The New York Times Book Review has called Carl Zimmer "as fine a science essayist as we have." Zimmer graduated magna cum laude from Yale with a degree in English in 1987 and joined the staff of Discover in 1989. From 1993 to 1999 he was a senior editor at the magazine. Zimmer's work during that time won numerous awards, including the Pan-American Health Organization Award for Excellence in International Health Reporting, the American Institute Biological Sciences Media Award, and the Everett Clark Award for science writing.
At the Water's Edge, Zimmer's first book, was published in 1998 and has been translated into six languages. It describes some of the astonishing discoveries in paleontology and genetics that document the transition of our ancestors out of the water 360 million years ago, as well as the return of whales back to the sea 50 million years ago. Since then, he has written six more books, including Parasite Rex, Evolution: The Triumph of An Idea, Soul Made Flesh, Micocrosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. His newest book, The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution, will be published in August. His books have won numerous honors, including fellowships from John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Zimmer is a regular contributor to the New York Times, where he writes about everything from genes to the intelligence of hyenas to why leaves turn red in the fall. He also writes regularly for National Geographic, Time, Scientific American, and many other magazines. He is a contributing editor at Discover, where he writes a monthly column about the brain, and where he writes a blog, "The Loom," which won the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Science Journalism Award. In 2007 he was awarded the National Academies Science Communication Award for his journalism. The Academies praised "his diverse and consistentl interesting coverage of evolution and unexpected biology."