J. William Schopf, PhD

James Schopf

Title: Paleobiologist, Researcher, Educator
Company: University of California, Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

James Schopf, Founder and Director of the Center for the Study of Evolution and Origin of Life, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of geophysics and planetary physics.

Dr. Schopf realized his interest in education and natural sciences as a second-year college student. During his studies, his professor made remarks regarding life on earth a half billion years ago, which prompted him to conduct his own research on the matter. After coming to an understanding of the subject, he decided to continue his academic efforts and earned a Bachelor of Arts with high honors from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio in 1963. He later secured a Master of Arts in biology in 1965 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1968, from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Schopf joined the Ames Research Center as a research chemist in 1967, before accepting the position of an assistant professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) between 1968 and 1971. Simultaneously, he contributed as a member of the Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team for the Manned Spacecraft Center in Texas.

As he progressed with UCLA, Dr. Schopf served as an associate professor, a member of the Institute of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, a lecturer, and the dean of the honors division for the College of Letters and Science from. Today, he contributes as a professor with the university, a member of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, as well as the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. In 2011, he received a Doctor of Science with the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Other professional endeavors to his credit include dedicating his time to several organizations such as NASA Life Sciences Strategic Planning Study Committee, NASA Space Science Advisory Committee, and the International Conference on Systematic and Evolutionary Biology. As a testament to his success, Dr. Schopf has been presented a number of accolades such as the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, the President’s Award from the Paleontological Society, and the Group Achievement Award from NASA.

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