Thanks to Michael Melampy for this piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “E. O. Wilson warned us of catastrophic biodiversity loss. It’s not too late to fix it,” and thanks to the Plain Dealer for giving voice to this issue. The article was published in the PD January 7, 2022.
BEREA, Ohio — On Dec. 26, 2021, a giant in the world of science passed from the scene. I am referring to the death of Edward O. Wilson, who for over 40 years was one of the world’s leading ecologists and its foremost advocate for the preservation of biodiversity. Through hundreds of scientific articles, books, and lectures, the Alabama-born Wilson’s message was both eloquent and insistent: Human welfare is absolutely dependent on the existence of nonhuman organisms, yet humans are destroying these organisms at an alarming rate.
Wilson came to his understanding of the natural world through the study of ants during his tenure as a professor at Harvard University. He was able to explore environments around the world to search for new species of ants and examine the ecological roles that they play in different ecosystems.