Assistant Research Professor

Contact Information

Email:  frankiej@montana.edu

Dr. Jackson's CV (2016) (Word Doc)


B.A., University of Montana, 1992
Ph.D., Montana State University, 2007

Paleontology Websites:

Fossil Eggs

Research Interests

My research interests include the study of fossil eggs, dinosaur reproductive biology and paleoecology, and the evolution of reproductive traits in birds.  Fossil egg arrangement and microscopic study of eggshell structure (including calculation of water vapor conductance rates) provide important information on dinosaur reproductive biology and physiology.  In addition, sedimentologic study of and assessment of diagenesis provide evidence for paleoenvironmental interpretation of Late Cretaceous nesting sites. Currently, my research focuses on modern archosaurian (crocodillians and birds) nesting sites in Florida and the Pacific northwest and fossil egg localities in the western United States, China, and Spain.  Additional research includes assessment of geologic structures for potential carbon sequestration and earth science education.

Current Graduate Students

I am no longer taking graduate students; if interested in the Graduate Program, please contact Dr. David Varricchio for information.

Selected Publications

Articles:(*indicates student)

Ferguson*, A. L., Varricchio, D. J., Pina, C. I., Jackson F. D. in press. From eggs to hatchlings:  nest site taphonomy of American crocodile (crocodylus acutus) and broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris). Palios.

Schmitt, J.G., Fisher, J. W., Pac, D. F., Jackson, F. D., Patterson, S. J. Ashchoff, J. L., Challender, S. in press. Geoecology of the Marias River Canyon, Montana, USA:  Landscape Influence on Human Use and Preservation of Late Holocene Archaeological and Vertebrate Remains. Geological Society of America Special Paper.

Lawver*, D. and Jackson, F. D. 2017. An accumulation of turtle eggs with embryos from the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) Judith River Formation of Montana. Cretaceous Research 69:90-99.

Varricchio, D. J. and Jackson, F.D. 2016. Reproduction in Mesozoic birds and evolution of the modern avian reproductive mode. The Auk 133(4) 654-684

Lawver*, D., Jin, X., Jackson, F.D., Wang, Q. 2016. An avian egg from the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) Liangtoutang Formation of Zhejiang Province, China. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1100631

Lawver*, D., and Jackson, F.D.  2016. A fossil egg clutch from the stem turtle Meiolania platyceps: implications for the evolution of turtle reproductive biology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2016.1223685.

Jackson, F., and D.J. Varricchio. 2016. Egg and eggshells from the Upper Cretaceous Hell  Creek Formation, Montana. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI:10.1080/02724634.2016.1185432

Varricchio, D. J., Jin, X., Jackson, F. 2015. Lay, brood, repeat: nest reuse and site fidelity in ecologic time for two Cretaceous troodontid dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate  Paleontology, DOI:10.1080/02724634.2014.932797

Jackson, F.D., R. Schaff*, D.J. Varricchio, J.G. Schmitt. 2015. A theropod nesting trace with eggs from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Two Medicine Formation of Montana. PALAIOS, 30(5):362-372.

Jackson, F.D., D.J. Varricchio, R.A. Jackson, A. Walde, G. Bishop. 2015. Taphonomy of extant desert tortoise and loggerhead sea turtle nesting sites: implications for interpreting the fossil. Palaios. 30: 207–223.

Lawver*, D.R., and Jackson, F.D. 2014. A review of the fossil record of turtle reproduction: eggs, embryos, nests and copulating pairs. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 55(2):215–236

Jackson, F., Schmitt, J.G., S. Oser*. 2013. Influence of Vertisol development on sauropod egg taphonomy and distribution at the Auca Mahuevo locality, Patagonia, Argentina. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 386, 300–307.

Oser*, S., and  Jackson, F. 2013. Sediment and eggshell interactions: using abrasion to assess transport in fossil eggshell accumulations. Historical Biology; published on-line 4 July.

Wang*, P.L., Jackson, F.D., and Varricchio, D.J.  2013.  Nest taphonomy of common terns (Sterna         hirundo) on Poplar Island, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Historical Biology 26(2):155-64.

Barta*, D., Brundridge*, K.M., Croghan*, J.A., Jackson, F., Varricchio, D.J., Jin, X., Poust*, A.W. 2013. Eggs and clutches of the Spheroolithidae from the Cretaceous Tiantai basin, Zhejiang Province, China.  Historical Biology 26(2):183-194.

Wilson*, H.A., Heck*, C., Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, F. D., Jin, X.  2013.  Evaluating deformation in Spheroolithus dinosaur eggs from Zhejiang, China. Historical Biology  26(2):173-182.

