Marc Bekoff: Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Living Dialogues episode 33: Marc Bekoff and Jane Goodall – The Ten Trusts: Celebrating the Anima in All

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Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior. Marc is also regional coordinator for Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, in which he works with students of all ages, senior citizens and prisoners, and also is a member of the Ethics Committee of the Jane Goodall Institute. He and Jane co-founded the organization Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior Studies in 2000. Marc is on the Board of Directors of The Fauna Sanctuary, The Cougar Fund, the Skyline Sanctuary and Education Center, and on the advisory board for Animal Defenders, the Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group, the conservation organization SINAPU, and the Foundation for Mythological Studies. He has been part of the international program, Science and the Spiritual Quest II and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) program on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Marc is also an honorary member of Animalisti Italiani and Fundacion Altarriba, and on the Scientific Review Board of the Great Ape Trust. In 2006 Marc was named a Fellow of the Dancing Star Foundation, an honorary board member of Rational Animal, and a patron of the Captive Animals' Protection Society. In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners.

Marc's main areas of research include animal behavior, cognitive ethology (the study of animal minds), and behavioral ecology, and he has also published extensively on animal issues. He has published more than 200 papers and 18 books, including Species of Mind: The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology (with Colin Allen, MIT Press, 1997); Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology (edited with Colin Allen and George Lauder, MIT Press, 1998), Animal Play: Evolutionary, Comparative, and Ecological Perspectives (edited with John Byers, Cambridge University Press, 1998), Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998), and a book on the lighter side, Nature's Life Lessons: Everyday Truths From Nature (with Jim Carrier, Fulcrum, 1996). His children's book, Strolling With OurKin was published in Fall 2000 (AAVS/Lantern Books) as was The Smile of a Dolphin: Remarkable Accounts of Animal Emotions (Random House/Discovery Books). The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition (edited by Marc, Colin Allen, and Gordon Burghardt) appeared in 2002 (MIT Press), as did Minding Animals: Awareness, Emotions, and Heart (Oxford University Press) and Jane Goodall and Marc's The Ten Trusts: What We Must Do To Care For The Animals We Love (HarperCollins). Marc has edited a three volume Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004), and a collection of his essays titled Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues: Reflections on Redecorating Nature was published by Temple University Press (2006).

A book summarizing Marc's research on animal emotions titled The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorrow, and Empathy and Why They Matter was published in March 2007 by New World Library and he is currently writing a book on the evolution of cooperation and morality in animals titled Wild Justice and Fair Play: Cooperation, Forgiveness, and Morality in Animals for the University of Chicago Press. Marc has also edited a four-volume Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships: A Global Exploration of our Connections with Animals for Greenwood Publishing Group (2007) and he and Cara Blessley Lowe have edited a book of readings on cougars titled Listening to Cougar (University Press of Colorado, 2007). Marc also published in 2007 Animals Matter: A Biologist Explains Why We Should Treat Animals with Compassion and Respect (Shambhala Publications) and Temple University Press will publish Marc's children's book on fair play in animals in 2008.

Marc's work has been featured on 48 Hours, in Time Magazine, Life Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, Orion, Scientific American, Ranger Rick, National Geographic Kids, on NPR, BBC, Fox, Natur GEO, in a National Geographic Society television special ("Play: The Nature of the Game"), in Discovery TV's "Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry," and in Animal Planet's "The Power of Play" and National Geographic Society's "Hunting in America". Marc has also appeared on CNN and Good Morning America.  His many guest presentations include those he made at the international conference “The Path to Nature’s Wisdom”, convened by the Dalai Lama, and the 2007 Bioneers Conference in California.

In 1986 Marc became the first American to win his age-class at the Tour du Var bicycle race (also called the Master's/age-graded Tour de France). Among Marc's hobbies are cycling, skiing, hiking, and reading spy novels.