Photograph of American biologist Edward O. Wilson.

Edward O. Wilson

The biologist Edward O. Wilson is considered the world’s leading authority on ants. Appointed to the faculty of Harvard University in 1956, he discovered that ants communicate primarily through the release of pheromones and formulated the idea of a “taxon cycle,” later found among other insects and birds, to describe a kind of speciation that occurs when segments of growing populations move into new habitats. In 1978 he published On Human Nature, for which he received a Pulitzer Prize. Wilson also cofounded the Encyclopedia of Life, a website aiming to offer free access to information about every living species on the planet.

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