Edward O Wilson, a US naturalist known to some as the “modern-day Darwin”, died on Sunday at the age of 92 in Massachusetts, his foundation said in a statement. Alongside the British naturalist David Attenborough, Wilson was considered one of the world’s leading authorities on natural history and conservation.
“EO Wilson was called ‘Darwin’s natural heir’ and was known affectionately as ‘the ant man’ for his pioneering work as an entomologist,” the foundation wrote. It did not cite a cause of death but said a tribute was planned for 2022.
In addition to groundbreaking work in evolution and entomology, in his later years Wilson spearheaded a campaign to unite scientific and religious communities in an odd-couple pairing he felt presented the best chance to preserve Earth.
Wilson presented his views in more than 30 books, two of which – On Human Nature in 1979 and The Ants in 1991 – won Pulitzer prizes. His writing style was far more elegant than might have been expected from a scientist.