Deborah M. Gordon

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Deborah M. Gordon
Deborah Gordon.jpg
Born (1955-12-30) December 30, 1955 (age 65)
Alma materOberlin College
Stanford University
Duke University
Known forRed harvester ant colony behavior
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
University of Oxford
Imperial College London
Stanford University

Deborah M. Gordon (born December 30, 1955) is a biologist, appointed as a professor in the Department of Biology at Stanford University.

Major research[edit]

Gordon studies ant colony behavior and ecology, with a particular focus on red harvester ants. She focuses on the developing behavior of colonies, even as individual ants change functions within their own lifetimes.

Gordon's fieldwork includes a long-term study of ant colonies in Arizona. She is the author of numerous articles and papers as well as the book Ants at Work for the general public, and she was profiled in The New York Times Magazine in 1999.[1]

In 2012, she found that the foraging behavior of red harvester ants matches the TCP congestion control algorithm.[2][3]


Gordon received a Ph.D. in zoology from Duke in 1983, an M.Sc. in Biology from Stanford in 1977[1] and a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, where she majored in French.

She was a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1993 Gordon was named a Stanford MacNamara Fellow[2]. In 1995 Gordon received an award for teaching excellence from the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association.[4] In 2001 Gordon was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2003, Gordon was invited to speak at a TED conference.[5] She is also an adviser to the Microbes Mind Forum.[citation needed]


  • Gordon, Deborah; Gordon, Deborah M. (2000). Ants at Work: How An Insect Society Is Organized. ISBN 0-393-32132-0. OCLC 41531917.
  • Gordon, Deborah M. (2010). Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior. ISBN 9780691138794. OCLC 433548903.


  1. ^ Foster, Douglas (October 31, 1999). New York Times Magazine.
  2. ^ Cima, Rosie (3 February 2015). "The Independent Discovery of TCP/IP, By Ants". Pricenomics.
  3. ^ Gordon, Deborah (6 July 2013). "What Do Ants Know That We Don't?". Wired.
  4. ^ Phi Beta Kappa Northern California association Teaching Award Winners
  5. ^ TED Talks: Deborah Gordon digs ants at TED, 2003

External links[edit]