Although biologists recognize evolutionary ecology by name, many only have a limited understanding of its conceptual roots and historical development. Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Ecology fills that knowledge gap in a thought-provoking and readable format. Written by a world-renowned evolutionary ecologist, this book embodies a unique blend of expertise in combining theory and experiment, population genetics and ecology. Following an easily-accessible structure, this book encapsulates and chronologizes the history behind evolutionary ecology. It also focuses on the integration of age-structure and density-dependent selection into an understanding of life-history evolution. Covers over 60 seminal breakthroughs and paradigm shifts in the field of evolutionary biology and ecology Modular format permits ready access to each described subject Historical overview of a field whose concepts are central to all of biology and relevant to a broad audience of biologists, science historians, and philosophers of science
Conceptual Breakthroughs in the Evolutionary Biology of Aging continues the innovative Conceptual Breakthroughs series by providing a comprehensive outline of the major breakthroughs that built the evolutionary biology of aging as a leading scientific field. Following the evolutionary study of aging from its humble origins to its flourishing present, the chapters treat the field's breakthroughs one at a time. This book offers a concise and accessible analysis of the science of aging viewed through an evolutionary lens. Building upon widely-cited studies conducted by author Michael Rose, this book is unique in its coverage of the 30 subsequent years of growth and development within the field. The book highlights key publications for those who are not experts in the field. Conceptual Breakthroughs in the Evolutionary Biology of Aging provides an important resource for researchers. Given the prevailing interest changing the aging process dramatically, it is a powerful tool for readers who have a vested interest in understanding the causes so that they might work to control the scourge. Reviews cell-molecular theories of aging in the light of evolutionary biology Offers an evolutionary analysis of prospects for mitigating aging, which is not commonly discussed within private and public sectors Provides its readers with a radically different perspective on contemporary biological gerontology through the lens of evolutionary biology
Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Genetics is a pithy, lively book occupying a special niche—the conceptual history of evolutionary genetics— not inhabited by any other available treatment. Written by a world-leading authority in evolutionary genetics, this work encapsulates and ranks 70 of the most significant paradigm shifts in evolutionary biology and genetics during the century-and-a-half since Darwin and Mendel. The science of evolutionary genetics is central to all of biology, but many students and other practitioners have little knowledge of its historical roots and conceptual developments. This book fills that knowledge gap in a thought-provoking and readable format. This fascinating chronological journey along the many conceptual pathways to our modern understanding of evolutionary and genetic principles is a wonderful springboard for discussions in undergraduate or graduate seminars in evolutionary biology and genetics. But more than that, anyone interested in the history and philosophy of science will find much of value between its covers. Provides a relative ranking of 70 seminal breakthroughs and paradigm shifts in the field of evolutionary biology and genetics Modular format permits ready access to each described subject Historical overview of a field whose concepts are central to all of biology and relevant to a broad audience of biologists, science historians, and philosophers of science Extensively cross-referenced with a guide to landmark papers and books for each topic
Conceptual Breakthroughs in Ethology and Animal Behavior highlights, through concise summaries, the most important discoveries and scientific revolutions in animal behavior. These are assessed for their relative impact on the field and their significance to the forward motion of the science of animal behavior. Eighty short essays capture the moment when a new concept emerged or a publication signaled a paradigm shift. How the new understanding came about is explained, and any continuing controversy or scientific conversation on the issue is highlighted. Behavior is a rich and varied field, drawing on genetics, evolution, physiology, and ecology to inform its principles, and this book embraces the wealth of knowledge that comes from the unification of these fields around the study of animals in motion. The chronological organization of the essays makes this an excellent overview of the history of animal behavior, ethology, and behavioral ecology. The work includes such topics as Darwin’s role in shaping the study of animal behavior, the logic of animal contests, cognition, empathy in animals, and animal personalities. Succinct accounts of new revelations about behavior through scientific investigation and scrutiny reveal the fascinating story of this field. Similar to Dr. John Avise’s Contemporary Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Genetics, the work is structured into vignettes that describe the conceptual revolution and assess the impact of the conceptual change, with a score, which ranges from 1-10, providing an assessment of the impact of the new findings on contemporary science. Features a lively, brisk writing style and brief entries to enable easy, enjoyable access to this essential information Includes topics that cover the range of behavioral biology from mechanism to behavioral ecology Can also be used as supplemental material for an undergraduate animal behavior course, or as the foundational text for an upper level or graduate discussion course in advanced animal behavior
The time is ripe to investigate similarities and differences in the course of social evolution in different animals. This book brings together renowned researchers working on sociality in different animals to deal with the key questions of sociobiology. For the first time, they compile the evidence for the importance of ecological factors in the evolution of social life, ranging from invertebrate to vertebrate social systems, and evaluate its importance versus that of relatedness.
