Roughgarden, Joan 1946- (Jonathan Roughgarden)

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Roughgarden, Joan 1946- (Jonathan Roughgarden)

PERSONAL:

Born Jonathan Roughgarden, March 13, 1946, in Paterson, NJ; began living as a transgendered female and changed name to Joan Roughgarden, March 13, 1998. Education: University of Rochester, B.S. (with honors), 1968, A.B. (with honors), 1968; Harvard University, M.S. and Ph.D., 1971.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, 413 Herrin Hall, Stanford, CA 94305-5020. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Biologist and educator. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, assistant professor of biology, 1970-72; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, professor of biological sciences and geophysics, 1972—, founder and director of earth systems program, 1992-99. Member of advisory board, Pacific Ocean Conservation Network, 1997-99, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, 1999-2001, and Environmental Protection Agency Committee on Valuing the Protection of Ecological Systems and Services, 2003-.

MEMBER:

Academy of Arts and Sciences, Oceanic Society (board member, 2002—), Neighborhood Parks Council, San Francisco Committee on Parks, Recreation, and Open Space.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Stanford University fellowship, 1978; Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, 1985; American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellowship, 1993; Merton College, University of Oxford, visiting research fellow, 1994; Dinkelspiel Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University, 1995; National Center for Ecological Synthesis and Analysis fellowship, 1998; Stonewall Prize for nonfiction, 2005, for Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People.

WRITINGS:

AS JOAN ROUGHGARDEN

Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2004.

Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist, Island Press (Washington, DC), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Ecology: Achievement and Challenge, edited by M.N. Huntly and S. Levin, Blackwell Science, 2001. Contributor to periodicals, including Times Higher Education Supplement, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Journal of Animal Ecology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and Journal of Biogeography.

AS JONATHAN ROUGHGARDEN

Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology: An Introduction, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1979, reprinted, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1996.

(With Paul R. Ehrlich) The Science of Ecology, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

(Editor, with Robert M. May and Simon A. Levin) Perspectives in Ecological Theory, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1989.

Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean: Ecology, Evolution, and Plate Tectonics, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1995.

Primer of Ecological Theory, Prentice Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1998.

Contributor to books, including Ecological Genetics: The Interface, edited by P.F. Brussard, Springer-Verlag, 1979; Lizard Ecology: Studies of a Model Organism, edited by R. Huey, E. Pianka, and T. Schoener, Harvard University Press, 1983, and Community Ecology, edited by J. Diamond and T. Case, Harper & Row, New York, 1986. Contributor to periodicals, including Ecology, American Naturalist, Theoretical Population Biology, and Oecologia. Member of editorial board, Theoretical Population Biology, 1975-86, Oecologia, 1979-82, and American Naturalist, 1984-89.

SIDELIGHTS:

Joan Roughgarden is a professor of biological sciences at Stanford University and the author of Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, "an extraordinary book that entwines a radical attack on the Darwinian concept of sexual selection with a personal narrative written from her perspective as a transgendered woman," observed American Scientist contributor Robert Dorit. Born Jonathan Roughgarden in 1946, the respected academic took a year's sabbatical at age fifty-one to transition to living as a female. "I didn't know what would happen then," she told Bob Moser in Stanford magazine. "I didn't know if I was going to have my job, if I would end up waitressing or end up dead." With the support of then-Provost Condoleezza Rice, she completed her physical transition and returned to the university. During her tenure at Stanford, Moser noted, Roughgarden has "established herself as a rare combination: a dedicated field biologist who's also an influential ecological theorist, creating mathematical models to explain how ecosystems work."

Roughgarden began questioning Charles Darwin's theory of sexual selection in 1997, as she marched in San Francisco's annual gay pride parade. "It was an epiphany," she remarked to Steve Kolter in LA Weekly. "I was stunned by the sheer numbers of gay people." Roughgarden continued, "I knew that my subject of biology taught that something's wrong or defective in the very people standing on the sidewalks and marching in the parade. And I felt that if a theory says there's something wrong with so many people, then maybe it's the theory that's wrong and not the people." In Evolution's Rainbow, Roughgarden surveys the myriad examples of sexual interactions in the animal world and critiques long-held theories of sexual selection. "Her theory, put simply, is this: Diversity of sexual behavior and gender roles, whether in the animal or human kingdoms, is not an aberration," commented San Francisco Chronicle reviewer Katherine Seligman. "More than 300 species of vertebrates have sex with the same gender. There are gay sheep and lesbian lizards. Some animals change gender or have more than one type of male or female. History, science, even the Bible shows us the multiplicity of human nature, she argues, although scientists have been slow to embrace this seemingly incontestable fact publicly."

