Jackson, Rob 1961-

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Jackson, Rob 1961-

(Robert Bradley Jackson)


Born 1961; married; children: Robert, David, Will. Education: Rice University, B.S. (chemical engineering), 1983; Utah State University, M.S. (ecology), 1990, M.S. (statistics), 1992, Ph.D. (ecology), 1992.


Home and office—Durham, NC. Office—Department of Biology and Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 91000, B226, LSRC, Durham, NC 27708-1000. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer. Dow Chemical Company, chemical engineer for four years; Stanford University, Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow for Global Change; University of Texas, assistant professor; Duke University, professor and director of Center on Global Change.

Awards, Honors

Murray F. Buell Award, Ecological Society of America, 1990; Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, National Science Foundation, 1999.


(Coeditor) Methods in Ecosystem Science, Springer Publishing (New York, NY) 2000.

The Earth Remains Forever: Generations at a Crossroads, foreword by John Graves, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2002.

Animal Mischief: Poems (for children), illustrations by Laura Jacobsen, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA) 2006.


Rob Jackson has a rather unusual resumé for a children's author: in fact, he had already established himself as a biological and environmental researcher when he wrote his first children's book, Animal Mischief: Poems. A professor of biology at Duke University with

numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and several awards to his credit, Jackson became a children's writer only by chance. While on sabbatical in Argentina with his family, Jackson wrote poems to entertain his two oldest sons, then aged seven and nine. "It was a way of passing time while we traveled," the author noted in an online interview for Duke University's News and Communications. When his verses met with his sons' enthusiasm, Jackson was inspired to consider them for publication. Grounded in science, each of the collection's eighteen poems profiles a single creature, providing fascinating information for imaginative future scientists.

"I wanted the poems to be fun for the reader," Jackson explained to the News and Communications interviewer while discussing his book, "but I also wanted the kids to learn something." To add to the informational value of Animal Mischief he includes an afterword in which he presents in-depth details about each species featured. In Kirkus Reviews, a critic praised Animal Mischief as a collection of "sly, humorous animal poems," the reviewer predicting that Jackson's verses "will tickle the funny bone of young readers." Dubbing the collection's short poems "witty," Carolyn Phelan wrote in Booklist that while poetry collections focusing on animals are not exactly a rare species within children's literature, "few so successfully integrate zoology with amusing verse" as does Jackson in Animal Mischief.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, April 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Animal Mischief: Poems, p. 45.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of Animal Mischief, p. 232.

Quarterly Review of Biology, December, 2003, Marty Condon, review of The Earth Remains Forever: Generations at a Crossroads, p. 495.

School Library Journal, May, 2006, Carol L. Mackay, review of Animal Mischief, p. 112.

Virginia Quarterly Review, spring, 2003, review of The Earth Remains Forever, p. 63.


Duke University News and Communications Online,http://dukenews.duke.edu/ (January 4, 2007), "Duke Biologist/Poet Is Up to ‘Animal Mischief.’"

Rob Jackson Home Page,http://fds.duke.edu/ (January 4, 2007).

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