MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1985

Jared M. Diamond

Environmental Historian and Physiologist

Los Angeles, California

Age: 48 at time of award

Published July 1, 1985

Jared Diamond is a biologist working in the fields of biogeography, evolutionary ecology, and integrative physiology.

In his ecological fieldwork, Diamond studies the birds of New Guinea and other tropical Pacific islands, and then applies his findings to species conservation and to the design of the national park system of Indonesian New Guinea.  His research also focuses on the area of environmental history, on the insights that can be gained from large-scale, long-term comparisons of how human societies around the globe affect and are affected by their environments.  He is the author of The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1992), Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997), Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality (1997) and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004).

Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles and formerly a professor of physiology in the medical school.  He is a regular contributor to Discover and Natural History magazines and has published scientific papers in such journals as Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Diamond received a B.A. (1958) from Harvard University and a Ph.D. (1961) from the University of Cambridge.

Last updated January 1, 2005.