Jennifer's CV

Current Affiliation--1989 to present:  Contributing writer, Scientific American and other publications

 Education and fellowships

1980: Yale College, New Haven, CT, BA in English cum laude

1995:  Established Artist Fellowship, Delaware Arts Council

1997-1998:  Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College (fellowship)

2001:  Brown College of the University of Virginia (fellowship)

2001: Finalist for American Academy of Arts Rome Fellowship

2004:  National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction

2007-2010:  Senior Fellow, Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service

Professional Experience

1989-Present:  Freelance writer  Work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, Parade, Natural History, Real Simple, More, and many other publications.  I have written essays and articles on subjects ranging from the artwork of Chuck Close to the neural nature of dyslexia, ocean circulation, the wildlife of Japan, parasites as agents of evolutionary change, the biology of cranes, the origin of birds, microbial threats to food safety, and the work of Nobel laureate and developmental biologist Christian Nusslein-Volhard.

1998-2002:  Member, Editorial Board, University of Virginia Press

1996-2001:  Judge, Philip D. Reed Memorial Prize for Environmental Writing, sponsored by the Southern Environmental Law Center

1982-1989:  Staff writer and researcher, Book Division, National Geographic Society

Publications:  Books

The Genius of Birds (Penguin Press, April 2016)

The Social Network Diet (FastPencil Premiere, 2011), coauthored with Dr. Miriam Nelson

Ah-Choo!  The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold (Twelve Press, 2010)

The Strong Women’s Guide to Total Health (Rodale, 2010), coauthored with Dr. Miriam Nelson

Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream:  A Day in the Life of Your Body (Houghton Mifflin, 2007; paperback, 2008).  

Chance in the House of Fate:  A Natural History of Heredity (Houghton Mifflin, 2001; Mariner paperback, 2002)

Notes from the Shore (Viking Penguin, 1995; Penguin paperback, 1996)

                 Publications: Anthologies (selected)                                                                                           

  • “Five Fathoms,” The Penguin Book of the Ocean (Penguin Australia, 2010)
  • “Osprey”, Flights of Imagination (Greystone Books, 2010)
  • “Cranes,” Best American Science Writing, ed. Alan Lightman (Perennial, 2005)
  • “The Great Marsh,” Stories from Where We Live—the North Atlantic Coast, ed. Sara St. Antoine (Milkweed, 2001)
  • “Osprey,” The Beach Book, ed. Aleda Shirley (Sarabande Books, 2000)
  • “Spindrift,” Seacoast Reader, ed. John A. Murray (Lyons Press, 1999)
  • “Islands at the Edge,” From the Field, ed. Charles McCarry (National Geographic Society, 1997)
  • “Five Fathoms,” The Nature Reader, ed. Daniel Halpern and Dan Frank (Ecco Press, 1996)             

        Publications: Periodical (selected)                                                                                                

  • “The Ultimate Social Network:  The microbes that live within,” Cover story, Scientific American (June 2012)
  • “The Cold Wars,” Parade, January 30, 2011
  • “How Not to Fight a Cold,” The New York Times, October 4, 2010
  • “Plastic Surf”, Scientific American, August 2010
  • “Breathing Trees,”  Wilderness Magazine, October 2008
  • “Make it an Early Bird,” The New York Times Opinion Editorial Page, November 21, 2007 “Queens of Green,” More, April 2007
  • “Paris: Space for the Soul”, National Geographic, October 2006
  • “Downside of Upright,” National Geographic, July 2006
  • “Dragonflies: Strange Love,” National Geographic, April 2006
  • “The Great Marsh,” Delaware Beach Life, 2005. Recipient of the International Regional Magazine Associations Silver Medal award for nature writing
  • “Cranes: No Mere Bird,” National Geographic, April 2004
  • “Untangling the Brain,” Yale Alumni Magazine, January/February 2004
  • “When the Frost Lies White: Winter Wildlife in Japan,” National Geographic, February, 2003
  • “How Safe is Our Food?” National Geographic, May 2002
  • “Genetically Modified Foods,” National Geographic, May 2002
  • “Going in Circles” Real Simple, June/July 2001
  • “Celle Fantastyk,” Natural History, May 2001
  • “Mystery at the Genome’s Core,” Sunday Star Ledger, Feb. 18, 2001
  • “New Eyes on the Ocean,” National Geographic, October 2000
  • “Dinosaurs Take Wing,” National Geographic, July 1998
  • “Journey to the Center of the Egg,” The New York Times Magazine, Oct. 12, 1997
  • “Parasites,” National Geographic, October 1997
  • “Islands at the Edge,” National Geographic, August 1997
  • “Aggressive Image, Painterly Gestures:  Looking at Some Close-ups”, Yale Alumni Magazine, May 1982                 

Speeches (selected)                                                                                                                                                  

  • October 2011, “With a Little Help from Your Friends:  Change Yourself, Change Your World,” Women United in Philanthropy, Charlottesville, VA
  • August 2003 “The Living Building: Facts of Life,” McDonough and Partners Architectural Firm, Charlottesville, VA
  • April 2003, “Writing for the National Geographic,” Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), Charlottesville, VA
  • March 2003, “The Biological Ties that Bind,” Dickinson Theater, PVCC
  • November 2001, “Chance in the House of Fate: A long view of genes and heredity,” Society of Fellows, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • September 2001, “Understanding Heredity,” University of Virginia Medical Center Hour, Charlottesville, VA
  • February 2001 “Japan’s Winter Ecology,” Brown College, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • April 1999, “Reading the Land,” University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • April 1998, “Nature Writing,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • October 1997, “The Longest Thread,” Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA       

  Awards and Honors (selected)                                                                                                                   

  • 2010, Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold named finalist for Books for a Better Life Award
  • 2005, “The Great Marsh” article in Delaware Beach Life received the International Regional Magazine Associations Silver Medal award for nature writing.
  • 2004, National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Nonfiction
  • 2002, Chance in the House of Fate selected as finalist for the 5th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award in Nonfiction
  • 2002, Chance in the House of Fate named a New York Times “New and Noteworthy” paperback
  • 2001, Named finalist for the American Academy of Arts Rome Fellowship of 2001-2
  • 2001, Chance in the House of Fate selected as a Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • 1998, Received grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • 1997, Received Fellowship in Nonfiction from Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College
  • 1994, Received Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Arts Council