Jim Costa is Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station and Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University. An entomologist with a special interest in group-living caterpillars and sawflies, he has studied insect social behavior from the southern Appalachians to Latin America and Europe. Through his insect work, Jim is also a long-time Research Associate in Entomology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, and in 2004-2005 was a Jeanne Rosselet Fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of The Other Insect Societies, published by Harvard University Press in 2006.
Jim’s passion for Darwin and the history of evolutionary biology also takes him to the UK each summer, where he teaches Darwin’s Origin of Species in Harvard’s summer program at the University of Oxford. In 2009 Harvard published Jim’s latest book, The Annotated Origin—an annotated edition of On the Origin of Species, designed to help readers better understand the historical context, structure, and content of Darwin’s masterwork. He is currently at work on books relating to Darwin’s experiments and the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer with Darwin of the principle of natural selection.
Jim lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina with his wife Leslie, and their sons Addison and Eli.