Lynn Margulis

United States

Lynn Margulis Bio

Who is Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis was an American evolutionary theorist, taxonomist, bacteriologist, protistologist, and botanist, with advanced degrees in zoology and genetics,whose serial endosymbiotic theory of eukaryotic cell development revolutionized the modern concept of how life arose on Earth. Margulis was also the co-developer of Gaia theory with the British chemist James Lovelock.

Early Life (Childhood)

She was known as a bad student. Intellectually precocious, she graduated bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and masters degree in zoology and genetics from the University of Wisconsin. She did her PhD from the University of California. Then she taught biology for 22 years and later promoted as a university professor.

Interesting Facts

She was an agnostic and a staunch evolutionist. Historian Jan Sapp has stated her name as a synonymous with symbiosis as Charles Darwin’s is with evolution. Her works were rejected and ignored by many Journals. She was a strong critic of Neo-Darwinism. She said once that it is impossible to be good mother good wife and a first class scientist at a same time

Personal Life

Margulis married astronomer Carl Sagan,who was then a graduate student in physics at the University of Chicago. But their marriage didn't last for long and they got split. They had two sons. Later she married Thomas N. Margulis, a crystallographer. They have a son and a daughter. She got divorced again and later she started dating a fellow biologist.


She had received many awards and achievements firing her life time. President Bill Clinton presented her the National Medal of Science, The Linnean Society of London awarded her the Darwin-Wallace Medal.she was elected to US National Academy of Sciences. Science,prestigious academic journal honored her as "Science's unruly Earth mother".