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                                            philosophy of biology

Stefan Linquist's  homepage

contact: linquist@uoguelph.ca

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Students currently being advised
Brady Fullerton  (PhD Candidate)
Brady is a photographer and philosopher who specializes on the evolution of aesthetic traditions. His research brings together the philosophy of aesthetics with the study of cultural evolution. One of his aims is to develop methods for rigorously testing evolutionary claims about aesthetic preference in order to  advance this field beyond the level of "just so" story telling.

John Klasios (PhD candidate)
John studies human nature from an evolutionary perspective.  He has published several articles on issues in Evolutionary Psychology, especially with respect to human mating and mate choice. 
Former Students
Lukas Nicholson (MA 2022)
Lukas is a philosopher of technology interested in the use of precautionary reasoning to oppose novel technologies. He is particularly interested in the way that risk assessment is conducted for projects in geoengineering and data-science
Stefan Schneider  (PhD 2020)
Stefan works in the area of AI and machine learning. He brings together training in ecology and computer science to develop deep learning algorithms capable of re-identifying animals using camera trap images and video. He is assisting with my research on octopus cognition.  Stefan is being co-advised by Stefan Kremer in the School of Computer Science. Yes, there are three Stefans involved in this project!

Keiran Pattullo-Graf (MA 2016)
Keiran completed an M.A. in philosophy under my supervision in 2016.  His thesis explored the debate between the established agricultural industry and the organic farming movement.  Keiran focused on the ways that opposing stakeholders in this debate appeal to ecological science to support their respective positions.

Jamie Robertson
(MA 2011)
Jamie is interested in a broad range of issues in environmental ethics and economics. Her Masters thesis "A Case for Decision-Maker Based Justification of Environmental Policy," critically evaluated both David Pearce's defense of cost benefit analysis as well as Mark Sagoff's opposition to this framework.  After completing her MA under my supervision in 2011, Jamie became Coordinator of the Ethics Center at the University of Sudbury. She later returned to York University, where she is currently completing a PhD in Philosophy.

Jordan Bartol (MA 2011)

Jordan is interested in philosophical issues in genomics, especially as they pertain to larger issues surrounding causation and explanation in the philosophy of science.  His MA thesis undertook a detailed critique of the field of personalized genomics. Jordan completed his MA under my supervision in 2011, and went on to accept a prestigious PhD scholarship at the University of Leeds. We continued to collaborate on a project critical of Damasio's somatic marker hypothesis during his PhD research. 

  Scientific Collaborators
W. Ford Doolittle
Ford is a renound evolutionary molecular biologist who describes himself as a philosopher of nature. He has collaborated with numerous philosophers on topics ranging from the nature of life, to the Gia hypothesis, to microbial evolution. We have collaborated on two articles and a co-edited volume on the ascription of functions to "junk" DNA.

T. Ryan Gregory
Ryan is an evolutionary biologist interested in non-coding DNA, transposable elements, and genome size. He is an adjunct professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Guelph. We co-teach a graduate seminar on the Philosophy of Biology most fall semesters (unless one of us is on sabbatical), and he has served on several philosophy graduate committees.  Ryan and I have co-authored approximately five articles and continue to collaborate on new projects.

Jonathan A. Newman
Jonathan is a philosophically-minded ecologist and current Dean of Research at Wilfred Laurier University. In addition to an extensive list of scientific papers and a textbook on climate change biology, Jonathan has two philosophical publications. One is a critical examination of the ecosystem concept. The other is a book on the science and philosophy of biodiversity conservation, co-authored with me and Gary Varner (TExas A&M).  Jonathan often serves on the committees of my philosophy grad students.

Karl Cottenie
Karl is another philosophical ecologist at the University of Guelph. He specializes on the theory of meta-community biology and has undertaken several philosophical/conceptual research projects. 
One of these is a plea for consistent terminology of metacommunity concepts. Another manuscript  differentiates between processes at the metacommunity and biogeography scales . I have co-authored approximately five articles with Karl, including work on the nature and existence of ecological laws. We continue to collaborate on an analysis of biodiversity concepts and on genome-level ecology. 

Stefan Kremer
Stefan is a computer scientist interested in natural language processing and induction. We have collaborated on several papers, including a recent simulation model of transposon accumulation without organismal benefit.

Tyler Elliott
Tyler is an expert on the molecular biology of tranpsoable elements and is interested in the science and philosophy of genomics. After completing his PhD in 2016, he took a research position the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Tyler is working towards the creation of an improved database for annotating transposable elements.

Brent Saylor
Brent is a Uof G PhD graduate formerly supervised by Karl Cottenie and Stefan Kremer. We have collaborated on several papers on conceptual issues in genomics and ecology.