Thor Hanson (biologist)

Last updated

Thor Hanson is an American conservation biologist and author. Hanson has published four books for general audiences and one children's book, and he has also contributed articles to a range of periodicals.



Hanson received a bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands, a master's degree from the University of Vermont, and a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. [1] In the 1990s, Hanson worked as a volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Uganda and managed a tourism project regarding brown bears for the U.S. Forest Service. [1] Outside of writing for general audiences, Hanson has also published "technical research on such topics as the ecology of tropical trees, forest fragmentation and its impact on bird nest predation, the impact that warfare can have on biodiversity hotspots, and the behaviour of Neotropical monkeys and birds." [2] Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, and in 1998, he also received the Switzer Environmental Fellowship. [1] [3]

University of Redlands private liberal arts university located in Redlands, California

The University of Redlands is a private, nonprofit university headquartered in Redlands, California. The university's main, residential campus is situated on 160 acres near downtown Redlands. An additional eight regional locations throughout California largely provide programs for working adults.

University of Vermont public research university in Burlington, Vermont, USA

The University of Vermont (UVM), officially The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university in Burlington, Vermont. It was founded in 1791 and is the state's land-grant university. UVM is among the oldest universities in the United States and is the fifth institution of higher education established in the New England region of the U.S. northeast. It is also listed as one of the original eight "Public Ivy" institutions in the United States.

University of Idaho Public research university in Moscow, Idaho, USA

The University of Idaho is a public university in Moscow, Idaho. It is the state's land-grant and primary research university. It is the lead university in the Idaho Space Grant Consortium. The University of Idaho was the state's sole university for 71 years, until 1963, and its College of Law, established in 1909, was first accredited by the American Bar Association in 1925.

Personal life

Hanson lives in the U.S. state of Washington with his wife and son. [1] [3]

Washington (state) state of the United States of America

Washington, officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Named for George Washington, the first U.S. president, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. The state, which is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean, Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is often referred to as Washington State to distinguish it from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C..



International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

<i>Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle</i> book by Thor Hanson

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle is a natural history book by American conservation biologist Thor Hanson. Published by Basic Books in 2011 and written for general audiences, the book discusses the significance of feathers, their evolution, and their history both in nature and in use by humans.

Children's books

Related Research Articles

Ernst Mayr German-American evolutionary biologist

Ernst Walter Mayr was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, philosopher of biology, and historian of science. His work contributed to the conceptual revolution that led to the modern evolutionary synthesis of Mendelian genetics, systematics, and Darwinian evolution, and to the development of the biological species concept.

E. O. Wilson U.S. biologist and author

Edward Osborne Wilson, usually cited as E. O. Wilson, is an American biologist, naturalist, and writer. His biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants, on which he has been called the world's leading expert.

Quill writing implement made from the feather of a large bird

A quill pen is a writing implement made from a moulted flight feather of a large bird. Quills were used for writing with ink before the invention of the dip pen, the metal-nibbed pen, the fountain pen, and, eventually, the ballpoint pen. The hand-cut goose quill is rarely used as a calligraphy tool, because many papers are now derived from wood pulp and wear down the quill very quickly. However, it is still the tool of choice for a few scribes who noted that quills provide an unmatched sharp stroke as well as greater flexibility than a steel pen.

Ornithology study of birds

Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and the aesthetic appeal of birds.

Edmund Gustavus Bloomfield Meade-Waldo was an English ornithologist and conservationist. He is probably best known for his efforts to preserve the red kite in Wales.

Gregory S. Paul U.S. researcher, author, paleontologist, and illustrator

Gregory Scott Paul is an American freelance researcher, author and illustrator who works in paleontology, and more recently has examined sociology and theology. He is best known for his work and research on theropod dinosaurs and his detailed illustrations, both live and skeletal. Professionally investigating and restoring dinosaurs for three decades, Paul received an on-screen credit as dinosaur specialist on Jurassic Park and Discovery Channel's When Dinosaurs Roamed America and Dinosaur Planet. He is the author and illustrator of Predatory Dinosaurs of the World (1988), The Complete Illustrated Guide to Dinosaur Skeletons (1996), Dinosaurs of the Air (2001), The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (2010), Gregory S. Paul's Dinosaur Coffee Table Book (2010), and editor of The Scientific American Book of Dinosaurs (2000).

