Meet the Author and Illustrator

Professors Li and Herring are happy to visit classrooms or work with educators, virtually whenever possible, or in person, when pandemic circumstances ease. You may contact them through the OSU Press at osu.press@oregonstate.edu with the subject line: Ellie & Ricky author visit


Judy Li in the forestJudith Li first discovered how much fun it was to explore the out of doors playing in plum orchards around her neighborhood in Campbell, California (near San Jose).  Her first memory of finding bugs was at a summer nature camp when she picked up a very big toe-biter bug!  Ever since she has enjoyed looking for invertebrates - especially in lakes and streams, sometimes with the help of her children as they were growing up.

Judy is a stream ecologist, with special interests in stream insects; she is a retired Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, where she taught students and teachers for many years.  She continues as a researcher at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest.  Currently she works on research teams to study seasonal changes in conifer forests, invertebrates in headwaters where forests are being cut, and aquatic food webs of bugs, trout and songbirds. 

Ellie's Log is Judy's first children's book; she was also editor of To Harvest, To Hunt: Stories of Resource Use in the American West, and co-edited a book with stories told by aquatic entomologists Wading for Bugs: Exploring Streams with Experts, both published by the Oregon State University Press.


M.L. Herring is a science writer and illustrator whose fascination with nature began as a child camping with her family. That’s when she wrote her first book, on a folded wad of typing paper with a box of colorful crayons. She’s been at it ever since.

True to her name, Herring began her professional career as a fisheries biologist, following young salmon as they migrate from fresh water streams into the salty ocean. As any salmon will tell you, forests are important to streams, rivers, and the ocean. Soon enough M.L. Herring migrated to the HJ Andrews.
Now an associate professor, Herring heads Extension and Experiment Station Communications at Oregon State Univerisity where she helps other scientists explain the wonder and importance of their discoveries. She has written and edited several books about the natural world, but Ellie’s Log is her first book for children.