About Mark Eastburn


I have a wide variety of interests, from biology and technology to history and culture. My first book, a children’s adventure novel titled Earning My Spots, was published by Sky Pony Press in September, 2016. I teach at a high school in Princeton, New Jersey (I’ll let you guess which one), and I have certifications in biology, chemistry, Spanish (sí, español) and elementary education. I also taught at the elementary level (science and Spanish) for 17 years. I also raise and sell bugs for pet food and pets at the website https://www.eastbug.com which was previously known as Roly Poly Ranch.

From 2016-2018, I helped organize student efforts to recognize the bog turtle as New Jersey’s official state reptile, which resulted in a bill passing both houses of the New Jersey Legislature (Senate and General Assembly) and getting signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in June, 2018.

I don't think I need a bigger dog, and please don't ask if he's a horse.
We probably picked the wrong time of year to give our dog a haircut.

I completed my master’s thesis at Villanova University, studying the world’s only vegetarian spider, Bagheera kiplingi, and Frigga crocuta, another unusual spider species. My travels in this investigation have taken me to Texas, Oklahoma, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama (where I also served in the Peace Corps from 1999-2001).

Image credit: Robert L. Curry, Villanova University
Little Bagheera eats from its plant. Image credit: Robert L. Curry, Villanova University
Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 9.41.33 PM
Bagheera kiplingi sure is cool, but Frigga crocuta is now my favorite!

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