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Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions about Evolution

by Francisco J. Ayala
Baltimore (MD): The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010. 104 pages.

Ayala is eminently qualified to write such a book, reviewer Joel W. Martin observes, especially because of his irenic attitude toward faith. The book is “well-written, accurate, and concise, and it covers the main points of biological evolution likely to be questioned by non-specialists,” although two of the questions Ayala addresses (What is DNA? and How Did Life Begin?) strike Martin as somewhat out of place.

The Theory of Island Biogeography

by Robert H MacArthur and Edward O Wilson
Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 2001. 224 pages.

From the jacket copy of the 2001 edition, with a new preface by Wilson: “In this book, the authors developed a general theory to explain the facts of island biogeography. The theory builds on the first principles of population ecology and genetics to explain how distance and area combine to regulate the balance between immigration and extinction in island populations. The authors then test the theory against data. ...

The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited

edited by Jonathan B Losos and Robert E Ricklefs
Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 2009. 494 pages.

Almost half a century after the publication of The Theory of Island Biogeography, the contributors to Losos and Ricklefs’s collection — including Wilson himself, with his retrospective essay “Island biogeography in the 1960s” — take a look back at MacArthur and Wilson’s seminal work and a look forward at new directions and dimensions for the field.

Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach, eighth edition

by C Barry Cox and Peter D Moore
New York: John Wiley, 2010. 506 pages.

From the publisher: “This new edition incorporates the exciting changes of the recent years, and presents a thoughtful exploration of the research and controversies that have transformed our understanding of the biogeography of the world. It also clearly identifies the three quite different arenas of biogeographical research: continental biogeography, island biogeography and marine biogeography. ...

Biogeography, fourth edition

by Mark V Lomolino, Brett R Riddle, Robert J Whittaker, and James H Brown
Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates, 2010. 560 pages.

The latest and thoroughly updated edition of a classic textbook, which Edward J Miller describes as “an instructor–scientist’s dream: attractive, interesting, and questioning; full and broad; with superb graphics; and ranging from pre-historical to historical to today — including nowadays environmental issues.

Foundations of Biogeography: Classic Papers with Commentaries

edited by Mark V Lomolino, Dov F Sax, and James H Brown
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. 1328 pages.

A massive anthology of the essential works in biogeography, from Linnaeus and Buffon through Darwin and Wallace to Mayr and MacArthur and Wilson, together with commentary from leading contemporary biogeographers.

Phylogeography

by John C. Avise
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2000. 464 pages.

Phylogeography is the discipline that traces the evolutionary history of genotypes through space. “John Avise is the acknowledged founder of the field that he has named ‘phylogeography,’” Svante Pääbo writes. “This book presents the intellectual underpinning of this novel focus of research. It is eminently accessible to students and researchers who approach this problem from a practical angle and are not well-versed in the quite complex mathematics that underline many of these approaches.

The Flight of the Dodo

by David Quammen
New York: Scribner, 1996. 704 pages.

Combining history, science, and travelogue, The Song of the Dodo is at once a beautifully written introduction to the topic of island biogeography and a passionate appeal to save the world’s biodiversity in the face of massive habitat destruction.

Here Be Dragons

by Dennis McCarthy
New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 256 pages.

A spirited and readable survey of the history of biogeography, Here Be Dragons teems in accounts of unusual animals and exotic locales. The publisher writes, “The story of how animals and plants came to be found where they are — the story of biogeography — brings together two great theories of life and Earth: evolution and plate tectonics.

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, twenty-fifth anniversary edition

by E. O. Wilson
Cambridge (MA): Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. 720 pages.

When it was first published in 1975, Sociobiology both offered a new biological synthesis, aimed at explaining social behaviors such as altruism, aggression, and nurturance in their evolutionary context, and provoked a fierce controversy, largely on account of its final chapter addressing the subject of human behavior.

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