Dr. Gilbert pursues two areas of evolutionary developmental biology. The first is the origins of biological novelty, and he has worked since 1999 on the mechanisms by which developmental changes in the amniote embryo generate the turtle shell. The second concern involves the relationship of the developing organism to its environment, especially the co-development of host and symbionts to generate the holobiont. He is pursuing questions that emerge when the holobiont (the host plus its persistent symbiotic communities) is considered as a unit of selection.
Scott received his BA. in both the biology and religion departments of Wesleyan University. He pursued his PhD in biology in the laboratory of Dr. Barbara Migeon at the Johns Hopkins University and simultaneously researched his MA thesis in the history of science under the aegis of Dr. Donna Haraway. His postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin was first in the molecular biology laboratory of Dr. Masayasu Nomura and later in the developmental immunology laboratory of Dr. Robert Auerbach.
Scott has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists, and he has been awarded the Medal of François I from the Collège de France, the Dwight J. Ingle Memorial Writing Award, the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Tartu (Estonia), and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Grant. In 2002, the Society for Developmental Biology awarded Dr. Gilbert its first Viktor Hamburger Prize for Excellence in Education, and in 2004, he was awarded the Kowalevsky Prize in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Dr. Gilbert is married to Dr. Anne Raunio and has three children.
Scott’s research has involved developmental genetics, symbiosis theory, feminism, complexity theory, the history of embryology, the interactions of art and biology, the interactions of theology and biology, the interactions of humor and biology, evolutionary developmental biology and ecological developmental biology.