I received undergraduate training at Cambridge University in the U.K., and a PhD degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada. I have held three professional positions, at McGill University, the University of Michigan and Princeton University respectively, and retired as Class of 1877 Professor in 2008. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Science. Together with my wife, B. Rosemary Grant, I have been studying the ecology and evolutionary biology of Darwin’s finches in the Galápagos archipelago since 1973. We have been jointly awarded three international prizes in recognition of the research, the Balzan prize in population biology, the Kyoto Prize in basic sciences and the BBVA Foundation prize in ecology and conservation.

Research Interests

We are collaborating with Professor Leif Andersson and his lab group at Uppsala University to understand the history and causes of speciation and diversification of Darwin's finches on the Galápagos. This is an extension of previous ecological fieldwork, with my wife Rosemary Grant, which was focused on long-term evolutionary dynamics of selected finch populations. We now apply molecular genetic tools to the DNA samples we collected from populations throughout the archipelago to address fundamental questions concerning the generation of biodiversity.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 27: Evolutionary Biology

Secondary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology