Who Is Dr. Bugs?
Dr. Bugs began his dissertation in diapers. As he crawled on the ground in diapers, he developed a fascination with ants. He has been observing ants and other creatures ever since; and has been sharing his observations along the way.
Dr. Bugs is Mark Moffett, PhD, born January 7, 1958. Some time after crawling in diapers and dropping out of high school at the age of 16, Mark completed a BA in biology at Beloit College in Wisconsin. He actually graduated with honors in 1979 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa fraternity whose philosophy is, "Love of learning is the guide of life." While an undergraduate student, he published five scientific papers.
Mark went to Harvard on a graduate research fellowship where he studied under Edward O. Wilson, who developed the field of socio-biology and is a two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Mark spent 29 months of his graduate training studying the ants of tropical Asia.
Rather than documenting his observations and findings in more traditional ways, he used photography, which he claims to have learned from a book about super models. He used techniques called “fill light” and “hair light” with macro photography techniques that are used to get close up shots of small objects. His dissertation pictures were published in National Geographic Magazine. Since then he has published a number of articles and photographs in National Geographic.
Dr. Moffett earned his Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 1989. He was the curator of ants under Dr. Wilson at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, and remained at the museum as a research associate through the 1990s. He is currently a research associate in the entomology department at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Moffett received his High School Diploma in March 2008.
Dr. Moffett can be heard on NPR from time to time, or seen on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, or on the Colbert Report. In addition to writing for National Geographic, he contributes to Ranger Rick, a children’s magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation. He has written several books.
His book, Face to Face with Frogs, is written in the first person and takes children ages 4 to 8 into the rain forest and face to face with frogs of all kinds. His Adventures Among Ants takes readers all around the world with him to study ants, except to Antarctica where there are no ants. Frontier explores the tropical rain forest canopy from 100 to 200 ft above the forest floor.
A scientist, scholar, explorer, photographer, writer, TV personality, tour guide, and even a bit of a comedian, Dr. Bugs followed his interest in natural science and entomology to the nth degree, and developed skills along the way that allowed him to share his enthusiasm for nature with the rest of us who are not so naturally inclined. To learn more about Dr. Bugs and to view his photography, go to his web page, DoctorBugs.com.
The Colbert Report
- World's Largest Frog
ColbertNation.com video - Mark Moffett introduces Stephen to a contender for world's largest frog.
- Social Structures of Ants
ColbertNation.com video - Mark Moffett describes the elaborate social structures of ants that include market economies and nationalism.
- More About Ants
ColbertNation.com video - Stephen is disappointed when Mark Moffett tells him that China has already found a way to make money off of ants.
ColbertNation.com video - Mark Moffett says plants need an animal intermediary to carry the pollen to the next plant, and do the deed.
by Mark Moffett, Ph.D.
- The Fresh Air Interview - Entomologist Mark Moffett Talks Ants : NPR
Entomologist Mark Moffett loves ants. He's devoted his career to studying the tiny insects: how they move, what they eat, when they attack their prey. Moffett's new book, Adventures Among Ants, details his explorations around the world, tracking many