Jan Anthony Sapp is an historian of biology at York University, Canada. His writings focus especially on evolutionary biology beyond the traditional neo-Darwinian framework, and emphasize the fundamental importance of symbiosis and horizontal gene transfer in heredity and evolution. He is also known for his writing on the coral reef crisis, focusing in detail on the outbreaks of crown of thorns starfish and coral bleaching.
Jan Sapp was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He completed his BSc hons (Biology) at Dalhousie University in 1976 before earning his MSc and Phd at the Institut d’histoire et de sociopolitique des sciences, at L'Université de Montréal in 1984. He subsequently held an appointment at the University of Melbourne for eight years, where he also served as chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He was Andrew Mellon Fellow at the Rockefeller University, 1991-92. He held the Canada Research Chair (tier 1) in the History of the Biological Sciences at l’Université du Québec à Montréal from 2001-2003 before returning to York University where he has been a professor since 1992.