Armand Marie Leroi

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Armand Leroi
Born (1964-07-16) 16 July 1964 (age 54)
Wellington, New Zealand
Residence London
Nationality New Zealand
Citizenship Dutch
Alma mater Dalhousie University (undergraduate)
University of California, Irvine postgraduate)
Scientific career
Fields Evolutionary biology
Institutions Imperial College London
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
University of California, Irvine
Dalhousie University
Thesis The origin and evolution of life history trade-offs (1993)
Doctoral advisor Michael R. Rose[1]
Website Imperial College
Personal page

Armand Marie Leroi (born 16 July 1964)[2][3] is an 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.


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.



  1. ^ a b Leroi, Armand (1993). The origin and evolution of life history trade-offs (PhD thesis). University of California Irvine. 
  2. ^ a b "Armand Marie Leroi". Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Professor Armand Leroi". Knight Ayton Management. 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. 
  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. doi:10.1073/pnas.91.5.1917. PMC 43275Freely accessible. 
  7. ^ Lauder, George V.; Leroi, Armand M.; Rose, Michael R. (1993). "Adaptations and history". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 8 (8): 294–297. doi:10.1016/0169-5347(93)90258-Q. 
  8. ^ Armand Marie Leroi (2005). Mutants: on the form, varieties and errors of the human body. New York, N.Y: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-00-653164-4. 
  9. ^ "Mutants by Armand Marie Leroi - Reviews - Books". The Independent. 2004-06-22. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  10. ^ Armand Leroi on IMDb
  11. ^ "durkinemails.htm". 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  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. doi:10.1073/pnas.1203182109. PMC 3409751Freely accessible.