Books by Subject

Biological and Evolutionary Analysis

Evolutionary Analysis

Hardcover - 704 pages 2 edition (August 3, 2000)
Prentice Hall; ISBN: 013017291X

From the Back Cover
Designed to help readers learn how to think like evolutionary biologists, this 4-color book approaches evolutionary biology as a dynamic field of inquiry and as a process. Using a theme-based approach, it illustrates the interplay between theory, observation, testing and interpretation. It offers commentary on strengths and weaknesses of data sets, gives detailed examples rather than a broad synoptic approach, includes many data graphics and boxes regarding both sides of controversies. Introduces each major organizing theme in evolution through a question--e.g., How has HIV become drug resistant? Why did the dinosaurs, after dominating the land vertebrates for 150 million years, suddenly go extinct? Are humans more closely related to gorillas or to chimpanzees? Focuses on many applied, reader-relevant topics--e.g., evolution and human health, the evolution of senescence, sexual selection, social behavior, eugenics, and biodiversity and conservation. Then develops the strategies that evolutionary biologists use for finding an answers to such questions. Then considers the observations and experiments that test the predictions made by competing hypotheses, and discusses how the data are interpreted. For anyone interested in human evolution, including those working in human and animal health care, environmental management and conservation, primary and secondary education, science journalism, and biological and medical research.
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Evolutionary Genetics
John Maynard Smith

Paperback - 330 pages 2nd edition (April 1998)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198502311 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.82 x 9.69 x 7.49 Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Revised to include exciting new topics and approaches in evolutionary genetics, the second edition of this now classic work has been updated throughout. It incorporates new research on game theory; features an extensively revised discussion of sex and host-parasite interactions; and adds a new chapter on molecular genetics and the reconstruction of evolutionary history.
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Biology, Society, and Behavior : The Development of Sex Differences in Cognition (Advances in Applied Developmental Psychology Vol 21)
by Ann McGillicuddy-DeLisi (Editor), Richard De Lisi (Editor)

Textbook Binding (October 2001)
Ablex Pub Corp; ISBN: 1567506321 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.06 x 9.59 x 6.41

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Applying current theory and research, this book links the development of sex differences in cognition to biological foundations, multiple social processes, and contextual factors. Areas covered include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, social roles, and cultural contextualism and the issues of the onset, causes, developmental trajectories, and patterns in children's and adolescents' thinking, problem-solving, academic performance, and social conditions that are related to behaviors in each of these areas.
About the Author
ANN McGILLICUDDY-DE LISI is the Marshall R. Metzgar Professor of Psychology at Lafayette College.
RICHARD DE LISI is a Professor of Educational Psychology at Rutgers University.

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The Biology of Belief: How Our Biology Biases Our Beliefs and Perceptions
by Joseph Giovannoli

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Paperback - 389 pages (January 29, 2001)
Rosetta Press, Inc.; ISBN: 0970813716
Book Description
“The Biology of Belief” examines how our less than perfectly adapted brains cope with today’s world. Among the things considered are how our brain biology biases our perceptions, organizes ignorance into belief systems, predisposes us to believe in supernatural spirits, and permits others to manipulate our beliefs. The human brain evolved over millions of years to cope with survival and reproduction in the rudimentary world of our primitive ancestors. Inasmuch as our brain biology formed to cope with this ancient world, it should be no surprise that it has a few problems in dealing with the complexities of modern life.

The process by which we come to believe something new involves a labyrinth of thought-influencing biological and other factors. In attempting to understand this labyrinth and its effect on how we acquire beliefs, this work addresses a number of considerations. The profound effect brain evolution has had on our way of perceiving the world is one example. Other elements include brain module interactions, neurotransmitters, inborn biological predispositions, and the interdependence of belief and perception. Together with other factors, they collectively comprise the biology of belief. How our beliefs come to define our realities is revealed through an exploration of the processes by which beliefs are created, changed, transmitted, and manipulated. The text challenges readers to consider whether biological and belief mechanisms resistant to change will permit long-held cultural beliefs to adapt rapidly enough to address the new realities of our changing world.

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Phenotypic Plasticity : Beyond Nature and Nurture (Syntheses in Ecology and Evolution)
by Massimo Pigliucci

Hardcover - 384 pages (July 2001)
Johns Hopkins Univ Pr; ISBN: 0801867886 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.12 x 9.30 x 6.32

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
For more than two decades the concept of phenotypic plasticity has allowed researchers to go beyond the nature-nurture dichotomy to gain deeper insights into how organisms are shaped by the interaction of genetic and ecological factors. Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture is the first work to synthesize the burgeoning area of plasticity studies, providing a conceptual overview as well as a technical treatment of its major components.

