Pellegrino University Research Professor
Honorary Curator in Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology
Edward O. Wilson, professor at Harvard since 1956, is one of the foremost ecologists in the world and one of those who coined the term "biodiversity." An entomologist, he discovered in the late 1950s how ants communicate through pheromones. He is perhaps best known as one of the originators and the main proponent of sociobiology, now a major branch of the biological sciences.
Author of over a dozen books, Dr. Wilson collected Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature and The Ants. Other books include the controversial Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, published in 1975, and The Diversity of Life, in which he argues that the biodiversity crisis, the "sixth extinction," threatens 30% to 50% of all species by 2050. His most recent book is titled The Future of Life. He has written over 400 articles, mostly technical.
Dr. Wilson has won scores of awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Craaford Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the National Medal of Science for his research on pheromones. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and several foreign academies, and is a Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has lectured all over the world. The National Audubon Society named him one of the 100 Champions of Conservation, 20th Century. TIME named him one of America's 25 Most Influential People in 1996, and in 2002 presented him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Wilson earned a B.S. and M.S. from University of Alabama and his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and has received over 20 honorary degrees.