James Costa

James Costa

MCZ Associate of Entomology
Jim Costa
Jim Costa is an all-around field naturalist who has studied insect ecology and behavior from the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to southern Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Galápagos Islands. A long-time research associate of the Department of Entomology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Jim is the author of numerous scientific research papers, including The Other Insect Societies (Harvard University Press, 2006). Over the past dozen years, Jim’s research and writing have largely focused on Darwin, Wallace, and other explorer-naturalists in the history of evolutionary biology. In 2009 HUP published The Annotated Origin, Jim’s annotated edition of On the Origin of Species, designed to guide readers through the historical context, structure, and content of Darwin’s masterwork. His most recent books — On the Organic Law of Change (Harvard, 2013) and Wallace, Darwin, and the Origin of Species (Harvard, 2014) — pay homage to Alfred Russel Wallace, renowned scientific traveler, founder of evolutionary biogeography, and co-discoverer with Darwin of the principle of natural selection. Jim has also held fellowships-in-residence at Harvard’s  Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2004-2005) and the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study in Germany (2012-2013). He teaches biogeography and the history of evolutionary biology, lectures widely in the US and Europe, is a regular travel program leader for the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, and for many years co-instructed Harvard’s Darwin summer program at the University of Oxford.

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