John Tyler Bonner (born May 12, 1920) is an emeritus professor, now lecturer with the rank of professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He is a pioneer in the use of cellular slime molds to understand evolution and development over a career of 40 years and is one of the world’s leading experts on cellular slime moulds. Arizona State University says that the establishment and growth of developmental-evolutionary biology owes a great debt to the work of Bonner’s studies. His work is highly readable and unusually clearly written and his contributions have made many complicated ideas of biology accessible to a wide audience.
Bonner is the George M. Moffett Professor Emeritus of Biology at Princeton University. He was trained at Harvard University between 1937 and 1947, aside from a stint in the United States Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. His PhD studies were interrupted by this stint in the Air Corps, so he completed his studies in an unusually short period of time. He soon joined the faculty of Princeton University, becoming the chairman of the Princeton Biology Department between 1966 and 1977, also in 1983-84 and 1987-88.
He holds four honorary doctorates and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was made a National Academy of Sciences fellow in 1973.
He was a visiting scholar at the Indian Institute of Science in 1993 and the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1990. He has also been visiting faculty at Brooklyn College, Williams College and University College, London. He also was a Sheldon Travelling Fellow in 1941 in Panama and Cuba while in graduate school, a Rockefeller Traveling Fellow 1953 in Paris, France, and held Guggenheim Fellowships in 1958 and from 1971-1972 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He held an National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cambridge, England in 1963. He also had Commonwealth Foundation Book Fund Fellowships in 1971 and between 1984 and in 1985 Edinburgh, Scotland and a Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation Book Fund Fellowship in 1978 in Edinburgh, Scotland.