Described as a "world-roving zoologist" by National Geographic magazine for his work on five continents, Dr. Mark W. Moffett has documented virtually every major active canopy research site and explored the behavior of many species—most famously, the ants.
Moffett has been exploring the world's jungles for most of his life. His contact with the rainforest habitat began at the age of 17 when he joined an expedition to Costa Rica and became the scientific team's resident snake catcher. After earning a bachelor's degree from Beloit College, he began graduate studies at Harvard working under E.O. Wilson, one of the world's greatest biologists. Under Wilson's tutelage, Moffett built an extensive knowledge of ants, based on 28 months of travel in Asia for his Ph.D.
It was while conducting fieldwork for his doctoral dissertation that Moffett discovered his talent for nature photography. He taught himself the technique of macrophotography and began taking pictures of tiny creatures—and eventually, many other subjects—for the National Geographic, which was first to print his images, now numbering many hundreds in that magazine.
Stephen Colbert proclaimed that Moffett's children’s book “Face to Face With Frogs” as “gorgeous, I wish I was in it,” while the Boston Globe described his "The High Frontier,” a book that transported the reader into the tropical rainforest canopy, as "A stunning mix of adventure, nature photography and hard scientific inquiry that ranks with the best work of Jacques Cousteau.” "Take a look at daring eco-adventurer Mark Moffett’s spectacular new Adventures Among Ants,” Margaret Atwood wrote of his next book in the New York Review of Books. His most recent, 2019 book,“The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall,” concerning the origins of societies in humans and other animals, is “a book of wonders,” or so says the New Statesman.
Moffett has been a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard and is currently Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution. He has had solo photography exhibits at the Smithsonian and National Geographic. Moffett has earned a Poynter Fellowship in Journalism from Yale, the Bowdoin Prize for writing from Harvard, the Lowell Thomas Medal for exploration from the Explorers Club, and a Roy Chapman Andrews Lifetime Achievement Award for Research and Exploration.