Mark Moffett (born 7 January 1958) “…has developed a career that combines science and photography, in spite of being a high school dropout. Although his family was not academic, encouraged by his parents he sought out biologists by the age of 12. He continues to travel to conduct research on ecology and behavior, photograph and write for National Geographic and other magazines, author books, and lecture and appear on television as an ecologist-storyteller. He has been compared to Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall, and National Geographic has called him “the Indiana Jones of Entomology”
Moffett received his B.A. in Biology at Beloit College in Wisconsin in 1979, where he was elected into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 1989, funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He came to Harvard to study under Edward O. Wilson, who had developed the field of sociobiologyand was at the time popularizing the concept of biodiversity. After receiving his doctorate, Moffett became curator of ants under Dr. Wilson at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, which has the largest collection of these social insects in the world. He remained at the museum as a Research Associate through most of the 1990s while continuing his efforts for National Geographic Magazine. Afterward, he became a Research Associate at Department of Anthropology at Harvard (1997–2000) and Visiting Scholar at Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at University of California, Berkeley (1998–2005).
Moffett is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Entomology at the National Museum of Natural History in the Smithsonian Institution. He travels the world looking for new species and behaviors while studying social behavior and the structure and dynamics of ecosystems, particularly their canopies.
Moffett taught himself photography to document his doctorate on ants. National Geographic published these novel photographs, and he went on to become a leading photographer and frequent writer for that magazine, with more than two dozen articles and hundreds of images to his credit.
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Sofia Martinez Vilalpando