Thomas D. Seeley
AUTHOR

Thomas D. Seeley

Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology within the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, where he teaches courses in animal behavior and does research on the biology of honey bees. He grew up in Ithaca, New York. He began keeping and studying bees while a high school student, when he brought home a swarm of bees in a wooden box. He went away to college at Dartmouth in 1970, but he returned to Ithaca each summer to work at the Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies at Cornell, where he learned the craft of beekeeping and began investigating the inner workings of the honey bee colony. Thoroughly intrigued by the smooth functioning of bee colonies, he went on to graduate school at Harvard University where he was supervised by two "ant men" (Drs. Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson), began his research on bees in earnest, and earned his Ph.D. in 1978. He then taught at Yale for six years, before working his way home to Ithaca/Cornell in 1986, where he has been ever since. In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). His research focuses on the behavior, social life, and ecology/natural history of honey bees and has been summarized in five books: Honeybee Ecology (1985, Princeton), The Wisdom of the Hive (1995, Harvard), Honeybee Democracy (2010, Princeton), Following the Wild Bees (2016, Princeton) and The Lives of Bees (2019, Princeton).
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