so-seriously. Now my trips are less frequent and shorter, and I sometimes take my sons (and even my husband!) with me on my journeys.