PHOTO BY DENISE APPLEWHITE
Peter Grant, the Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology, Emeritus, and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, emeritus, and B. Rosemary Grant, senior research biologist, emeritus, and a senior biologist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, have been named recipients of the Royal Medal in Biology. The Grants’ legendary explorations of the group of 18 bird species known as Darwin’s finches that populate the Galápagos island of Daphne Major — which is in an entirely natural state unaffected by humans — over four decades have produced an array of dazzling insights into evolutionary theory.
The biologists are the first husband-and-wife team to be given the award and the first recipients in population biology.
The Royal Society of London stated that the Grants received the Royal Medal “for their research on the ecology and evolution of Darwin’s finches on the Galápagos, demonstrating that natural selection occurs frequently and that evolution is rapid as a result.”