Peter e Rosemary Grant

2005 Balzan Prize for Population Biology

Peter and Rosemary Grant are distinguished for their remarkable long-term studies demonstrating evolution in action in Galápagos finches. They have demonstrated how very rapid changes in body and beak size in response to changes in the food supply are driven by natural selection. They have also elucidated the mechanisms by which new species arise and how genetic diversity is maintained in natural populations. The work of the Grants has had a seminal influence in the fields of population biology, evolution and ecology.

PETER R. GRANT was born in Norwood, London, on 26 October 1936.

He is Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology Emeritus, Princeton University (since 2008).

After receiving his BA (Honors) in 1960 from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. in 1964 from the University of British Columbia, he earned a post-doctoral Fellowship at Yale University (1964-1965). At McGill University he became Assistant Professor (1965-1968), Associate Professor (1968-1973) and full Professor
(1973-1977). He was Professor at the University of Michigan (1977-1985) prior to his appointment at Princeton University (1985), where he became Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology (1989). He was also Visiting Professor at the Universities of Uppsala (1981, 1985) and Lund (1981).

He is a member or a fellow of numerous US and European societies and academies, such as the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Naturalists (President in 1999, Honorary member since 2008), and the American Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Ecological Society of America, the American Ornithologists’ Union, the Linnean Society of London, the Society for Behavioural Ecology and Charles Darwin Foundation,
where he is a member of the General Assembly. He received honorary degrees from the universities of San Francisco, Quito (2005), and Zurich (2008). He was and still is an associate editor of scientific journals, including Ecology (1968-1970), Evolutionary Theory (since 1973), Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (since 1984),
and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1990-1993). He is Honorary Citizen of Puerto Bacquerizo, I. San Cristóbal, Galápagos, since 2005.

B. ROSEMARY GRANT was born in Arnside, England, on 8 October 1936.

She is Research Scholar and Professor of Zoology Emeritus, Princeton University (since 2008).

After receiving her BSc (Honors) in 1960 from Edinburgh University, Scotland, she became a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, Canada (1960-1964), at Yale University (1964-1965), at McGill University (1973-1977) and at the University of Michigan (1977-1985). She earned her Ph.D. in 1985 from Uppsala University. At Princeton University she became Research Scholar and Lecturer (1985), and then Senior Research Scholar and Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1997). She was Visiting Professor
at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (spring-summer 2002, summer 2003). Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1997) and of the Charles Darwin Foundation (2002), Foreign Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2004) and Fellow of the Royal Society of London (2007), Foreign Member of the America Academy of Sciences (2008) and honorary member of the American Society of Naturalists (2008), she received honorary degrees from McGill University (2002), Universidad San Francisco, Quito (2005), and the University of Zurich (2008). She is Honorary Citizen of Puerto Bacquerizo, I. San Cristóbal, Galápagos, since 2005.

PETER and ROSEMARY GRANT received the Darwin-Wallace Medal of 2009 at the Linnean Society of London on the occasion of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, 12 February, 2009. They have received several other joint honours, including the Municipality of Puerto Ayora Science Award, I. Santa Cruz, Galápagos (2006), the American Institute of Biological Sciences Outstanding Scientist Award for 2005, the Distinguished Scientists Award for 2005 from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Grinnell Award from the University of California at Berkeley (2003), the Loye and Alden Miller Award from the Cooper Ornithological Society (2003), the Darwin Medal from the Royal Society of London (2002), the E.O. Wilson Prize from the American Society of Naturalists (1998) and the Leidy Medal from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1994).

For their book Evolutionary Dynamics of a Natural Population: The Large Cactus Finch of the Galápagos (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1989) they received the Wildlife Society’s 1991 Wildlife Publication Award. The book by Jonathan Weiner, The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (New York, Alfred Knopf, 1994), in which Rosemary and Peter Grant discuss their 20 years of fascinating research, was awarded in 1995 the Pulitzer Non-Fiction Prize. Their most recent book How and Why Species Multiply. The radiation of Darwin’s Finches (Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey) was published in 2008.
Peter and Rosemary Grant have jointly published numerous journal papers, among which we mention:

– Fission and fusion of Darwin’s finch populations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363: 2821-2829, 2008
– Pedigrees, assortative mating and speciation in Darwin’s finches. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 275: 661-668, 2008
– The calmodulin pathway and the evolution of elongated beak morphology in Darwin’s finches. Nature 442: 563-567, 2006 (with others)
– Evolution of character displacement in Darwin’s finches. Science 313: 224-226, 2006
– Species before speciation is complete. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens 93: 94-102, 2006
– The origin and diversification of Galápagos mockingbirds. Evolution 60: 370-382, 2006 (with others)
– Comparative landscape genetics and the adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches: the role of peripheral isolation. Mol. Ecol. 14: 2943-2957, 2005 (with others)
– Hybridization in the recent past. American Naturalist 166: 56-67, 2005 (with others)
– Darwin’s finches, Current Biology 15: R614-R615, 2005
– What Darwin’s finches can teach us about the evolutionary origin and regulation of biodiversity, Bioscience, vol. 53, n. 10: 965-975, 2003
– Simulating secondary contact in allopatric speciation: an empirical test of premating isolation, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 76: 542-556, 2002
– Unpredictable evolution in a 30-year study of Darwin’s finches, Science 296: 707-711, 2002
– Adaptive radiation of Darwin’s finches, American Scientist 90: 130-139, 2002
– Lack of premating isolation at the base of a phylogenetic tree, American Naturalist 160: 1-19, 2002
– Non-random fitness variation in two populations of Darwin’s finches, Proceedings of the Royal Society B 267: 131-138, 2000
– Quantitative genetic variation in populations of Darwin’s finches, in Adaptive Variation in the Wild, 3-49, T.A. Mousseau, B. Sinervo and J.A. Endler, eds., Oxford University Press, New York, 1999
– Hybridization and speciation in Darwin’s finches: the role of sexual imprinting on a culturally transmitted trait, pp. 404-422 in D.J. Howard and S. Berlocher, eds., Endless forms: species and speciation, Oxford University Press, 1998
– Genetics and the origin of bird species, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 94: 7768-7775, 1997
– Hybridization, sexual imprinting and mate choice, American Naturalist 149: 1-28, 1997
– Cultural inheritance of song and its role in the evolution of Darwin’s Finches, Evolution 50: 2471-2487, 1996
– Predicting microevolutionary responses to directional selection on heritable variation, Evolution 49: 241-251, 1995
– Phenotypic and genetic consequences of hybridization in Darwin’s Finches, Evolution 48: 297-316, 1994
– Demography and the genetically effective sizes of two populations of Darwin’s Finches, Ecology 73: 766-784, 1992
– Hybridization of bird species, Science 256: 193-197, 1992

(January 2009)

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