Home
Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Advertising
Summer school
Top issues
Abortion
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
Economy
Environment
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Nudge
Obesity
Parents and kids
Population
USA
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Letters
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed
survey

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
John Avise
distinguished professor of evolutionary genetics at the University of California in Irvine, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and pioneer of phylogeography


My entry into academic science was entirely inadvertent. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, I majored in fishery biology and management in the school of natural resources, with the intention of then gaining an outdoor job with the US Fish and Wildlife Service or perhaps the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Because I had always disliked classroom settings, a career in academia was nearly the last type of employment that I might have imagined for myself. But fate then intervened, in the form of the Vietnam War. I had no desire to participate in that irrational fiasco, so to gain one additional year of student deferment as I pursued a ‘conscientious objector’ status from my draft board, I enrolled in graduate school at the University of Texas.

There, I was properly introduced to genetics and molecular biology, and came to appreciate the special opportunities that these fields offered for studying the natural biological world. My love of nature has always seemed natural and from the heart, but my appreciation of academia and intellectual pursuits was a slowly acquired taste, that still seems to require conscious nurturing.

John Avise is author of books including Evolutionary Pathways in Nature: A Phylogenetic Approach (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).