Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929) is an American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist (conservationist) and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants, on which he is considered to be the world’s leading expert. Wilson is known for his scientific career, his role as “the father of sociobiology” and “the father of biodiversity,” his environmental advocacy, and his secular-humanist and deist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. Among his greatest contributions to ecological theory is the theory of island biogeography, which he developed in collaboration with the mathematical ecologist Robert MacArthur. Island biogeography is seen as the foundation of the development of conservation area design, as well as the unified neutral theory of biodiversity of Stephen P. Hubbell.