The groundbreaking Encyclopedia of Ecology provides an authoritative and comprehensive coverage of the complete field of ecology, from general to applied. It includes over 500 detailed entries, structured to provide the user with complete coverage of the core knowledge, accessed as intuitively as possible, and heavily cross-referenced. Written by an international team of leading experts, this revolutionary encyclopedia will serve as a one-stop-shop to concise, stand-alone articles to be used as a point of entry for undergraduate students, or as a tool for active researchers looking for the latest information in the field. Entries cover a range of topics, including: Behavioral Ecology Ecological Processes Ecological Modeling Ecological Engineering Ecological Indicators Ecological Informatics Ecosystems Ecotoxicology Evolutionary Ecology General Ecology Global Ecology Human Ecology System Ecology The first reference work to cover all aspects of ecology, from basic to applied Over 500 concise, stand-alone articles are written by prominent leaders in the field Article text is supported by full-color photos, drawings, tables, and other visual material Fully indexed and cross referenced with detailed references for further study Writing level is suited to both the expert and non-expert Available electronically on ScienceDirect shortly upon publication
Cooperative breeders are species in which more than a pair of individuals assist in the production of young. Cooperative breeding is found in only a few hundred bird species world-wide, and understanding this often strikingly altruistic behaviour has remained an important challenge in behavioural ecology for over 30 years. This book highlights the theoretical, empirical and technical advances that have taken place in the field of cooperative breeding research since the publication of the seminal work Cooperative Breeding in Birds: Long-term Studies of Behavior and Ecology (1990, HB ISBN 0521 372984, PB ISBN 0521 378907). Organized conceptually, special attention is given to ways in which cooperative breeders have proved fertile subjects for testing modern advances to classic evolutionary problems including those of sexual selection, sex-ratio manipulation, life-history evolution, partitioning of reproduction and incest avoidance. It will be of interest to both students and researchers interested in behaviour and ecology.
Conceptual Breakthroughs in Comparative Physiology focuses on milestones and research achievements in comparative animal physiology. The book looks at the future of the field, illustrating how advances in technology continue to help us understand how animals work and adapt to their environments. Written by a leading expert in comparative physiology, the book follows the chronological order of discoveries and developments in the field. It covers the origins of comparative physiology in the 16th century, moving on to describe new topics such as developmental, diving and renal physiology. In addition, it examines new developments in ecological physiology and the birth of evolutionary physiology. This is an essential resource for undergraduates, graduate students and researchers interested in physiology with its comprehensive synopsis on the field's foundational history and significant advances. Provides a single-source, historical overview of the field Examines more than 70 significant achievements in the history of comparative animal physiology Written in a comprehensive and easy-to-read format
Coverage: 1982- current; updated: monthly. This database covers current ecology research across a wide range of disciplines, reflecting recent advances in light of growing evidence regarding global environmental change and destruction. Major ares of subject coverage include: Algae/lichens, Animals, Annelids, Aquatic ecosystems, Arachnids, Arid zones, Birds, Brackish water, Bryophytes/pteridophytes, Coastal ecosystems, Conifers, Conservation, Control, Crustaceans, Ecosyst em studies, Fungi, Grasses, Grasslands, High altitude environments, Human ecology, Insects, Legumes, Mammals, Management, Microorganisms, Molluscs, Nematodes, Paleo-ecology, Plants, Pollution studies, Reptiles, River basins, Soil, TAiga/tundra, Terrestrial ecosystems, Vertebrates, Wetlands, Woodlands.
Advances in molecular biology, remote sensing, systems biology, bioinformatics, non-linear science, the physics of complex systems and other fields have rendered a great amount of data that remain to be integrated into models and theories that are capable of accounting for the complexity of ecological systems and the evolutionary dynamics of life. It is thus necessary to provide a solid basis to discuss and reflect on these and other challenges both at the local and global scales. This volume aims to delineate an integrative and interdisciplinary view that suggests new avenues in research and teaching, critically discusses the scope of the diverse methods in the study of complex systems, and points at key open questions. Finally, this book will provide students and specialists with a collection of high quality open access essays that will contribute to integrate Ecology, Evolution and Complexity in the context of basic research and in the field of Sustainability Sciences.
At the close of the eighteenth century, Erasmus Darwin declared that he would 'enlist the imagination under the banner of science,' beginning, Michael Page argues, a literary narrative on questions of evolution, ecology, and technological progress that would extend from the Romantic through the Victorian periods. Examining the interchange between emerging scientific ideas-specifically evolution and ecology-new technologies, and literature in nineteenth-century Britain, Page shows how British writers from Darwin to H.G. Wells confronted the burgeoning expansion of scientific knowledge that was radically redefining human understanding and experience of the natural world, of human species, and of the self. The wide range of authors covered in Page's ambitious study permits him to explore an impressive array of topics that include the role of the Romantic era in the molding of scientific and cultural perspectives; the engagement of William Wordsworth and Percy Shelley with questions raised by contemporary science; Mary Shelley's conflicted views on the unfolding prospects of modernity; and how Victorian writers like Charles Kingsley, Samuel Butler, and W.H. Hudson responded to the implications of evolutionary theory. Page concludes with the scientific romances of H.G. Wells, to demonstrate how evolutionary fantasies reached the pinnacle of synthesis between evolutionary science and the imagination at the close of the century.
