Armand Marie Leroi

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Armand Leroi
Born (1964-07-16) 16 July 1964 (age 57)
NationalityNew Zealand
Alma materDalhousie University (undergraduate)
University of California, Irvine postgraduate)
Scientific career
FieldsEvolutionary biology
InstitutionsImperial College London
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
University of California, Irvine
Dalhousie University
ThesisThe origin and evolution of life history trade-offs (1993)
Doctoral advisorMichael R. Rose[1]
WebsiteImperial College
Personal page

Armand Marie Leroi (born 16 July 1964)[2][3] is a New Zealand-born Dutch author, broadcaster, and professor of evolutionary developmental biology at Imperial College in London.[4][5][6][7] He has written a book and presented television programs on Aristotle's biology.

Early life and education[edit]

A Dutch citizen, Leroi was born in Wellington, New Zealand. His youth was spent in New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree by Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada in 1989, and a Ph.D. by the University of California, Irvine in 1993.[1] This was followed by postdoctoral work at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental organism.[citation needed]


In 2001, he was appointed lecturer at Imperial College, London. He has written several books, including Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body[8][9] for which he was awarded the Guardian First Book Award in 2004.[2] In 2004 he adapted his book into a television documentary series for Britain's Channel 4 entitled Human Mutants.[10]

Leroi has presented two other TV documentary series for Channel 4: "Alien Worlds" in 2005, and "What Makes Us Human" in 2006. Despite his TV appearances, Leroi has expressed scepticism about the truthfulness of television creatives. In an email exchange with TV director Martin Durkin, concerning the latter's documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, Leroi wrote: "left to their own devices, TV producers simply cannot be trusted to tell the truth".[11]

He is also known as one of the first testers of the beneficial acclimation hypothesis. In 2005, Leroi published an article in The New York Times entitled "A Family Tree in Every Gene",[12] which argued for the usefulness of racial types in medical genetics.

It was found during the making of "What Makes Us Human" that his ASPM gene locus is heterozygous. That is to say, he has one copy of the recent variant and one copy of the old ASPM allele.

In January 2009 Leroi presented the BBC4 documentary What Darwin Didn't Know, which charts the progress in the field of Evolutionary Theory since the original publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859.

In January 2010 Leroi presented the BBC4 documentary Aristotle's Lagoon, filmed on the Greek island of Lesbos and suggesting that Aristotle was the world's first biologist.[3]

In 2012 he collaborated on the DarwinTunes evolutionary music project, using natural selection to create music[13] and in 2016 presented The Secret Science of Pop on BBC4.


  • Mutants: On Genetic Variety and the Human Body (Viking/Penguin, 2004) ISBN 978-0142004821
  • The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science (Viking, 9/25/2014) ISBN 978-0670026746


  1. ^ a b Leroi, Armand (1993). The origin and evolution of life history trade-offs (PhD thesis). University of California Irvine. ProQuest 304049779.
  2. ^ a b "Armand Marie Leroi". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Professor Armand Leroi". Knight Ayton Management. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  4. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic
  5. ^ Chippindale, Adam K.; Leroi, Armand M.; Kim, Sung B.; Rose, Michael R. (1993). "Phenotypic plasticity and selection in Drosophila life-history evolution. I. Nutrition and the cost of reproduction". Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 6 (2): 171–193. doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.1993.6020171.x. S2CID 44697297.
  6. ^ Leroi, A. M.; Bennett, A. F.; Lenski, R. E. (1994). "Temperature acclimation and competitive fitness: an experimental test of the beneficial acclimation assumption". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 91 (5): 1917–1921. Bibcode:1994PNAS...91.1917L. doi:10.1073/pnas.91.5.1917. PMC 43275. PMID 8127906.
  7. ^ Lauder, George V.; Leroi, Armand M.; Rose, Michael R. (1993). "Adaptations and history". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 8 (8): 294–297. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/0169-5347(93)90258-Q. PMID 21236172.
  8. ^ Armand Marie Leroi (2005). Mutants: on the form, varieties and errors of the human body. New York, N.Y: Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0-00-653164-7.
  9. ^ "Mutants by Armand Marie Leroi - Reviews - Books". The Independent. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  10. ^ Armand Leroi at IMDb
  11. ^ "durkinemails.htm". 9 March 2007. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  12. ^ The New York Times, retrieved 2009-09-30
  13. ^ MacCallum, R. M.; Mauch, M.; Burt, A.; Leroi, A. M. (2012). "Evolution of music by public choice". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (30): 12081–12086. doi:10.1073/pnas.1203182109. PMC 3409751. PMID 22711832.