Gail F. Melson, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. She received a Ph.D in Developmental Psychology from Michigan State University. She has been an active researcher on child development and family relationships for over thirty years. Her books include Why the Wild Things Are: Animals in the Lives of Children (Harvard University Press, 2001); Child Development: Individual, Family, and Society (West, 1988, with Alan Fogel); and Origins of Nurturance: Developmental, Biological, and Cultural Perspectives on Caregiving (Erlbaum, 1986, with Alan Fogel) as well as over sixty scholarly articles and book chapters. Her research centers on children's development, especially the role of animals, nature, and technology. She lectures and consults widely on these topics.