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.
Moffett has been exploring the world's rainforest for half of his life. His contact with the rainforest habitat began at the age of 17 when he joined an expedition to Costa Rica with the naturalist Max Nickerson and became the scientific team's resident snake catcher. His aptitude and interest for working in the tropics guided his academic studies to include rainforest subjects.
After earning a bachelor's degree from Beloit College, he began graduate studies at Harvard working with E.O. Wilson, one of the world's greatest biologists. Under Wilson's tutelage, Moffett continued to expand his extensive knowledge of ants. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1987, based on 28 months of travel in Asia.
It was while conducting fieldwork for his doctoral dissertation that Moffett discovered his talent for nature photography. He taught himself the technique of macro-photography and began taking pictures of ants and other tiny animals.
He's been published since 1986 in the National Geographic on the subjects of insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians, as well as his documentation of scientific research in the world's rainforest canopies, an outgrowth of his highly acclaimed book on canopy biology "The High Frontier" published by Harvard University Press. He continues to be an active photographer for the National Geographic Magazine, with nearly 500 images in the magazine that have earned him numerous honors in photography.
Moffett is currently a Research Associate in Entomology at the Smithsonian Institution and a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Human Evolution at Harvard. He has had solo photography exhibits at the Smithsonian (2008, on ants and humans) and National Geographic (2007, on frogs). He 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.