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Olivia Judson

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Title: Olivia Judson  
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Subject: Horace Freeland Judson, Fossil, Genius of Britain, W. D. Hamilton, Dorion Sagan
Collection: 1970 Births, Alumni of the University of Oxford, Evolutionary Biologists, Living People, Stanford University Alumni
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Olivia Judson

Olivia Judson
Born 1970 (age 45–46)
Other names Dr. Tatiana
Alma mater
Thesis Parasites, sex and genetic variation in a model metapopulation (1994)
Doctoral advisor W. D. Hamilton[1]
Known for Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
Olivia P. Judson

(born 1970) is an evolutionary biologist and science writer.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]


  • Education 1
  • Career 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Judson is the daughter of science historian Horace Freeland Judson, and was a pupil of W. D. Hamilton.[1] She graduated from Stanford University and gained a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford.[16]


Beginning in 1995 Judson worked for two years as a science writer for The Economist and she later joined Imperial College London, where she is now an honorary research fellow. In 1997, she wrote an Economist article named "Sex Is War!" which was awarded the Glaxo Wellcome Prize by the British Science Writers Association.[1]

Her first book, Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation (2002), grew out of that article. Written in the style of a sex-advice column to animals, the book details the variety of sexual practices in the natural world and provides the reader with an overview of the evolutionary biology of sex. The book was praised by critics as being witty and engaging, without compromising its scientific integrity. It became an international best-seller and was nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2003.[1]

Judson has also worked as a television presenter. In 2004 she played Dr Tatiana in an adaptation of her book; the series was produced by Wag TV and EPI Productions for Channel 4 and Discovery Canada. In 2007 she co-presented Animal Farm with Giles Coren; the series, which explored genetic modification and pharming, was produced by Lion Television for Channel 4.

Judson is a former on-line columnist for the New York Times. In 2014 she did a series of eight blogs, after a four year hiatus.[17] In January 2008, Judson began writing a weekly blog on evolutionary biology, titled "The Wild Side", for The New York Times website. For the first half of 2009, guest bloggers filled in for Judson while she worked on a new book, Dinosaur Eggs for Breakfast, and she then had been on a "sabbatical" from blogging beginning June 29, 2010.[18]

In 2009, she appeared in an episode of PBS's Nova called "What Darwin Never Knew" which discussed DNA connections to evolution.

Judson has supported a possible future campaign to completely wipe out a species of mosquito which carries dengue fever.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dr Olivia Judson's animal magic". Reporter ("The Newspaper of  
  2. ^ Swire, J.; Judson, O. P.; Burt, A. (2005). "Mitochondrial Genetic Codes Evolve to Match Amino Acid Requirements of Proteins". Journal of Molecular Evolution 60 (1): 128–139.  
  3. ^ Judson, O.; Normark, B. (2000). "Evolutionary genetics. Sinless originals". Science 288 (5469): 1185–1186.  
  4. ^ Judson, O.; Haydon, D. (1999). "The genetic code: What is it good for? An analysis of the effects of selection pressures on genetic codes". Journal of molecular evolution 49 (5): 539–550.  
  5. ^ Judson, O.; Normark, B. (1996). "Reply from o.p. Judson and B.B. Normark". Trends in ecology & evolution 11 (7): 297.  
  6. ^ Judson, O.; Normark, B. (1996). "Ancient asexual scandals". Trends in ecology & evolution 11 (2): 41–46.  
  7. ^ Judson, O. P. (1994). "Killing the sex ratio". Nature 372 (6506): 503–504.  
  8. ^ Judson, O. (1994). "Reply from O. Judson". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 9 (8): 299–300.  
  9. ^ Judson, O. P. (1994). "The rise of the individual-based model in ecology". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 9 (1): 9–14.  
  10. ^ Judson, O. P. (1993). "Towards healthier infertility". Nature 365 (6441): 15–16.  
  11. ^ Judson, O. (1992). "Born to it". Nature 357 (6378): 433–433.  
  12. ^ Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex (2002), Henry Holt, ISBN 0-8050-6331-5
  13. ^ Dinosaur Eggs for Breakfast, forthcoming, John Murray, ISBN 0-7195-2180-7
  14. ^ Olivia Judson at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ The Wild Side Judson's New York Times blog on Evolutionary Biology
  16. ^ Judson, Olivia P. (1994). Parasites, sex and genetic variation in a model metapopulation (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. 
  17. ^ NYTimes blog
  18. ^ Olivia Judson (June 29, 2010). "So Long, and Thanks". The Wild Side blog at 
  19. ^ Olivia Judson (September 9, 2008). "A Genetically Engineered Swat". The Wild Side blog at 

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