Steven N. Austad is Distinguished Professor and Chair of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research. Steve received his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at UCLA in 1969 before going on to a PhD in Biological Sciences at Purdue University in 1981. He has previously held faculty positions at Harvard University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. His research explores the evolution of life histories with a particular focus on the comparative biology of aging. His research ranges from comparative demography to molecular mechanisms of aging and he has a long-time interest in variation in both cognitive and physical aging rates among primates and other animals. With a strong commitment to communicating science to the lay public, he is a former member of the Science Advisory Board of National Public Radio and his tradebook, Why We Age, has been translated into eight languages.