Edward O. Wilson
#89 Overall Influence

Edward O. Wilson

U.S. biologist and author

About

Why is this person notable and influential?

Edward O. Wilson is the world’s leading expert on ants, a specialty known as myrmecology, but that’s not all. He is also considered the father of biodiversity and the father of sociobiology. He is the Pellegrino University Research Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and a lecturer at Duke University. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in biology from the University of Alabama. He was named to the Harvard Society of Fellows, which enabled him to travel around the world studying ant species from Australia to Cuba. He graduated from Harvard University with his Ph.D.

His interest in entomology began at an early age. He suffered a loss of vision in his right eye, forcing him to look differently at the world. He began to focus on the tiniest creatures, as those were the ones he could see best. At 18, he was collecting flies to study, but a lack of insect pins caused by the war made him switch to ants.

His book, On Human Nature, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1979. In 1991, he won yet another Pulitzer Prize, for The Ants, which he wrote with Bert Hölldobler. He is the founder of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation.

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Schools

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Harvard University
Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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University of Alabama
University of Alabama

Public university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States

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Notable Works

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Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#9 World Rank #3 USA Rank
Biology
#276 World Rank #122 USA Rank
Sociology
#9303 World Rank #1974 USA Rank
Literature