Charles Robert Darwin, born in 1809, was an English naturalist who founded the theory of Darwinism, the belief in evolution as determined by natural selection. Although Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and then studied at Cambridge University to become a minister, he had been interested in natural history all his life. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a noted English poet, physician, and botanist who was interested in evolutionary development. Darwin's works have had an incalculable effect on all aspects of the modern thought. Darwin's most famous and influential work, On the Origin of Species, provoked immediate controversy. Darwin's other books include Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles Darwin died in 1882.
Writer David Quammen grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and was later educated at both Yale and Oxford Universities. Quammen began his career by writing for The Christian Science Monitor, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Audubon, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Harpers Magazines. He wrote the novels The Soul of Viktor Tronko and The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions, which won the 1997 New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism. He also received two National Magazine Awards for his column "Natural Acts" in Outside magazine.