Henry M. Morris American young earth creationist and Christian apologist

Henry Madison Morris was an American young Earth creationist, Christian apologist, and engineer. He was one of the founders of the Creation Research Society and the Institute for Creation Research. He is considered by many to be "the father of modern creation science." He is widely known for coauthoring The Genesis Flood with John C. Whitcomb in 1961.

Douglas J. Futuyma American biologist

Douglas Joel Futuyma is an American evolutionary biologist. He is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York and a Research Associate on staff at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His research focuses on speciation and population biology. Futuyma is the author of a widely used undergraduate textbook on evolution and is also known for his work in public outreach, particularly in advocating against creationism.

Edward J. Larson American lawyer, historian

Edward John Larson is an American historian and legal scholar. He is university professor of history and holds the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He was formerly Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law and Richard B. Russell Professor of American History at the University of Georgia. He continues to serve as a senior fellow of the University of Georgia's Institute of Higher Education, and is currently a professor at Pepperdine School of Law, where he teaches several classes including Property for the 1Ls.

Craig Stanford is Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. He is also a Research Associate in the herpetology section of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. He is known for his field studies of the behavior, ecology and conservation biology of chimpanzees, mountain gorillas and other tropical animals, and has published more than 140 scientific papers and 17 books on animal behavior, human evolution and wildlife conservation. He is best known for his detailed field study of the predator–prey ecology of chimpanzees and the animals they hunt in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, and for his long term study of the behavior and ecology of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. He is also on the board of the Turtle Conservancy and is involved in efforts to save critically endangered tortoises and turtles from extinction.

Feathers are epidermal growths which form an outer covering on birds and some dinosaurs.

The John Burroughs Medal, named for nature writer John Burroughs (1837–1921), is awarded each year in April by the John Burroughs Association to the author of a book that the association has judged to be distinguished in the field of natural history. Only twice has the award been given to a work of fiction.

Dinosaur renaissance renewed interest in palaeontology since the 1970s

The dinosaur renaissance was a small-scale scientific revolution that started in the late 1960s, and led to renewed academic and popular interest in dinosaurs. It was sparked by new discoveries and research indicating that dinosaurs may have been active and warm-blooded animals, rather than cold-blooded and sluggish as had been the prevailing view and description during the first half of the twentieth century.

Kevin Padian is a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Curator of Paleontology, University of California Museum of Paleontology and was President of the National Center for Science Education from 2007 to 2008. Padian's area of interest is in vertebrate evolution, especially the origins of flight and the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs. He served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, and his testimony was repeatedly cited in the court's decision.

Richard O. Prum is William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, and Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University.

Dr Mark Andrew Brazil is a conservationist, author and journalist, particularly noted for his work on east Asian birds.

John Hanson Mitchell is an American author best known for a series of books that concentrate on a single square mile of land in eastern Massachusetts known as Scratch Flat.

Carla J. Dove is an American researcher who specializes in identifying birds that have gotten trapped in airplane engines, known as bird strikes. She is currently the Program Manager for Feather Identification Lab in the Division of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History. Her work helps promote wildlife safety, as well as pave the way for the development of preventative measures that will decrease the chance of wildlife impacting airplanes. She has published over 40 articles on her research so far.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Thor Hanson". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. 3 June 2016 via Literature Resource Center.
  2. Naish, Darren (7 May 2012). "Thor Hanson's Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle". Scientific American: Tetrapod Zoology. Scientific American. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. 1 2 "About Thor Hanson". Thor Hanson. Retrieved 11 March 2018.