James T. Costa

James T. Costa

Jim Costa is Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina, and Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, where he has taught courses in genetics, entomology, biogeography and evolution. An entomologist with a special interest in social evolution, Jim has been a Research Associate in Entomology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology since 1996, and the author of numerous research papers, reviews, and the book The Other Insect Societies (Harvard, 2006).

Over the past dozen years Jim's research and writing have largely focused on Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and the history of evolutionary biology, including three books with Harvard University Press: "The Annotated Origin" (2009), "On the Organic Law of Change" (2013), and "Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species" (2014). He was awarded the silver Wallace Medal by the London-based Alfred Russel Wallace Memorial Fund in 2017 for his contributions to Wallace scholarship. That year also saw the publication of Jim's latest book, "Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory" (W. W. Norton). A finalist for the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Prize, Darwin's Backyard is a life of Darwin seen through the lens of the naturalist's incessant and charming "experimentising."

Jim has held fellowships at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2004-2005) and the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study (2012-2013). He lectures widely in the US and Europe, is a regular travel program leader/lecturer for the HAA/Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, and for many years co-instructed Harvard's Darwin summer program at the University of Oxford, England.

For more information, visit Jim's website at www.jamestcosta.com.

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