Dr. Marc Bekoff: professor emeritus of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, the University of Colorado

My NativeAdVantage:


Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a past Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior. Marc is also an ambassador for Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program, in which he works with students of all ages, senior citizens, and prisoners, and also is a member of the Ethics Committee of the Jane Goodall Institute. He and Jane co-founded the organization Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: Citizens for Responsible Animal Behavior Studies in 2000. Marc is on the Board of Directors of The Fauna Sanctuary and The Cougar Fund and on the advisory board for Animal Defenders and Project Coyote. He has been part of the international program, Science and the Spiritual Quest II, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) program on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Marc is also an honorary member of Animalisti Italiani and Fundacion Altarriba. In 2006 Marc was named an honorary board member of Rational Animal and a patron of the Captive Animals' Protection Society. In 2009 he was named a member of the Scientific Expert Advisory Panel of Voiceless, The Animal Protection Institute and a faculty member of the Humane Society University, and in 2010 he was named to the advisory board of Living with Wolves and Greenvegans and the advisory council of the National Museum of Animals & Society. In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners. In 2009 he was presented with the St. Francis of Assisi Award by the Auckland (New Zealand) SPCA. Marc is also on the Board of Directors for Minding Animals International.

What do I do best?

Now, that's an easy question -- not! But I think what I do best, or at least pretty well, is to live a balanced life. I work hard, play hard, and rest and "tune out" hard.  I still ride my bicycle a few 100 kilometers a week and write a lot. But, when I feel I'm out of steam I rest by watching 'bad' movies or reading books that don't take much attention. I leave my brain so I can refuel. I also have the ability to take things very seriously but retain some lightness so that I don't get overwhelmed with it all. My father said it was important to be able to look in the mirror and laugh at yourself, and from time-to-time I do just that. I write more about this here -- https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201411/take-walk-the-rewild-side

What makes me the best version of myself?

Living a balanced life -- working, playing, and resting hard and knowing when I need a break and just need to hole up for a while in total silence.

What are my aspirations?

To leave the world as a more compassionate place for all beings than it was when I was born. 

My Biggest Success?

Being successful at pursuing and achieving most of my dreams, because of good fortune, hard work, and some luck. It's interesting how hard work and good luck often coincide.

My Most Challenging Moment?

I've had many challenging moments -- who hasn't? -- but leaving a PhD/MD program to study animal behavior and use what I learn to protect other animals took a lot of intense thinking and feeling, but I'm thrilled I did it.

My Motto?

You can never be too nice and when you're not, apologize, ask for forgiveness, and grant forgiveness in return when you've been mistreated.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Gandhi ranks among my favorite people.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Home. I've flown more than a million miles and traveled all over the world, but I just love being at home in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My bicycles.

My Current Passions?

Trying to make the world a safer, kinder, and more compassionate place for all beings.