In Evolution's Rainbow, Roughgarden posits a new theory of sexual selection, one that emphasizes cooperation over competition. According to Science reviewer Alison Jolly, the author "proposes that the theory of sexual selection should be replaced by one of ‘social selection,’ in which all the bonds between members of a society are recognized—including mating relationships that promote kin selection in the widest sense rather than individual reproduction." "The success of social selection theory may well depend on its ability to subsume the theory of sexual selection," Dorit noted. Whether or not the theory is ultimately accepted, he continued, "Evolution's Rainbow will change the way many biologists view the world, making it easier for them to see additional instances of diversity in genders, sexual phenotypes and sex roles. More important, Roughgarden provides a theoretical framework into which such observations can be placed, turning anomalies into useful data."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Advocate, August 17, 2004, Christopher Lisotta, "It's All Natural: Biologist and Transwoman Joan Roughgarden Takes on Darwin and Science's Traditional View of Sexuality," p. 88.

American Scientist, September-October, 2004, Robert Dorit, "Rethinking Sex," p. 464.

BioScience, January 1, 1981, Francisco Ayala, review of Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology: An Introduction, p. 69.

Choice, March 1, 1996, E.D. Keiser, review of Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean: Ecology, Evolution, and Plate Tectonics, p. 1163; November 1, 2004, R.A. Delgado, Jr., review of Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, p. 509; May 1, 2007, D.P. Siems, review of Evolution and Christian Faith: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist, p. 1551.

Christian Century, July 11, 2006, review of Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 42.

Ecology, October 1, 1998, Richard G. Wiegert, review of Primer on Ecological Theory, p. 2577.

Evolution, May 1, 2005, Douglas J. Futuyma, "Celebrating Diversity in Sexuality and Gender," p. 1156.

Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, July-August, 2004, Tucker Lieberman and Richard Wassersug, "Darwinism and Diversity," p. 38.

GLQ, June 1, 2005, Eva S. Hayward, review of Evolution's Rainbow, p. 322.

Internet Bookwatch, November, 2006, review of Evolution and Christian Faith.

LA Weekly, April 15, 2004, Steven Kolter, "Oh So Natural."

Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Greg Sapp, "Science Versus Religion? Five Books Debate the Issue," p. 104.

Nature, June 15, 1989, John Lawton, review of Perspectives in Ecological Theory, p. 517; May 6, 2004, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, "Sexual Diversity and the Gender Agenda," p. 19.

New Scientist, January 7, 2006, "Natural Variations," p. 42; July 29, 2006, Robert Adler, "Here I Stand …," p. 46.

New York Review of Books, January 11, 2007, H. Allen Orr, "A Mission to Convert," p. 21.

New York Times Magazine, May 9, 2004, Deborah Solomon, "Same-Sex Selection," p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, March 29, 2004, review of Evolution's Rainbow, p. 50; June 26, 2006, review of Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 49.

Quarterly Review of Biology, September 1, 1996, Kentwood Wells, review of Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean, p. 430; June 1, 2005, Laura Betzig, "Why Rainbows Are," p. 219; March 1, 2007, Arthur Falk, review of Evolution and Christian Faith, p. 44.

San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2004, Katherine Seligman, "Nudging Darwin over the Rainbow."

Science, April 4, 1980, Brian Charlesworth, review of Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology, p. 45; October 3, 1986, Roger Lewin, "Supply-Side Ecology," p. 25; October 13, 1989, review of Perspectives in Ecological Theory, p. 272; November 17, 1995, Ted J. Case, review of Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean, p. 1233; Alison Jolly, May 14, 2004, "The Wide Spectrum of Sex and Gender," p. 965.

SciTech Book News, September 1, 1989, review of Perspectives in Ecological Theory, p. 15; September 1, 1996, review of Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology, p. 19.

Stanford, May-June, 2004, Bob Moser, "On the Originality of Species."

Times Higher Education Supplement, November 26, 2004, Mark Pagel, "The Birds, Boys and Female Clothes," p. 24.

Times Literary Supplement, July 30, 2004, Jerry Coyne, "Charm Schools," p. 5.

Washington Post Book World, July 4, 2004, Dennis Drabelle, review of Evolution's Rainbow, p. 7.

ONLINE

Joan Roughgarden Web site,http://www.joandistrict6.com (July 7, 2007).