Marcus William Feldman
14 November 1942
|Citizenship||US (naturalised on June 1994)|
|Awards||Member of the National Academy of Sciences|
|Thesis||Some Topics in Theoretical Population Genetics (1969)|
Marcus William Feldman (born 14 November 1942) is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Biological Sciences, director of the Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, and co-director of the Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics (CEHG) at Stanford University. He is an Australian-born mathematician turned American theoretical biologist, best known for his mathematical evolutionary theory and computational studies in evolutionary biology, and for originating with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza the theory of cultural evolution.
Marcus Feldman was born and raised in Perth, Australia. His father Simon Feldman was an engineer, and this inspired him to take up mathematics. He studied at the University of Western Australia from where he matriculated in 1959, and graduated (with majors in mathematics and statistics) in 1964. In 1966 he obtained Master of Science degree in mathematics from Monash University. He went abroad to US to join a PhD programme at Stanford University. He earned his degree in 1969 under the supervision of Samuel Karlin in the Department of Mathematics. Karlin influenced him to pursue his research in population genetics using his computational know-how.
After a brief work at Stanford as a Research Assistant for Karlin, and as Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Feldman returned to Australia to join at La Trobe University as a Lecturer of mathematics. In 1971 he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford, and went back to US. With L.L. Cavalli-Sforza in 1973, he originated the quantitative theory of cultural evolution, initiating a research program in cultural transmission and gene-culture coevolution. His own research into human molecular evolution such as in China led him to international recognition. He is the author of more than 625 scientific papers and several books on evolution, ecology, and mathematical biology.
In addition, he is the founding or of Theoretical Population Biology (1971-2013) and an associate or of Genetics, Human Genetics, Annals of Human Genetics, Annals of Human Biology, and Complexity. He was the or of The American Naturalist from 1984 to 1990. He was a Member of Board of Trustees at the Santa Fe Institute from 1984 to 2006.