Jonathan Kingdon grew up in Tanzania where he was born in 1935.
Bridging both Arts and sciences, his works spans from extraordinary draftsmanship, sculpture and painting to the inventive writing of scientific books. He is a writer of zoology, anthropology and biogeography and is probably best known for his magnum opus, East African Mammals, an atlas of evolution in Africa which is celebrated as a ‘Leonardo like exploration of science with an artist’s eye’.
Kingdon’s painting and sculpture often derive from elaborations of nature’s signals. The way in which optical effects are elaborated by fish, birds or monkeys have been fruitful sources of imagery in his work as well as providing him with a unique cross-over between his prime interests in the two disciplines.
He has published extensively on the biogeographic interpretation of human evolution in Africa, (especially the factors governing bipedalism and manipulative behaviour). Also study of visual signal systems in the communication repertoires of Primates and analysis of the optical properties favoured by natural selection in the evolution of visual signals.
Senior Research Associate, WildCRU, Dept. of Zoology, University of Oxford