Joan Strassmann is a member of the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences as professor. Formerly she was the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor in Natural Sciences and Department Chair of Ecology Biology at Rice University. Dr. Strassmann’s work investigates cooperative alliances that have occurred at several important steps in the evolution of life, and have proven evolutionarily and ecologically very successful. Studying how these alliances came to be, how conflicts are subsumed into cooperation, what conflicts remain, and how they influence sociality comprise her dominant research interests. Dr. Strassmann received her doctorate in the department of Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of numerous publications and has won a number of prestigious grants and honors. She is also on several editorial boards, including Evolution and BMC Evolutionary Biology and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Strassmann has recently received Texas Teacher Quality Grants Program funds to develop rigorous teaching training in Elementary Science. Currently, Dr. Strassmann is working with Dr. Queller on a research project entitled “Social interactions and molecular evolution” which has been awarded a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation.