Taylor Edwards

Biologist, Conservationist

Taylor Edwards is an Associate Staff Scientist at the University of Arizona Genetics Core, where he and his team conducted the public testing for National Geographic's Genographic Project (an innovative global program in which people can trace their ancestry back 60,000 years using markers in their DNA). His background includes a combination of wildlife ecology and molecular biology, and he blends the two disciplines in his own research to answer questions about the conservation of species. Taylor’s work covers a variety of species ranging from plants to fishes, but his specialty is reptiles and amphibians. At home in deserts and rain forests, his research has taken him to China, Brazil, Mexico, Namibia, and Cameroon—as well as to the canyons of America's desert southwest. Taylor has joined numerous expeditions to the neotropics and has traveled to Costa Rica with National Geographic for almost 20 years. He is inspired by how the distributions of organisms have been sculpted by the enduring processes of time, climate, and adaptation, making Central America one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Although Taylor uses scientific approaches to measure and quantify species diversity and richness, he believes that biodiversity is something that ultimately must be experienced to be truly appreciated.