Lynn Margulis was an eminent American biologist. Her serial endosymbiotic theory of eukaryotic cell development overturned the modern concept of how life originated on earth. She also made vital contributions to Gaia theory, which deals with the relation of living organisms to their inorganic surroundings.
Early Life and Education:
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1938, Lynn Margulis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1957. After a few months, she married the famous astronomer Carl Sagan. They divorced in 1964. Margulis acquired a master’s degree in zoology and genetics from the University of Wisconsin in 1960. She later earned a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965.
Contributions and Achievements:
Lynn Margolis is widely regarded as one of the most creative scientific theorists of the modern era. She formulated the symbiotic theory of evolution, which deals with the interconnection of prokaryotic and cukaryotic cells, explaining the emergence of new species by a mechanism known as “symbiogenesis”. In 1983, she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She was awarded the Darwin-Wallace Medal of the Linnean Society of London in 2008.
Her contemporaries either describe her as revolutionary or as an eccentric person. Famous sociobiologist E. 0. Wilson has honored her as the “most successful synthetic thinker of modern biology”. Science, the prestigious academic journal, has identified her as “Science’s unruly Earth mother.”
Later Life and Death:
Lynn Margulis died of a hemorrhagic stroke on November 22, 2011. She was 73 years old.