Jared Mason Diamond is an American evolutionary biologist, physiologist, bio-geographer, lecturer, and nonfiction author. Diamond works as a professor of geography and physiology at UCLA. He is best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, which also won the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. The preeminent scholar of the relationship between the environment and civilisational success also received the National Medal of Science in 1999.
Diamond became a professor of physiology at UCLA Medical School in 1966. While in his twenties, he also developed a second, parallel, career in the ecology and evolution of New Guinea birds, and has since led numerous trips to explore New Guinea and nearby islands. In his fifties, Diamond gradually developed a third career in environmental history, becoming a professor of geography and of environ-mental health sciences at UCLA, his current position.
Diamond speaks a dozen languages, listed in the order learned: English, Latin, French, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian, Finnish, Fore (a New Guinea language), New Melanesian, Indonesian, and Italian. His books rely on fields as diverse as molecular biology, linguistics, physiology, and archaeology, as well as knowledge about typewriter design and feudal Japan. Because of his broad expertise and the large number of articles credited to him, zoologist Mark Ridley has suggested jokingly that Jared Diamond is not a single person, but instead "is really a committee."