Theo Colborn, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus
University of Florida/Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Texas A&M
121 Main Avenue P.O. Box 1253
City, State, Zip
Paonia, Colorado 81428
Award Year


Project Details

With the support of her Pew Fellowship, Colborn brought two young scientists to work at World Wildlife Fund US to research endocrine disrupting chemicals and their effects. These two scientists, Rosalind Rolland and Michael Smolen, became experts in the role of endocrine disruption in marine mammals, birds, fishes and animals in lower trophic systems. During this time Colburn also wrote Our Stolen Future, a popular book about the effects of transgenerational exposure to chemicals that can mimic or interfere with the natural chemicals that control fetal and early postnatal development and daily function.

The book, published in March 1996, gave Colborn opportunities to speak to a wide variety of audiences around the world, promoting the establishment of an international research effort to develop screens and assays to test chemicals for their endocrine disrupting effects.


Theo Colborn specializes in the effects of toxic chemicals on human and non-human endocrine and reproductive systems. By integrating wildlife and human research she has generated concern about the threat of contaminant exposure to biodiversity. She convenes scientists from many disciplines and encourages collaborations among them to advance knowledge concerning chemically-induced alterations in developing endocrine, immune and nervous systems, that is, non-cancer effects that lead to loss of function, including intelligence and behavior and undermine reproductive success and population stability.



Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
1985: Zoology, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Master of Arts, Western State College of Colorado
1981: Science, Colorado, USA

Bachelor of Science, Rutgers University
1947: Pharmacy, New Jersey, USA


Blue Planet Prize

Norwegian International 1999 Rachel Carson Prize

Marine Fellow
1993: Pew Fellows Program in conservation and the Environment

Award for excellence in protecting aquatic resources
1991: National Water Alliance


  • Colborn, T., P. Short and M. Gilbertson. 1999. Health effects of contemporary-use pesticides: the wildlife/human connection. Toxicology and Industrial Health 15(1): 275
  • Short, P. and T. Colborn. 1999. Pesticide use in the US and policy implications: A focus on herbicides. Toxicology and Industrial Health 15(1): 240-275
  • Colborn, T. 1998. Endocrine disruption from environmental toxicants. In: Environmental and Occupational Medicine (W.N. Rom ed.) 3. Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia, p. 807-815
  • Colborn, T., M.J. Smolen and R. Rolland. 1998. Environmental neurotoxic effects: The search for new protocols in functional teratology. Journal of Toxicology & Industrial Health 14(1): 9-24
  • Colborn, T. 1998. Building scientific consensus on endocrine disruptors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 17(1): 1-2
  • Colborn, T. and M.J. Smolen. 1996. An epidemiological analysis of persistent organochlorine contaminants in cetaceans. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 146:91-172
  • Colborn, T., D. Dumanoski and J.P. Myers. 1996. Our Stolen Future. Dutton, New York, NY. (306 pp)
  • Colborn, T., A. Soto and F. vom Saal. 1993. Developmental effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in wildlife and humans. Environmental Health Perspectives 101(5): 378-384
  • Clement, C. and T. Colborn (eds.) (eds.). 1992. Chemically-Induced Alterations in Sexual and Functional Development: The wildlife/human Connection. Princeton Scientific Publishing Inc., Princeton, NJ. (403 pp)