Richard Prum

Richard Prum
Richard Prum
Evolutionary Ornithologist, Director of Franke Program, Yale University; Author, The Evolution of Beauty

RICHARD PRUM is an evolutionary ornithologist with broad interests in avian biology. He has done research on diverse topics, including avian phylogenetics, behavioral evolution, feather evolution and development, sexual selection and mate choice, sexual conflict, aesthetic evolution, avian color vision, structural color, carotenoid pigmentation, evolution of avian plumage coloration, historical biogeography, avian mimicry, and the theropod dinosaur origin of birds.

Prum has conducted field work throughout the Neotropics and in Madagascar, and has studied fossil theropods in China.

At Yale, he is the Curator of Ornithology and Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2008-2011).

Prum is currently the Director of Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is a new initiative at Yale that aims to foster communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines. 

He is the author of The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us.