Futuyma graduated with a B.S. from Cornell University, and took his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the interaction between plant-eating insects and the plants themselves. He was Lawrence B. Slobodkin Collegiate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is now a distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Futuyma is the author of the widely used textbook Evolutionary Biology and Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, an introduction to the creation-evolution controversy. His most recent textbook, Evolution, was published early in 2005 as an introductory textbook for undergraduates, with an updated 2nd edition released in 2009. Futuyma is also the co-author with M. Slatkin of "Coevolution".
Futuyma has been president of the Society for the Study of Evolution, and of the American Society of Naturalists. He was the editor of Evolution and the Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics.
He was awarded the Sewall Wright Award from the American Society of Naturalists, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Australia. He was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States on 25 April 2006.
Futuyma, D.J Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics: (Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics) in 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
1984: with S. J. Risch "Sexual orientation, sociobiology, and evolution" (Journal of Homosexuality, 9, 157-168)
1987: "On the role of species in anagenesis" (Amer. Natur. 130: 465–473)
1996: with C. Mitter. "Insect-plant interactions: The evolution of component communities" (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society London B 351:1361–1366)
1995: "The uses of evolutionary biology" (Science 267: 41–42)
1995: with M.C. Keese and D.J. Funk. "Genetic constraints on macroevolution: The evolution of host affiliation in the leaf beetle genus Ophraella" (Evolution 49:797–809)
1992: with M. C. Keese. "Evolution and coevolution of plants and phytophagous arthropods" (in G.A. Rosenthal and M.R. Berenbaum (edd) Herbivores: Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites (2nd ed.) Academic Press, NY. pp 439–475)