Elizabeth Royte

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Elizabeth Royte is an American science/nature writer. She is best known for her books Garbage Land (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year 2005), The Tapir's Morning Bath: Solving the Mysteries of the Tropical Rain Forest (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, 2001), Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It (a "Best of" or "Top 10" book of 2008 in Entertainment Weekly, Seed and Plenty magazines) and A Place to Go [1]

Royte's articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, National Geographic, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The Nation, Outside, Smithsonian, and other magazines. Her work has been featured in the Best American Science Writing 2004 and the "Best American Science Writing 2009." Royte is a former Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow and a recipient of Bard College's John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Her article about women who survived the genocide in Rwanda attracted a good deal of attention.[citation needed] She has traveled throughout the world to research her articles and books.

Royte won an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship[2] in 1990 to research and write about life at a biological research station in the tropics.

Royte began her career as an intern at The Nation. She did freelance copy editing and writing for other magazines.

Royte lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter. Her brother is an ecologist. Her uncle is theater director/producer Robert Kalfin.



  • Royte, Elizabeth (2001). The tapir's morning bath : mysteries of the tropical rain forest and the scientists who are trying to solve them. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 
  • Garbage Land
  • Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It

Essays and reporting[edit]

  • Royte, Elizabeth (August 2017). "A place to go". National Geographic. 232 (2): 94–119.