In Memoriam: Lynn Margulis (1938-2011)

Lynn Margulis, the Distinguished University Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, died on November 22 at her home in Amherst. She was 73 years old.

Professor Margulis, an evolutionary biologist, was best known for her associations with the theory of symbiogenesis and the Gaia hypothesis.

Dr. Margulis joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts in 1988 after teaching at Boston University for 22 years. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Clinton in 1999.

Steve Goodwin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass, said, “She was an amazing scientist and a wonderful person. She provided a stimulation to the campus community and the scientific community that was uniquely her own.”

A native of Chicago, Margulis enrolled at the University of Chicago at the age of 14. She held a master’s degree in genetics and zoology from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley.

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