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Evolution: Famous Figures

A guide to accompany the Evolution Revolution exhibit.

Charles Darwin

As the most prominent name associated with the theory of evolution, lots of resources have been created about Darwin himself.

Alfred Russel Wallace

Though less well-known than Darwin, Wallace independently developed his theory of evolution around the same time as Darwin, and the two corresponded and collaborated.

Carl Linnaeus

Linnaeus was a Swedish  naturalist who created the nested hierarchy classification system used by scientists today.

Mary Anning

Mary Anning was an early paleontologist and fossil expert.

Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel was a monk in today's Czech Republic who is recognized as the father of modern genetics.

Theodosius Dobzhansky

Dobzhansky developed the "evolutionary synthesis," the bridge between Mendelian genetics and Darwinian evolution.

Franklin, Crick, and Watson

James Watson and Francis Crick were the first scientists to accurately describe the double helix structure of DNA, using Rosalind Franklin's images of DNA.  Unfortunately, Franklin died before Watson and Crick (with Maurice Wilkins) were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery in 1962.

Stephen Gould and Niles Eldredge

Gould and Eldredge developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, in which species exhibit little to no change over a long period of time, then have a burst of rapid evolutionary changes in a relatively short period.

Sean B. Carroll

Sean B. Carroll is a leader in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, or "evo devo."  

Biography Databases

In addition to the person-specific resources listed on this page, these databases are great sources for biographical and general information.


A selection of works by some of the seminal figures in the field of evolution: