I grew up on the Spanish island of Mallorca, in an American household. As a child I loved to draw, and I loved nature. I raised baby sparrows that had fallen out of their nest, kept mosquito larvae in a jar in order to watch them hatch, and drew things I saw under the microscope. An English friend and I set up a Natural History museum in the wood shed where we displayed bones, fossils and shells we'd found (to say nothing of the skull of my pet hamster, which in the name of science I had dug up a year or two after it died).
When I was a senior in high school, my father wrote a book about the plants of Mallorca, and I did pen-and-ink drawings to go with it. This was my first illustration job.
In college I majored in art, but continued to be interested in biology. I went on to illustrate all sorts of things: first grade readers, folk tales, classroom materials for the science show Nova, a children's science dictionary (the Scholastic Science Dictionary, 2000), books about local mammals and birds, and more. I became especially interested in paleontology when a paleontologist friend of mine asked me to create a reconstruction of a prehistoric goat. Since then I have done other reconstructions, and I like the challenge of bringing the past to life. I also love telling a story in pictures. I got to do both in the three "When" books I did for National Geographic Children's Books: When Bugs Were Big, When Fish Got Feet and When Dinos Dawned. I'm delighted to announce that they are now out as a single book, along with a bunch of brand-new info and activities as well as updated scientific facts. The title? When Bugs Were Big, When Fish Got Feet and When Dinos Dawned. I know, it's looooong! Another book is in the works, more on that later:-)