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Lynn Margulis

Distinguished University Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts.

A scientist born in Chicago, Lynn Margulis was acknowledged by her colleagues as a talented biologist and a stimulating thinker who often pushed during her career at the limits of what was acceptable to the scientific community.

Margulis spent her life researching the microcosm of the smallest organisms on Earth. Her interest in understanding the relationships between them led to her theory of symbiogenesis, according to which life is the result of symbiosis and co-operation arising from the physical association of organisms of different species. Loyal throughout to Darwin’s tenets, her main contribution was to fill out the theory of evolution by adding to it her discoveries on the world of microbes.

She collaborated with a number of Spanish universities and in one of her projects studied microbial mats in the Ebro Delta, arriving at extremely interesting results. Between 1997 and her death, she held the position of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her many published works include Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth (1982) and Symbiotic Planet (1998).

Update: 10 May 2021


Has participated in

What is Life?

Lecture by Lynn Margulis

Science Friction

Living Among Companion Species