A guide for understanding the ecological and existential aspects of global environmental change. This book shows how to make global environmental problems more tangible, so that they become an integral part of everyday awareness. At its core is a simple assumption: that the best way to learn to perceive the biosphere is to pay close attention to our immediate surroundings. Through local natural history observations, imagination and memory, and spiritual contemplation, we develop a place-based environmental view that can be expanded to encompass the biosphere. Interweaving global change science, personal narrative, and commentary on a wide range of scientific and literary works, the book explores both the ecological and existential aspects of urgent issues such as the loss of biodiversity and global climate change. Written in a warm, engaging style, Bringing the Biosphere Home considers the perceptual connections between the local and global, how the ecological news of the community is of interest to the world, and how the global movement of people, species, and weather systems affects the local community. It shows how global environmental change can become the province of numerous educational initiatives—from the classroom to the Internet, from community forums to international conferences, from the backyard to the biosphere. It explains important scientific concepts in clear, nontechnical language and provides dozens of ideas for learning how to practice biospheric perception.
Is it possible to explain and predict the development of living things? What is development? Articulate answers to these seemingly innocuous questions are far from straightforward. To date, no systematic, targeted effort has been made to construct a unifying theory of development. This novel work offers a unique exploration of the foundations of ontogeny by asking how the development of living things should be understood. It explores the key concepts of developmental biology, asks whether general principles of development can be discovered, and examines the role of models and theories. The two editors (one a biologist with long interest in the theoretical aspects of his discipline, the other a philosopher of science who has mainly worked on biological systems) have assembled a team of leading contributors who are representative of the scientific and philosophical community within which a diversity of thoughts are growing, and out of which a theory of development may eventually emerge. They analyse a wealth of approaches to concepts, models and theories of development, such as gene regulatory networks, accounts based on systems biology and on physics of soft matter, the different articulations of evolution and development, symbiont-induced development, as well as the widely discussed concepts of positional information and morphogenetic field, the idea of a 'programme' of development and its critiques, and the long-standing opposition between preformationist and epigenetic conceptions of development. Towards a Theory of Development is primarily aimed at students and researchers in the fields of 'evo-devo', developmental biology, theoretical biology, systems biology, biophysics, and the philosophy of science.
A theoretical and empirical contribution to the quest for sustainability and environmental quality. The book examines the physical and economic aspects of flows of materials and products, as well as the policies and strategies designed to reduce the related resource depletion and environmental pollution. The `material-product chain' concept forms a general framework, defined as a system of linked flows of materials and products that support the provision of a certain service. Various economic models of material-product chains are studied, both theoretical and applied, such as static optimisation, dynamic simulation and general equilibrium models. Applications to metals, rain gutters and window frames are described. Audience: Readers in universities, research organizations and policy institutes interested in the environment, economics and government policy.
Scientists need statistics. Increasingly this is accomplished using computational approaches. Freeing readers from the constraints, mysterious formulas and sophisticated mathematics of classical statistics, this book is ideal for researchers who want to take control of their own statistical arguments. It demonstrates how to use spreadsheet macros to calculate the probability distribution predicted for any statistic by any hypothesis. This enables readers to use anything that can be calculated (or observed) from their data as a test statistic and hypothesize any probabilistic mechanism that can generate data sets similar in structure to the one observed. A wide range of natural examples drawn from ecology, evolution, anthropology, palaeontology and related fields give valuable insights into the application of the described techniques, while complete example macros and useful procedures demonstrate the methods in action and provide starting points for readers to use or modify in their own research.
This book is known for its clear writing style, emphasis on concepts, visual art program and thoughtful coverage of all areas of genetics. The authors capture readers' interest with up-to-date coverage of cutting-edge topics and research. The authors emphasize those concepts that readers should come to understand and take away with them, not a myriad of details and exceptions that need to memorized and are soon forgotten. In addition to topics traditionally covered in genetics, this book has increased coverage of genomics, including proteomics and bioinformatics, biotechnology, and contains more real-world problems. For anyone in biology, agriculture or health science who is interested in genetics.
Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
Scattered over several continents, the ancient lakes of the world have a unique uninterrupted history dating back beyond 100,000 years. Ancient lakes are, in effect, aquatic islands in which a complex of ecology, genetics and evolutionary constraints have shaped in isolation their biotas over hundreds of thousands to millions of years. The diverse faunas achieve some of the highest levels of diversity known to any habitat, offering unique opportunities as 'natural laboratories' for studying the mechanisms of evolution and speciation in situ. This internationally authored volume contains the latest research results and theories to emerge from a diverse range of studies in these lakes. Containing exciting new findings in the ecology, evolution and systematic studies of ancient lake biotas together with many suggested areas for future research, it will be essential reading for all those with a general interest in ecology, evolution and natural history. In this volume expert scientists present the latest results and perspectives from their research on the organisms of the ancient lakes. Diverse in its taxonomic coverage and themes, and international in its authorship and coverage, Ancient Lakes will appeal to all biologists interested in evolution, ecology and biodiversity. Ancient lakes are increasingly recognised as important models of evolution and speciation This volume presents a diverse range of exciting new hypotheses and perspectives on ancient lake biotas Information is included on Russian and Chinese faunas, available in English here for the first time