Biology Department photograph montage

Robert Bowman

Faculty in Emeriti Faculty
Professor Emeritus
At SFSU Since: 
1955
Specialties: 
Courses taught: Comparative Anatomy, Ornithology

Dr. Bowman conducted 15 research trips to the Galapagos Islands until he retired in 1988.  Dedicated to protecting and preserving the wildlife and ecology of the Galapagos Islands, he produced ground-breaking work on the morphology, behavior and song evolution of Galapagos finches--the birds which helped to shape Charles Darwin's ideas about evolution.

As a result of the increasing threat on the island's biodiversity by the human population, Bowman, along with an international group of scientists and conservation organization representatives, created the Charles Darwin Research Station, located on the islands, and the Charles Darwin Foundation whose mission is to provide support to ensure the conservation of the Archipelago environment and biodiversity through scientific research.  Bowman also worked to convince the Eucador government to designate the entire archipelago as a national park, and for his effort, he received the Republic of Ecuador's Medal of Honor in 1964.

Professor Bowman served as the President of the Pacific Division of the American Association of the Advancement of Science from 1981-83.  He was a founding director of the Oceanic Society, editor of three scientific books and numerous research articles on the Galapagos, and board member of many natural science organizations including the California Academy of Science.