James Costa, WCU professor of biology and executive director of Highlands Biological Station, became just the third person to receive the Alfred Russel Wallace Medal recently as he traveled through France and the United Kingdom giving a series of lectures.
Costa presented the fourth Alfred Russel Wallace Lecture at University College London, after which he was presented the solid silver medal. The Wallace Memorial Fund struck just four of the medals in silver in 2013, the Wallace centennial year. The other two previous recipients are Sir David Attenborough and Bill Baily, a British TV personality who was involved in a TV series about Wallace.
Costa wrote about Wallace, a 19th-century naturalist, in his book “Wallace, Darwin and the Origin of Species,” published in 2014. His latest book is “Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory.”