Phenotypic plasticity integrates the insights of ecological genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary theory. Plasticity research asks foundational questions about how living organisms are capable of variation in their genetic makeup and in their responses to environmental factors. For instance, how do novel adaptive phenotypes originate? How do organisms detect and respond to stressful environments? What is the balance between genetic or natural constraints (such as gravity) and natural selection? The author begins by defining phenotypic plasticity and detailing its history, including important experiments and methods of statistical and graphical analysis. He then provides extended examples of the molecular basis of plasticity, the plasticity of development, the ecology of plastic responses, and the role of costs and constraints in the evolution of plasticity. A brief epilogue looks at how plasticity studies shed light on the nature/nurture debate in the popular media.

Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture thoroughly reviews more than two decades of research, and thus will be of interest to both students and professionals in evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics.

From the Publisher
"Every biologist interested in evolutionary biology should read this book . . . The book has one central purpose, to propose and defend the proposition that to understand phenotypic evolution we must take into account phenotypic plasticity, not simply as an interesting peripheral phenomenon but as an integral part of the evolutionary process . . . I think that the authors produce and extremely strong case which should encourage more research in this fast-developing area."—Derek Roff, Heredity

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Evolution : An Introduction
by Rolf F. Hoekstra, Stephen C. Stearns

Paperback (April 2000)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0198549687

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
A major new textbook.

A concise and clear introduction to evolutionary biology.

This book introduces what is essential and exciting in evolutionary biology. It covers whole field and emphasises the important concepts for the student. Care has been taken to express complex and stimulating ideas in simple language, while the frequent examples and running summaries make reading fun. Its logical structure means that it can be read straight through, one chapter per sitting.

* Concise, clear, and states what is important

* Concentrates on the central concepts and illustrates them with telling examples

* Running summaries in the margins make navigation easy

* Suitable for a one-year or one-semester course in evolution

* Summaries at chapter ends

* Each chapter's links to neighbouring chapters are explained

Evolution: an introduction takes a fresh approach to classical topics such as population genetics and natural selection, and gives an overview of recent advances in hot areas such as sexual selection, genetic conflict, life history evolution, and phenotypic plasticity.

Detail of contents

The Prologue is unique and uniquely motivating. It makes four central points about evolution in the form of four case studies told as brief stories.

Chapters 1-3 describe natural selection and the essential difference between adaptive and neutral evolution with unmatched clarity and simplicity.

Chapter 4 emphasizes the essential message of population genetics without burdening the students with any of the unessential details and places unique emphasis on the role of the genetic system in constraining the response to selection.

Chapter 6 is not found in any other evolution textbook, although there are a number of recent books on the subject, and it therefore provides an introductory overview of a topic that has been the object of much recent interest and promises to generate much more insight: the expression of genetic variation analysed with the concept of reaction norms.

Chapters 7-9 cover sex, life histories, and sexual selection in greater depth than they are dealt with in any other introductory textbook but without introducing advanced technical language and analysis.

Chapters 6-9 thus give unprecedented coverage to phenotypic evolution in an introductory text.

Chapter 10 on multilevel selection and genetic conflict is unique in introductory textbooks. Rolf Hoekstra has achieved a wonder of clarity and concision on the essentials of this exciting topic.

Chapters 11 and 12 on speciation and systematics are, by comparison, pretty standard, but they continue the policy of clarity and concision with the focus on essentials.

Chapter 13 on the history of the planet and of life is a completely new approach unabashedly designed to motivate students to think about deep time, geology, paleontology, and fossils.

Chapter 14 on the major transitions in evolution is also not found in any other introductory textbook. It documents the conceptual issues raised in the history of life briefly and in a form that will stimulate the gifted.

Chapter 15 profiles the chief insights made possible by molecular systematics in the form of four case studies ranging from deep time to recent European history. It has standard content but unique structure. A strong point is the way mitochondrial Eve is contrasted with transpecies polymorphism to show students how to think about inferences with molecular evidence.

Chapter 16 briefly presents the principle comparative methods and the kinds of insights that can be achieved with them. It is not unique - Ridley covers this ground well - but the examples used are new and the essential features of the methods - including potential pitfalls - are quite clearly described.

