Jonathan Kingdon grew up in Tanzania where he was born in 1935.
Bridging both Arts and sciences, his works spans from extraordinary draftsmanship, sculpture and painting to the inventive writing of scientific books. He is a writer of zoology, anthropology and biogeography and is probably best known for his magnum opus, East African Mammal;, an atlas of evolution in Africa which is celebrated as a ‘Leonardo like exploration of science with an artist’s eye’.
Kingdon’s painting and sculpture often derive from elaborations of nature’s signals. The way in which optical effects are elaborated by fish, birds or monkeys have been fruitful sources of imagery in his work as well as providing him with a unique cross-over between his prime interests in the two disciplines.
His current research concerns visual communication especially in African guenon monkeys (“Primate Visual Signals in Noisy Environments” Folia Primatol 2007; 78: 389-404) and also the analysis of optical components and how they are elaborated in self contained evolutionary lineages.