Alabama Not Just Football: 30 Amazing People Who Were Built By Bama

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Edward Osborne (“E.O.”) Wilson

E.O. Wilson is the world’s leading expert on ants and a two-time graduate of the University of Alabama. The Birmingham native is a biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist, and author.

After receiving a B.S. and an M.S. in biology from the University of Alabama, Wilson enrolled at Harvard University for his Ph.D.

He is known as the father of the subfields of sociobiology and biodiversity. Sociobiology is the study of group social behavior as a result of evolution. While the term dates back to the 1940s (the first use is credited to Wilson at a conference in 1946), Wilson’s 1975 book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis brought the field into the spotlight and sparked controversy over nature vs. nurture in human behavior.

Biodiversity is the study of the variety of life on Earth. It examines the interaction of different populations and ecosystems in regions. E.O. Wilson published the first use of the term “biodiversity” in the 1988 publication of the proceedings of the 1986 National Forum on Biological Diversity.

Wilson is an extremely decorated writer, researcher, and scientist. He became a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1969 and won Pulitzer Prizes in 1979 and 1991. In 1990 he won the Crafoord Prize, a prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in some sciences not covered by the Nobel Prize, for his work in ecology.

The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is an independent foundation at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Wilson is a Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator at Harvard University and a special lecturer at Duke University.

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