Chapter 17 places evolutionary thought into the context both of the natural sciences and of society at large.
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Levels of Selection in Evolution
by Laurent Keller

Hardcover - 272 pages (October 4, 1999)
Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691007047 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.78 x 9.13 x 6.07

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Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics
Masatoshi Nei, Sudhir Kumar

Paperback - 333 pages 1st edition (August 15, 2000)
Oxford Univ Press; ISBN: 0195135857
Other Editions: Hardcover Editorial Reviews
Book Description
This book presents the statistical methods that are useful in the study of molecular evolution and illustrates how to use them in actual data analysis. It is appropriate for graduate students and researchers (assuming a basic knowledge of evolution, moecular biology, and elementary statistics), allowing many investigators to incorporate refined statistical analysis of large-scale data in their own work.
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Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition
by Edward Osborn Wilson

Paperback - 720 pages 25th anniv edition (March 4, 2000)
Harvard Univ Pr; ISBN: 0674002350 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.38 x 9.83 x 9.85
Other Editions: Hardcover

Editorial Reviews
E.O. Wilson defines sociobiology as "the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior," the central theoretical problem of which is the question of how behaviors that seemingly contradict the principles of natural selection, such as altruism, can develop. Sociobiology: A New Synthesis, Wilson's first attempt to outline the new field of study, was first published in 1975 and called for a fairly revolutionary update to the so-called Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. Sociobiology as a new field of study demanded the active inclusion of sociology, the social sciences, and the humanities in evolutionary theory. Often criticized for its apparent message of "biological destiny," Sociobiology set the stage for such controversial works as Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene and Wilson's own Consilience.

Sociobiology defines such concepts as society, individual, population, communication, and regulation. It attempts to explain, biologically, why groups of animals behave the way they do when finding food or shelter, confronting enemies, or getting along with one another. Wilson seeks to explain how group selection, altruism, hierarchies, and sexual selection work in populations of animals, and to identify evolutionary trends and sociobiological characteristics of all animal groups, up to and including man. The insect sections of the books are particularly interesting, given Wilson's status as the world's most famous entomologist.

It is fair to say that as an ecological strategy eusociality has been overwhelmingly successful. It is useful to think of an insect colony as a diffuse organism, weighing anywhere from less than a gram to as much as a kilogram and possessing from about a hundred to a million or more tiny mouths.

It's when Wilson starts talking about human beings that the furor starts. Feminists have been among the strongest critics of the work, arguing that humans are not slaves to a biological destiny, forever locked in "primitive" behavior patterns without the ability to reason past our biochemical nature. Like The Origin of Species, Sociobiology has forced many biologists and social scientists to reassess their most cherished notions of how life works. --Therese Littleton
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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan

Hardcover - 256 pages (May 8, 2001)
Random House; ISBN: 0375501290 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.07 x 9.56 x 5.72
Book Description
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant — thought this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings — and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.

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Game Theory Evolving : A Problem-Centered Introduction to Modeling Strategic Interaction
by Herbert Gintis

Hardcover - 528 pages (July 2000)
Princeton Univ Pr; ISBN: 0691009422
Other Editions: Paperback

Book Description
The study of strategic action (game theory) is moving from a formal science of rational behavior to an evolutionary tool kit for studying behavior in a broad array of social settings. In this problem-oriented introduction to the field, Herbert Gintis exposes students to the techniques and applications of game theory through a wealth of sophisticated and surprisingly fun-to-solve problems involving human (and even animal) behavior.

Game Theory Evolving is innovative in several ways. First, it reflects game theory's expansion into such areas as cooperation in teams, networks, the evolution and diffusion of preferences, the connection between biology and economics, artificial life simulations, and experimental economics. Second, the book--recognizing that students learn by doing and that most game theory texts are weak on problems--is organized around problems, and introduces principles through practice. Finally, the quality of the problems is simply unsurpassed, and each chapter provides a study plan for instructors interested in teaching evolutionary game theory.

Reflecting the growing consensus that in many important contexts outside of anonymous markets, human behavior is not well described by classical "rationality," Gintis shows students how to apply game theory to model how people behave in ways that reflect the special nature of human sociality and individuality. This book is perfect for upper undergraduate and graduate economics courses as well as a terrific introduction for ambitious do-it-yourselfers throughout the behavioral sciences. --This text refers to the paperback edition of this title

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Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Reproductive Behavior (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, V. 907)
by Dori Lecroy (Editor), Peter Moller (Editor)

Paperback (May 2000)
New York Academy of Sciences; ISBN: 1573312541

Other Editions: Hardcover

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