American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Thomas Eisner
 Institution:  Cornell University
 Year Elected:  1986
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1929
 Death Date:  March 25, 2011
Thomas Eisner was a world authority on animal behavior, ecology, and evolution and was one of the pioneers of chemical ecology, the discipline dealing with the chemical interactions of organisms. He joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1955 and remained at Cornell throughout his life. He is author or co-author of some 400 scientific articles and books. A field biologist with working experience on four continents, Dr. Eisner was an active conservationist. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society and the National Scientific Council of the Nature Conservancy. He was president of the American Society of Naturalists and chairman of the Biology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Eisner played a key role in initiating the Congressional Fellow Program in Washington, and in efforts to preserve wilderness areas in Florida and Texas. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, he received numerous honors, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the Harvard Centennial Medal, the National Medal of Science and, in 2008, the National Academy of Sciences' John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science. He was a foreign fellow of The Royal Society and a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina and Academia Europaea. A well-known nature photographer, he also helped make award-winning film documentaries. Dr. Eisner grew up in Uruguay, became a naturalized American citizen and received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. Fluent in four languages, he was also a pianist and conductor of considerable talent. Thomas Eisner died on March 25, 2011, at age 81, in Ithaca, New York.
Election Year
1986 (1)