|Born||February 24, 1948|
|Alma mater||Yale University (B.A., 1970)|
University of Oxford (B.Litt., English, 1973)
|Spouse||Betsy Gaines Quammen|
David Quammen (born February 24, 1948) is an American science, nature, and travel writer and the author of fifteen books. His articles have appeared in Outside Magazine, National Geographic, Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and other periodicals.
A collection of David Quammen's drafts, research, and correspondence is housed in Texas Tech University’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. The collection consists of approximately 63 boxes of publicly available literary production, artifacts, maps, and other papers dated between 1856-2014.
David Quammen was born on February 24, 1948 to W.A. and Mary Quammen. He was raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1966. Following this, he was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship, aiding him in attending and graduating from Yale. During his graduate studies at Oxford, he studied literature, concentrating on the works of William Faulkner. After the completion of his education and the publication of his first novel, he relocated to Bozeman, Montana, where he currently lives with his wife, Betsy Gaines Quammen.
In the early 1970s, Quammen moved to Montana for trout fishing. In 1983, he finished The Soul of Viktor Tronko, a spy novel based on Russian historical events. A year later, Blood Line: Stories of Fathers and Sons was published. Following the failure of his spy novel, Quammen began transitioning into a nonfiction writer.
In 1981, Quammen began writing columns for Outside Magazine, and continued for fifteen years. Some of the columns from Outside Magazine and others contributed to Quammen's nonfiction books: Natural Acts (1985), The Flight of the Iguana (1988), Wild Thoughts from Wild Places (1998), and The Boilerplate Rhino (2000).
Later in 1999, Quammen began to write a series of three stories following J. Michael Fay's 2000-mile hike through Central Africa for National Geographic. During this time, Quammen walked with Fay for eight weeks along African river basins. Quammen continued working with National Geographic, holding a Contributing Writer position, producing cover stories like "Was Darwin Wrong?" and "The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion."
From 2007 to 2009, Quammen was employed as the Wallace Stegner Professor of Western American Studies at Montana State University. Quammen received honorary doctorates from Montana State University and Colorado College. For his work, Quammen was awarded with a Rhodes Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction.
His book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) received two awards: the Science and Society Book Award, given by the National Association of Science Writers, and the Society of Biology (UK) Book Award in General Biology. In 2013, Spillover was shortlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. The Song of the Dodo (Scribner, 1996), a study of the bird's extinction won the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing.