Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Edward Osborne Wilson, Jr., began his career studying ants and other social insects. He went on to develop the theory of sociobiology, which established a genetic basis for behavior in all animals, including humans. His advocacy for the preservation of endangered species and ecosystems spurred conservationist efforts worldwide.
“Most children have a bug period, and I never grew out of mine,” Wilson wrote in his autobiography, Naturalist. As a small, shy boy, he developed a love of nature while roaming the woods and beaches of Alabama and Florida and frequenting the Museum of Natural History and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. His loss of vision in one eye following a fishing accident led him to focus his scientific inquiries on creatures small enough to be observed at close range.
Following his graduation from high school in Decatur, Alabama, he entered the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. There, he completed a B.S. in biology in 1949 and an M.S. in biology in 1950. He received his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University in 1955. He became assistant professor at Harvard in 1956 and full professor in 1964. He served as curator in entomology of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1973 to 1997, when he was named honorary curator. In 1994, he became Pellegrino University Professor and was awarded emeritus status in 1997. Throughout his career at Harvard, he lived in Lexington, Massachusetts, with his wife, Renee....
(The entire section is 825 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!