Graham Bell (biologist)

Graham Arthur Charlton Bell FRS FRSC[1][2] (born 1949) is an English academic, writer, and evolutionary biologist with interests in the evolution of sexual reproduction and the maintenance of variation. He developed the "Tangled Bank" theory of evolutionary genetics after observing the asexual and sexual behaviour patterns of aphids as well as monogonont rotifers.[3]

Graham Bell

Bell at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2016
Graham Arthur Charlton Bell

(1949-03-03) 3 March 1949 (age 71)
Leicester, England
Alma materSt Peter's College, Oxford
Susan Eva Rosinger (m. 1971)
AwardsLéo-Pariseau Prize (2002)
Prix Marie-Victorin (2004)
Scientific career
FieldsEvolutionary biology
InstitutionsMcGill University
Redpath Museum
Thesis[permanent dead link] The life of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris (Linn)) (1973)

Education and early life

Born on 3 March 1949 in Leicester, England, Bell was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys and St Peter's College, Oxford, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970, a Master of Arts degree in 1971 followed by a Doctor of Philosophy degree in animal ecology in 1973 for research on smooth newts (Triturus vulgaris).[4][5][6]

Career and research

Bell emigrated to Canada in 1975 where he worked as a biologist for the Alberta Civil Service until 1976. In 1976, he joined the faculty of McGill University as a temporary lecturer. He was appointed a Professor in 1989. In 1992, he was appointed Molson Chair of Genetics. He was Director of the Redpath Museum from 1995 to 2005.[7]

He is the author of The Masterpiece of Nature[8] which was described by Richard Dawkins as a 'beautifully written tour de force',[9] Sex and Death in Protozoa: The History of Obsession[10] and Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution first published in 1996 with a second edition in 2008.[11] His other books include The Evolution of Life[12] and The Basics of Selection.[13]

Honours and awards

Bell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1994.[14] He was awarded the Léo-Pariseau Prize in 2002 and the Prix Marie-Victorin in 2004.[15] He was elected President of the Royal Society of Canada in 2013,[2] and became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.[16] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.[1]


  1. Anon (2016). "Professor Graham Bell FRS". London: Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. Graham Bell publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  4. "BELL, Prof. Graham Arthur Charlton". Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  5. Arthur Charlton Bell, Graham (1973). The life of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris (Linn)) (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 43160959.[permanent dead link]
  6. Bell, Graham (1977). "The Life of the Smooth Newt (Triturus vulgaris) after Metamorphosis". Ecological Monographs. 47 (3): 279–299. doi:10.2307/1942518. JSTOR 1942518.
  7. "Directors of the Past and Present". Redpath Museum [dead link]. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008.
  8. Graham Arthur Charlton Bell (1982) The Masterpiece of Nature: the Evolution and Genetics of Sexuality. Croom Helm, London; University of California Press, Berkeley.[ISBN missing]
  9. Richard Dawkins (2004) The Ancestor's Tale, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, p. 358
  10. Graham Arthur Charlton Bell (1989) Sex and Death in Protozoa: the History of an Obsession. Cambridge University Press[ISBN missing]
  11. Graham Arthur Charlton Bell (2008) Selection: the Mechanism of Evolution, second edition. Oxford University Press.[ISBN missing]
  12. Graham Arthur Charlton Bell (2015) The Evolution of Life. Oxford University Press.[ISBN missing]
  13. Graham Arthur Charlton Bell (1996) The Basics of Selection. Chapman & Hall, NewYork and London.[ISBN missing]
  14. "Search Fellows | The Royal Society of Canada". Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  15. "Prix Marie-Victorin 2004". Les Prix du Québec (in French).
  16. "Graham A.C. Bell elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences : McGill Reporter". Retrieved 30 January 2018.