American Philosophical Society
Member History

Results:  2 ItemsModify Search | New Search
Page: 1Reset Page
Residency
Resident[X]
Class
2. Biological Sciences[X]
Subdivision
203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology[X]
1Name:  Dr. Marcus William Feldman
 Institution:  Stanford University; Xi'an Jiaotong University, China
 Year Elected:  2011
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1942
   
 
Marcus Feldman is Director of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies and Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Biology at Stanford University, and Director of the Center for Complexity Studies, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China. Marcus Feldman’s contributions to evolutionary theory include over four-hundred fifty refereed publications and nine books, mentoring over fifty doctoral and postdoctoral students, including fifteen women from fourteen countries, who remain in academia today and who constitute a truly dominant worldwide force in evolutionary studies, and his application of evolutionary analysis to important social problems. Early in his career, Feldman became a leader in the study of natural selection acting on many genes simultaneously, i.e., multilocus selection. He used this as a basis for his famous studies on the evolution of genes that control important influences on the evolution of other genes, namely the evolution of mutation, recombination, and migration. His analytical framework remains the gold standard for quantitative studies of modifier genes, for example in the evolution of sex. With Cavalli-Sforza, Feldman originated the quantitative study of cultural evolution and gene-culture co-adaptation. Largely due to Feldman’s rigorous approach to this theory, it is now a major component of anthropological theory and behavioral economics. The mathematical and statistical approach that Feldman originated has been incorporated into such diverse fields as the evolution of lactose tolerance, the advantage of learning in changing environments, and heritability of intelligence. With colleagues in China, Feldman applied his theory of cultural coevolution to a major problem in Chinese demography, the excess of male births and the cultural preference for sons. His projections for future sex ratios, made using his models of cultural transmission and evolution, have led to major administrative programs aimed at alleviating the shortage of females. In the field of human genomics since 2001, Feldman has spearheaded the work on DNA polymorphisms, showing the central importance of ancient human migrations to the present pattern of human genomic variation. He has used this work to further his career-long fight against the use of genetics to justify racism. Over the past fifteen years, working with colleague Odling-Smee and former postdoctoral fellow Kevin Laland, Feldman has developed the quantitative theory of niche construction. This theory extends standard evolutionary theory by allowing the inheritance of organisms’ environments, introducing a complex pattern of feedbacks between genetic and environmental evolution. These feedbacks produce evolutionary dynamics not seen in standard evolutionary theory but which can describe how environmental effects of human culture can affect human genetic evolution. In 2011 Feldman was honored as the Dan David laureat for his work in evolution. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2011.
 
2Name:  Dr. Keith S. Thomson
 Institution:  American Philosophical Society; University of Oxford
 Year Elected:  2011
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  203. Evolution & Ecology, Systematics, Population Genetics, Paleontology, and Physical Anthropology
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1938
   
 
Keith Stewart Thomson served as the American Philosophical Society’s Executive Officer from July 1, 2012, to June 12, 2017. He graduated from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1960 and then moved to Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in biology in 1963. His dissertation was on the evolution of air-breathing at the transition between fishes and the first land animals. He continued to study both fossil and living fishes when he returned to England as NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London (1963-1965) before going to Yale University (1965-1987), first as a faculty member of the Biology Department, where he was also appointed Curator of Fishes in the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and later as its Director and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. At Yale his studies of ancient fishes inevitably drew him both to the “living fossil” lungfishes and the extraordinary living coelacanth. In 1966 he obtained for study the first fresh specimen of the coelacanth from the Comoro Islands (Living Fossil, 1991). His overall goal was to understand fossils in the same physiological, biomechanical, and ecological terms as we study living animals. In the process he published more than 200 papers on subjects ranging from the evolution of cell size and DNA content in lungfish and intracranial mechanics in the coelacanth and its fossil relatives, to the origin of the tetrapod middle ear and the body shape and swimming mechanics of sharks. From an early interest in embryology, it was but a short step to study the roles that developmental processes play in evolution, and to writing Morphogenesis and Evolution (1988). As an evolutionary biologist he naturally became interested in Charles Darwin and that led to a broader interest in the history of science (for example HMS Beagle, the Story of Darwin’s Ship, 1995). He moved to Philadelphia as President and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences (1987-1995), which included heading a successful capital campaign for a new library building and a research laboratory on Chesapeake Bay. In 1996 he was appointed University Distinguished Scientist-in-Residence at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he introduced the first science curriculum and taught both biology and history of science. In 1998 he was elected to be the first director (in modern times) of the Oxford University Museum, Professor of Natural History, and a Fellow of Kellogg College. At Oxford he was heavily involved in the creation of a new national program of funding for regional (i.e. not state-funded) museums. After retiring in 2003 he returned to Philadelphia to write, and was based at the American Philosophical Society as Senior Research Fellow. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2011. His recent books include: The Watch on the Heath (published in the USA as Before Darwin) and Fossils: a Very Short Introduction, both in 2005; The Legacy of the Mastodon (2008); A Passion for Nature: Thomas Jefferson and Natural History (2008); The Young Charles Darwin (2009); Jefferson’s Shadow: The Story of his Science (2012), and Private Doubt, Public Dilemma (2015).
 
Election Year
2011[X]