Wallace Arthur

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Wallace Arthur
Wallace Arthur photo.jpg
Wallace Arthur in 2016
Born (1952-03-30) March 30, 1952 (age 65)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality British and Irish
Fields Evolutionary Biology
Institutions National University of Ireland, Galway
Alma mater University of Ulster, University of Nottingham
Known for evo-devo, popular science

Wallace Arthur is an evolutionary biologist and science writer. He is Emeritus Professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Of his eleven books, the most recent is Life through Time and Space, published by Harvard University Press in 2017. He was one of the founding editors of the journal Evolution & Development, serving as an editor for nearly 20 years.[1] He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, Darwin College Cambridge, and the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. He is currently Visiting Scientist at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, England.

Early life and education[edit]

Wallace Arthur was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1952. He attended Friends School Lisburn and Campbell College Belfast. He received a BSc in biology from the University of Ulster in 1973 and a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Nottingham in 1977.

Scientific work[edit]

Arthur describes himself as "a bit of a maverick" who likes "making connections across disciplinary boundaries".[2] His early work was at the interface between evolution and ecology, his later work at the interface between evolution and development, or ‘evo-devo’. His main contributions have been on the origin of animal body plans, the role of developmental bias in evolution, and the evolution of arthropod segmentation. His most recent book explores the interface between biology and astronomy, with a theme of the likelihood of life having evolved on multiple exoplanets.


  • Mechanisms of Morphological Evolution: 1984, Wiley
  • Theories of Life: Darwin, Mendel and Beyond: 1987, New York, USA & Harmondsworth, UK publisher Penguin
  • The Niche in Competition and Evolution: 1987, Wiley
  • A Theory of the Evolution of Development: 1988, Wiley
  • The Green Machine: Ecology and the Balance of Nature: 1990, Blackwell
  • The Origin of Animal Body Plans: 1997, Cambridge University Press
  • Biased Embryos and Evolution: 2004, Cambridge University Press
  • Creatures of Accident: The Rise of the Animal Kingdom: 2006, Hill & Wang (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • Evolution: A Developmental Approach: 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
  • Evolving Animals: 2014, Cambridge University Press
  • Life through Time and Space: 2017, Harvard University Press


  1. ^ Evolution & Development Editorial Board, Wiley, n.d., retrieved 23 April 2017 
  2. ^ Ross, Greg (n.d.), "Scientists' Nightstand: Wallace Arthur", American Scientist Online, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, archived from the original on 2008-08-28, retrieved 3 November 2010 

External links[edit]