Marston Bates was an American zoologist. Bates' studies on mosquitoes contributed to the understanding of the epidemiology of yellow fever in northern South America.
Born in Michigan, Bates received a B.S. from the University of Florida in 1927. He received an A.M. in 1933 and a Ph.D. in 1934, both from Harvard University. He lived for many years in Villavicencio between the mountains and the llanos in central Columbia. From 1952 until 1971 he was a professor at the University of Michigan. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1958. He was the author of many popular science books. He was married to Nancy Bell Fairchild, daughter of the botanist David Fairchild.
In 1960, he published the ecological science book The Forest and the Sea, an introduction to how ecosystems work. He compares a rain forest and a tropical sea, their similarities and differences, and through it demonstrates how to understand biological systems.