Dr. Francisco José Ayala Pereda is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and philosopher at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former Dominican priest, ordained in 1960, but left the priesthood that same year. After graduating from the University of Salamanca, he moved to the US in 1961 to study for a PhD at Columbia University. There, he studied for his doctorate under Theodosius Dobzhansky, graduating in 1964. He became a US citizen in 1971.
He has been President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At University of California, Irvine, his academic appointments include University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (School of Biological Sciences), Professor of Philosophy, (School of Humanities), and Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science (School of Social Sciences).