About Rob Dunn

Rob Dunn is a biologist and writer in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University

The science Dunn mentors attempts to use many different approaches to understand the stories of the species all around us and how they have changed or might change in the future. Often those species are ants and their societies, other times mosquitoes and the diseases they vector or rare carnivores and the parasites they host. Central to all of this work is the sense that much of what we assume someone else knows (such as which species live around us in cities) is totally unknown. The unknown is large and wonderful and Dunn and his collaborators, students, postdocs and other researcher scientists, love to spend their days in it.

Dunn’s writing focuses on the stories of the scientists behind the science, who they are, what they do and how and why they did it. Dunn’s writing has appeared in Natural History, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Scientific American, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic and other magazines. His first book, Every Living Thing, was awarded the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History writing. His new book, out in the spring of 2011, The Wild Life of Our Bodies, examines the long human relationship with other species (be they tapeworms or tigers) and how changes in those relationships are affecting our health and well being.

Recent stories

Dunn Lab Projects

Wild Life of Your Home

Microbes are abundant and ubiquitous on our bodies, in the environment, and in our homes, yet we know so little about their diversity in the most everyday places. Help us build an atlas of house-associated microbial diversity.

School of Ants

Curious about the ants living in your backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood? So are we! The School of Ants is recruiting citizen scientists of all ages to make their own ant-collecting kits.

Bellybutton Biodiversity

We set out to know what species call your navel home, what exactly those species do, and how do the microbes in your belly button differ from other people’s.