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Francisco J. Ayala
Dr. Ayala.jpg
Francisco José Ayala Pereda

(1934-03-12) March 12, 1934 (age 88)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality Spanish-American
Citizenship Spanish (1934–1971), American (1971–present)
Alma mater University of Salamanca, Columbia University
Known for Population genetics
Spouse(s) Mary Henderson (m. 1968, div)
Hana Lostokova Ayala (m. 1985)
Awards National Medal of Science, Templeton Prize
Scientific career
Fields Biology, Genetics
Institutions University of California, Irvine
Doctoral advisor Theodosius Dobzhansky
Doctoral students John Avise

Francisco José Ayala was born March 12, 1934 in Madrid, Spain. He is a Spanish-American biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine.

He is a former Dominican priest, ordained in 1960, but left the priesthood that same year.

After graduating from the University of Salamanca, he moved to the United States in 1961 to study for a PhD at Columbia University. There, he studied for his doctorate under Theodosius Dobzhansky, graduating in 1964. He became a U.S. citizen in 1971.

He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Ayala has published 950 papers and 30 books. Recently published books include:

  • Ayala F.J. 2010. Am I a monkey? Six big questions about evolution. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, MD.
  • Ayala F.J. and Robert Arp eds. 2009. Contemporary debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell: London. ISBN: 9781405159982
  • Avise J.C. and F.J. Ayala eds. 2007. In the Light of evolution: adaptation and complex design. National Academy Press: Washington DC. ISBN: 9780309104050
  • Cela Conde C.J. and F.J. Ayala. 2007. Human evolution: trails from the past. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  • Ayala F.J. 2007. Darwin’s gift to science and religion. Joseph Henry Press: Washington, DC.
  • Ayala F.J. 2006. Darwin and intelligent design. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN.
  • Hey J; W.M. Fitch and F.J. Ayala eds. 2005. Systematics and the origin of species. On Ernst Mayr’s 100th Anniversary. National Academies Press: Washington DC. ISBN: 0309095360
  • Wuketits F.M. and F.J. Ayala eds. 2005. Handbook of evolution: the evolution of living systems (including Hominids), Volume 2. Wiley-VCH: Weinheim, Germany. 292 pp. 2005. ISBN: 9783527619719
  • Ayala F.J. 2004. Human evolution: biology, culture, ethics. Pearson Education: Upper Saddle River.
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