American Philosophical Society
Member History

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205. Microbiology[X]
1Name:  Lord Robert McCredie May
 Institution:  Univerity of Oxford and The Royal Society
 Year Elected:  2001
 Class:  2. Biological Sciences
 Subdivision:  205. Microbiology
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1936
 Death Date:  April 28, 2020
Sir Robert May is President of the Royal Society and holds a Professorship jointly in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University and at Imperial College, London. For the five-year period ending in September of 2000, he was Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and Head of its Office of Science and Technology. After earning a D.Phil. degree in Theoretical Physics from Sydney University, Sir Robert spent two years as the MacKay Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Harvard. He then returned to Sydney University as Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Physics, where he would hold that institution's first Personal Chair. In 1973, Sir Robert joined the faculty of Princeton University as its Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology and, from 1977-88, he also served as Chair of the University Research Board. Returning to Britain as a Royal Society Research Professor, Sir Robert's current work deals with the factors influencing the diversity and abundance of plant and animal species, and with the rates, causes and consequences of extinction. His recent publications in this area include Large Scale Ecology and Conservation Biology (1994), Extinction Rates (1995) and Evolution of Biological Diversity (1999). Sir Robert's contributions to the field of ecological research have been recognized with the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the 1998 Balzan Prize, among numerous other honors.
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