About the Authors

Lynn Margulis ————————————————————
Distinguished University Professor • Microbial Evolution and Organelle Heredity
A.B., University of Chicago, 1957; M.S., University of Wisconsin, 1960; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1963.

LYNN MARGULIS, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983. She received the National Medal of Science in 1999 from William J. Clinton. The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, announced in 1998 that it will permanently archive her papers. Margulis was president (2005-2006) of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society  from which she received the Proctor Prize for scientific achievement in 1999. On her move to the Botany Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1988, she had been a biology professor at Boston University for 22 years.

Her publications span a wide-range of scientific topics. Mainly in cell biology and microbial evolution. Probably best known for development of the theory of symbiogenesis, she challenges a central tenet of neoDarwinism: little significant inherited variation comes from random mutations in DNA. New organelles, tissues, organs, and even new species evolve primarily through the fusion of genomes in symbioses followed by natural selection. Symbiogenesis leads to increasingly complex levels of individuality. Beyond contributions to evolution, Dr. Margulis is acknowledged for her microbiological work with James E. Lovelock on his Gaia concept. Gaia theory posits that the Earth’s surface interactions among living beings in sediment, air, and water have created a vast self-regulating system.

Professor Margulis, who participates in hands-on teaching activities at levels from middle to graduate school, is the author of many articles and books. Recent publications include Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution (1998), Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species (2002), Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on Nature in Nature (2007) both co-written with Dorion Sagan and Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love (2006) is her first fiction. Indeed, over the past decade and a half, Professor Margulis has co-written a number of books with Sagan, among them What is Sex? (1997), What is Life? (1995), Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality (1991), Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors (1986), and Origins of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination (1986). Her book Five-Kingdoms: An illustrated guide to the phyla of life on Earth, first with K. V. Schwartz (1998), and now with Michael Chapman (4th edition in progress for 2009) provides a consistent, formal, illustrated classification of all life (phyla) on Earth. Based on international work, it encompasses life's immense diversity from microbes to reef-building corals. The logical basis for it is summarized in her single-authored book Symbiosis in Cell Evolution: Microbial Communities in the Archean and Proterozoic Eons (second edition, 1993). The bacterial origins of both chloroplasts and mitochondria are established. She works now with a few close colleagues on the origin of cilia from spirochetes.

Dorion Sagan ————————————————————————————
Science Writer, Author

DORION SAGAN A writer and sleight-of-hand magician, Dorion has delivered reviews and essays on topics including evolution, cybersex, and the biology of gender for publications such as The New York Times, Bioscience, The Times Higher Supplement, Pabular, Umass, Wired, Natural History, Coevolution Quarterly, The Smithsonian, The Sciences, The Science Teacher, Whole Earth, Omni, The Environmentalist, The Ecologist, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, , and The New York Times Book Review. He has contributed to philosophical works including Biology, Ethics, and the Origins of Life (Jones and Bartlett, Boston) and Incorporations: Fragments for a History of the Human Body (Zone, New York), as well as science anthologies such as Evolution Extended (MIT Press) and The Biophilia Hypothesis (Stephen R. Kellert and E. O. Wilson, eds.) His most recent projects are Up From Dragons: The Evolution of Human Intelligence with British neuroscientist John Skoyles (McGraw-Hill), and Into the Cool, a book on life, complexity and thermodynamics with ecologist Eric D. Schneider.

Dorion's authored and coauthored books on science include Origins of Sex: Four Billion Years of Genetic Recombination (Yale University Press), Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Evolution and Symbiosis (Copernicus Books; Library of Science Book Club main selection, July, 1997), The Diversity of Living Organisms, (Blackwell Science, Oxford), What is Sex? (Simon & Schuster), What is Life? (Foreword by Niles Eldredge; University of California Press, 2000, Simon & Schuster/Weidenfeld and Nicolson; a 1998 Global Business Network Book Club Selection; "mind-altering masterpiece" Utne Reader, "a masterpiece of science writing" Mitchell Tomashaw, Orion), Microcosmos (Summit Books/Touchstone/University of California Press; Alternate Book Selection, Macmillan Science/Nature Book Club, 1986; "A seminal book" Ben Bova; "This admiring reader of Lewis Thomas, Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould has seldom, if ever, seen such a luminous prose style in a work of this kind" Melvin Konner, The New York Times Book Review; "One of the most important books in the history of humanity" Amazon.com), Mystery Dance (Summit Books/Touchstone; alternate selection, Book of the Month Club, exclusive selection, Quality Paperback Bookclub), Garden of Microbial Delights (PrenticeHall/Kendall-Hunt), and Biospheres: Metamorphosis of Planet Earth (McGraw-Hill/Penguin Books).

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