Jan Sapp

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Jan Sapp
Born Jan Anthony Sapp
June 12, 1954 (1954-06-12) (age 60)
Halifax, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Fields Biology, history
Institutions York University

Jan Anthony Sapp (born June 12, 1954) is a Canadian historian of biology at York University, Canada.[1] His writings focus especially on evolutionary biology beyond the traditional neo-Darwinian framework, and emphasize the fundamental importance of symbiosis and horizontal gene transfer in heredity and evolution. He is also known for his writing on the coral reef crisis, focusing in detail on the outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish and coral bleaching.[2]


Sapp was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[citation needed] He completed his BSc hons (Biology) at Dalhousie University in 1976 before earning his MSc and Phd at the Institut d’histoire et de sociopolitique des sciences, at L'Université de Montréal in 1984.[3][4] He subsequently held an appointment at the University of Melbourne for eight years, where he also served as chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.[4] He was Andrew Mellon Fellow at the Rockefeller University, 1991-92.[4] He held the Canada Research Chair (tier 1) in the History of the Biological Sciences at l’Université du Québec à Montréal from 2001-2003[5] before returning to York University where he has been a professor since 1992.


  1. Sapp, Jan (2009). The New Foundations of Evolution: On the Tree of Life. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195388497. [6]
  2. Microbial Phylogeny and Evolution: Concepts and Controversies. Jan Sapp (ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. 2005. ISBN 0195168771. 
  3. Sapp, Jan (2003). Genesis: The Evolution of Biology. Oxford: New York : Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195156196. 
  4. Sapp, Jan (1999). What is Natural? : Coral Reef Crisis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195123647. 
  5. Sapp, Jan (1994). Evolution by Association: A History of Symbiosis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195088212. 
  6. Sapp, Jan (1990). Where the Truth Lies: Franz Moewus and the Origins of Molecular Biology. Cambridge [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521365503. 
  7. Sapp, Jan (1987). Beyond the Gene: Cytoplasmic Inheritance and the Struggle for Authority in Genetics. Monographs on the history and philosophy of biology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195042069. 

Recent publications[edit]

  1. Gilbert, S. F.; Sapp, J.; Tauber, A. I. (2012). "A symbiotic view of life: We have never been individuals". The Quarterly review of biology 87 (4): 325–341. doi:10.1086/668166. PMID 23397797.  edit
  2. Pace, N. R.; Sapp, J.; Goldenfeld, N. (2012). "Classic Perspective: Phylogeny and beyond: Scientific, historical, and conceptual significance of the first tree of life". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109 (4): 1011. doi:10.1073/pnas.1109716109.  edit
  3. Sapp, Jan (April 2012). "Race Finished". American Scientist 100 (2). p. 164. doi:10.1511/2012.95.164. ISSN 0003-0996.  edit
  4. Sapp, Jan (2012). "Evolution Replayed". BioScience 62 (7): 693–694. doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.7.14.  edit
  5. Sapp, Jan (2012-10-22). "Too Fantastic for Polite Society". In Dorion Sagan (ed.). Lynn Margulis: the life and legacy of a scientific rebel (1 ed.). Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing. pp. 54–67. ISBN 9781603584463. 
  6. Sapp, Jan (2012). "Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Tree of Life". In Joseph Seckbach (ed.). Genesis - In The Beginning. Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology 22. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. pp. 743–755. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-2941-4_37. ISBN 978-94-007-2941-4. Retrieved 2013-03-08.  edit
  7. Sapp, Jan (2011). "Lamarckian Leaps in the Microbial World". In Snait Gissis and Eva Jablonka (ed.). Transformations of Lamarckism: from subtle fluids to molecular biology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. pp. 271–283. ISBN 9780262015141. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  8. Sapp, J. (2010). "On the Origin of Symbiosis". In Joseph Seckbach and Martin Grube (ed.). Symbioses and Stress. Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology 17. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. pp. 3‒18. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-9449-0_1. ISBN 978-90-481-9449-0. Retrieved 2013-03-08.  edit
  9. Sapp, J. (2010). "Saltational symbiosis". Theory in Biosciences 129 (2–3): 125–133. doi:10.1007/s12064-010-0089-5. PMID 20535601.  edit


  1. ^ "Jan Sapp". York University: Graduate Program in Biology. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  2. ^ Verner, Brent. "What Is Natural?: Jan Sapp". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  3. ^ Ailie Smith; Ann McCarthy (2010-07-27). "Provenance: Dr Jan Anthony Sapp". The University of Melbourne - Guide to the Records of Dr Jan Sapp Regarding the Briggs Affair. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  4. ^ a b c Symbioses and Stress: Joint Ventures in Biology. Joseph Seckbach (ed.). Springer. 2010-01-01. ISBN 9789048194490. 
  5. ^ Sévigny, Judith; Claire Deschênes; Monique Frize; Safaa Mohamed (2003-03-07). Canada Research Chairs Compilation (PDF). Ottawa, Canada: Canada Research Chairs Secretariat. p. 36. 
  6. ^ Byrnes, W. Malcolm (January–February 2010). "Review: The New Foundations of Evolution by Jan Sapp". American Scientist. 

External links[edit]