Jackson, F.D., Varricchio, D.J., Corsini, J.A.  2013. Avian eggs from the Eocene Willwood and Chadron formations of Wyoming and Nebraska.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(5):1190-1201.

Varricchio, D.J., F. D. Jackson, R.A Jackson, D. Zelenitsky.  2013. Porosity and water vapor conductance of two Troodon formosus eggs: an assessment of incubation strategy in a maniraptoran dinosaur. Paleobiology 39(2):278-296.

Knell*, J.J., Jackson,F.D., Titus, A.L., Albright, L.B. 2010.  A gravid fossil turtle from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Kaiparowits Formation, southern Utah. Historical Biology 23:57-62.

Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, F.D. 2010.  Welcome to papers from the 4th International Symposium on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies. Historical Biology. Historical Biology 23(1):1-3.

Vila*, B., Jackson, F., Fortuny*, J., Sellés*, A.G., Galobart, A. 2010.  3-D modeling of megaloolithid    clutches: insights about nest construction and reproductive behavior. PLoS ONE 5(5):1-13.

Jackson, F., Varricchio, D.J., 2010.  Fossil eggs and eggshell from the lowermost Two Medicine Formation of western Montana, Sevenmile Hill locality.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (4)1142-1156.

Villa*, B., Jackson F., Galobart, A. 2010. First data on dinosaur eggs and clutches from Pinyes locality (Upper Cretaceous, Southern Pyrenees). Ameghiniana (Argentina) 47(1): 79-87. 

Jin, X., Jackson, F., Varricchio, D.J., Azuma, Y.,He, T. in press.  The first Dictyoolithus egg clutches from the Lishui basin of Zhejian Province, China.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Varricchio, D.J.. Moore, J., Erickson, G., Norell, M., and Jackson, F., Borkowski, J. 2008. Avian parental care has dinosaur origin. Science 322:1826-1828

Jackson, F., Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, R., Vila, B., Chiappe, L. 2008. Comparison of water vapor conductance of a titanosaur egg from Argentina, with a Megaloolithus sirugeui egg from Spain. Paleobiology 34(2):229-246.

Jackson, F., Jin, X., Varricchio, D.J., Azuma, Y., Jiang, Y. 2008. The first in situ turtle clutch from the Cretaceous Tiantai Basin, Zhejiang Province China. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(2):319-325.

Jackson, F., and Schmitt, J.G. 2008. Criteria for the revognition of abnormalities in Late Cretaceous vertebrate eggs. Journal of Cretaceous Research 29:27-39.

Sander, P.M., Peitz, C., Jackson, F., Chiappe, L. 2008. Upper Cretaceous titanosaur nesting sites and their implication for sauropod dinosaur reproductive bilogy. Palaentographica Abt. A 284:69-107.

Weishampel, D., Fastovsky, D., Watabe, M., Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, F., Tsogtbataar, K., Barsbold, R. 2008. New oviraptorid embryos from Bugin-tsav, Nemegt Formation (Late Cretaceous), Mongolia, with insights into their habitat and growth. Journal Vertebrate Paleontology 28(4):1110-1119.

Jin, X., Azuma, Y., Jackson, F., Varricchio, D.J. 2007. Giant dinosaur eggs from the Tiantai Basin, Zhejiang Province, China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 44(1):81-88.

Varricchio, D.J., and Jackson, F. 2005. Origins of avian reproduction: Answers and questions from dinosaurs. Palaeovertebrate, Montpellier 32 (2-4).

Varricchio, D.J., and Jackson, F. 2004. A phylogentic assessment of prismatic dinosaur eggs from the Cretaceous Two Medicine Formation of western Montana. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 24(4):931-937.

Jackson, F., Garrido, A., Schmitt, J.G., Chiappe, L.M., Dingus, L., Loope, D. 2004. Abnormal, multilayered titanosaur eggs from in situ clutches (Dinosauri: Sauropoda) eggs from in sutu clutches at the Auca Mahuevo locality, Neuquen Province, Argentina. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 24(4):913-922.

Chiappe, L., Schmitt, J.G., Jackson, F., Garrido, A., Dingus, L., Grellet-Tinner, G. 2004. First nest structures for sauropos dinosaurs. Palaios 19:89-95.

Gottfried, M., O’Connor, P., Jackson F., Roberts, E.  2004.  Dinosaur eggshell from Red Sandstone Group of Tanzania.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 24 (2):494-497.

Chiappe, L.M., Coria, R., Jackson, F., Dingus L.  2003.  The Late Cretaceous nesting site of Auca Mahuevo (Patagonia, Argentina):  eggs, nests, and embryos of titanosaurian sauropods. Palaeovertebrata, Montpellier 32 (2-4).  

Jackson, F., and Varricchio, D.J. 2003. Ovum in ovo in Cuturnix japonica eggs (Japanese quail): Implications for dinosaur reproductive anatomy. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(3):699-702.

Jackson, F.D., Schweitzer, M. Schmitt J.  2002.  The study of dinosaur eggshell using scanning electron microscopy.  Scanning 24:217-223

Varricchio, D.J., Horner, J., Jackson, F.  2002.  Troodon Embryos and Eggs.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22 (3):564-576. 

Schweitzer, M., Jackson, F.D., Chiappe, L., Schmitt, J., Calvo, J., Rubilar, D. 2002.  Avian eggs and embryos from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(1) 191-195.

Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, F., Trueman, C. 1999.  A nesting trace with eggs for the Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Troodon formosus.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 19(1):91-99.

Chiappe, L.M., Coria, R.A., Dingus, L., Jackson, F., Chinsamy, A., and Fox M. 1998.  Sauorpod Dinosaur Embryos from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.   Nature396:258-261.

Varricchio, D. J., Jackson, F.D., Borkowski, J., Horner, J. 1997.  Nests and egg clutches of the dinosaur Troodon formosus and the evolution of avian reproductive traits.  Nature 385:247-250.


Book Chapters:

Lawver*, D. R., and F. D. Jackson. In press. A review of the fossil record of turtle reproduction: eggs,embryos, nests and copulating pairs. Special publication of the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Schmitt, J., Jackson, F., Hanna, R. 2014. Debris flow origin of an unusual Late Cretaceous  hadrosaur     bone bed in the Two Medicine Formation of western Montana. Hadrosaurs: D.A. Eberth and D.C. Evans, eds. Hadrosaurs, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Chiappe, L., Jackson F., Coria, R., Dingus, L. 2005.  Nesting titanosaurs from Auca Mahuevo and adjacent site (Late Cretaceous; Patagonia, Argentina): understanding sauropod reproductive behavior in K. Curry Rogers and J. A. Wilson (eds), The Sauropods: Evolution and Paleobiology. University of California Press, Berkeley, California, p. 348.

Varricchio, D. J., Jackson F. 2004.   Two eggs sunny-side up: reproductive physiology in the dinosaur Troodon formosus in P.J. Currie, E.B. Koppelhus, M.A. Shugar, J.L. Wright (eds.). Feathered Dragons: studies on the transition from dinosaurs to birds. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.


On-line Public Education:

Wilson*, L., Chin, K. Jackson F.  2010.  The Study of Fossil Eggs and Eggshells; Berkeley Museum on-line exhibit (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/science/eggshell/index.php).


Conference Volumes:

Bonde, J.W., Hilton, R.P., Jackson, F.D., and Druschke, P.A., 2015, Fauna of the Newark

Canyon Formation (Lower Cretaceous), east-central Nevada, in Pennell, W. and Garside, L. eds., 2015 Geological Society of Nevada Symposium Volume, p. 139-150.

Stoller, H.M., Rowland, S.M., Jackson F.D.  2013. Dinosaur and arthropod tracks in the Aztec Sandstone of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, in R.E. Reynolds (ed.), Raising questions in the central  Mojave Desert. The 2013 Desert Symposium Field Guide and Proceedings. California State University Desert Studies Consortium

Chiappe, L.M., Dingus, L., Jackson, F., Grellet-Tinner, G., Coria, R., Loope,  D., Clarke, J., and Garrido, A. 1999.  Sauropod eggs and embryos from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia.  1st International Congress on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies.  Isona, Catalonia, Spain: 15-16.


Field Trip Leader & Guide Books:

Bonde, J. , Varricchio D., Jackson, F.  2011. Mesozoic Vertebrate Paleontology of Valley of Fire State    Park, Southern Nevada. 71st Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting, Las Vegas, NV.

Varricchio, D., Jackson, F., Horner, J.  2009. The Willow Creek Anticline, Two Medicine Formation. 4th International Symposium on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Bozeman, MT.

Bonde, J., Varricchio, D.J., Jackson, F., Loope, D., Shirk, A. 2008 Dinosaurs and Dunes! Paleontology and Sedimentology of the Mesozoic in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.  Geological Society of America, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Horner, J. R., Schmitt, J.G., Jackson, F., Hanna, R.  2001.  Bones and rocks of the Upper Cretaceous Two Medicine-Judith River clastic wedge complex, Montana; pp. 3-13 in C.L. Hill (ed), Guidebook for the Field Trips, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 61st Annual Meeting. Museum of the Rockies Occasional Paper No. 3, Bozeman, MT.


Volume Editor:

Historical Biology. 2012.  5th International Symposium on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, Hangzhou, China. 

Historical Biology.  2010. 4th International Symposium on Dinosaur Eggs and Babies. Bozeman, MT.