Douglas Fox

Freelance Writer

Douglas Fox is a freelance journalist who writes about life, earth and Antarctic sciences. His stories have appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, Esquire, Virginia Quarterly Review, High Country News, Discover, Nature and The Best American Science and Nature Writing. His stories have garnered awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (2011), the National Association of Science Writers (2013), the American Geophysical Union (2015 and 2018) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009 and 2017). Doug is a contributing author to The Science Writers’ Handbook (Da Capo, 2013).

All Stories by Douglas Fox

  1. Animals

    Living Mysteries: This complex beast lurks on lobster whiskers

    A tiny animal discovered on a lobster’s whiskers shows that the smallest animals on Earth can be surprisingly complex.

  2. Animals

    Living Mysteries: Meet Earth’s simplest animal

    Trichoplax is the simplest animal on Earth. It has no mouth, stomach or brain. Yet it can teach how these and other organs evolved.

  3. Planets

    A trail of cosmic dust may lead to alien life

    Liquid water can be found even in the cold reaches of the outer solar system. Some hidden oceans may harbor warm oases cozy for living things.

  4. Earth

    How ancient African fish feed today’s Amazon

    Many of the world’s lushest tropical forests would starve if winds didn’t bring them nutrient-rich dust from across an ocean.

  5. Earth

    Dust creates deserts in the sky

    Vast rivers of dust flow through the sky. This invisible force shapes our world in profound ways. And scientists are finally homing in on a major source.

  6. Animals

    Surprise! Fossils in a flash

    By studying how dead tissues decay — or turn to ‘instant’ fossils — scientists are gleaning helpful clues to what ancient life looked like.

  7. Microbes

    Mystery microbes of the sea

    Biologists find archaea a true curiosity. They make up one of life’s three main branches. The two better known branches are bacteria and eukaryotes (u KARE ee oatz). That last branch includes animals, plants and fungi. But archaea have remained mysterious. Very little is known about them. In fact, their unique status wasn’t even recognized until relatively recently, in 1977.

  8. Animals

    Mud worth more than gold

    Reed Scherer and Ross Powell have studied mud from all over the world. It is different in each place. Mud from the Sulu Sea near Borneo is as smooth as cream cheese. Mud from Chesapeake Bay, in the mid-Atlantic United States, clings to your skin like peanut butter.

  9. Earth

    Explainer: Ice sheets and glaciers

    Ice sheets and glaciers give scientists clues about climate change.

  10. Earth

    Explainer: Antarctica, land of lakes

    There are many, although they tend to be buried under rivers of ice.

  11. Animals

    Animals under Antarctic ice?

    Data suggest a web of lake organisms might thrive deep under ice; scientists struggle to make sense of the new report.

  12. Climate

    The high life

    The sky is full of microscopic life, some of which might even trigger rain or snow.