Margulis, Lynn (1938–)

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Margulis, Lynn (1938–)

American microbiologist and geneticist. Name variations: Lynn Sagan. Born Lynn Alexander, Mar 5, 1938, in Chicago, IL; dau. of Morris and Leona Alexander; University of Chicago, BA, c. 1957; University of Madison, MA in zoology and genetics, 1960; University of California, Berkeley, PhD in evolution of cells, 1965; m. Carl Sagan (physicist), 1957 (div. c. 1966); m. Thomas N. ("Nick") Margulis (crystallographer), 1967 (div. 1980); children: (1st m.) Dorion and Jeremy Sagan; (2nd m.) Zachary and Jennifer Margulis.

Creative and prolific biologist, researcher, and writer, began studying at University of Chicago at age 15; supported "serial endosymbiosis theory," which argued that simple microorganisms carried genetic information; published research in Journal of Theoretical Biology (1966), which expanded to a book, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells (1970), later republished as Symbiosis in Cell Evolution (c. 1981); was professor at Boston University (1977); elected to National Academy of Science (1983); appointed Distinguished University Professor (1988) at University of Massachusetts, Amherst; supported James E. Lovelock's Gaia theory of Earth as single living organism.

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