|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Fields||physics, string theory|
|Institutions||University of Texas at Austin|
Distler was born to a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he attended Herzliah High School (Snowdon). He attended Harvard University for both his bachelors and doctorate in physics. His 1987 thesis Compactified String Theories was supervised by Sidney Coleman.
Before going to Texas, he was assistant professor at Princeton University.
According to citation counts, his most influential publication is his 1989 paper on conformal field theory in two dimensions. His earliest paper is Gauge Invariant Superstring Field Theory, co-authored with André LeClair and published in 1986 in Nuclear Physics B.
He has studied the "landscape" of metastable vacua in string theory. In July 2005, he released a paper on this topic. Professor Distler was a member of arXiv's physics advisory board.[failed verification]
He has a blog Musings: Thoughts on Science, Computing, and Life on Earth, one of the first theoretical physics blogs in the world.