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Evolution, second edition

by Douglas J. Futuyma
Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates, 2009. 545 pages.

Now in its second edition, Evolution is described by its publisher as "a comprehensive treatment of contemporary evolutionary biology that is directed toward an undergraduate audience. It addresses major themes — including the history of evolution, evolutionary processes, adaptation, and evolution as an explanatory framework — at levels of biological organization ranging from genomes to ecological communities. Throughout, the text emphasizes the interplay between theory and empirical tests of hypotheses, thus acquainting students with the process of science.

On the Origin of Species

by Charles Darwin
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964. 540 pages.

This facsimile of the first edition of Darwin's epochal work is supplemented with a useful introduction by the great evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. "When we go back to the Origin, we want the version that stirred up the Western world", Mayr explains. "The first edition represents Darwin in his most revolutionary spirit and this is the edition that stands as so great a monument in man's intellectual history." The publisher, Harvard University Press, proudly — and correctly — says, "For modern reading and for reference, it is the standard edition of Darwin's greatest work."

Evolution, 3rd Ed.

by Monroe Strickberger
Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2005. 672 pages.

This lavishly illustrated college-level textbook is excellent especially for teachers, or anyone who wants an understandable introduction to the wide variety of topics that make up evolution, from biochemical genetics to ecology.

From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design

by Sean B. Carroll, Jennifer K. Grenier, and Scott D. Weatherbee
Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2001. 192 pages.

"Animals diverge from common ancestry through changes in their DNA, but what are the genes that control morphology?" That is the question that From DNA to Diversity seeks to investigate by synthesizing evolutionary biology with genetics and embryology. "With almost poetic ease, the authors tell a highly complex story without distorting its scientific substance.

At Home in the Universe

by Stuart A Kauffman
New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 336 pages.

"The emerging sciences of complexity begin to suggest," Kauffman writes, "that the order [of the biological world] is not at all accidental, that vast veins of spontaneous order lie at hand. Laws of complexity spontaneously generate much of the order of the natural world. ...

Symbiotic Planet

by Lynn Margulis
New York: Basic Books, 2000. 176 pages.

In Symbiotic Planet, a book in the Science Masters series of popularizations, Lynn Margulis argues that symbiosis is crucial to the emergence of evolutionary novelty, from the eukaryotic cell to, controversially, the planet itself.

Speciation

by Jerry A. Coyne and H. Allen Orr
Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 2004. 545 pages.

Speciation is again at the forefront of evolutionary research, and Jerry A. Coyne and H. Allen Orr's Speciation is a unified, critical, and up-to-date account of the scientific research relevant to the origin of species. Reviewing the book in RNCSE (2005 May-Aug; 25 [3-4]: 40-41), Norman A Johnson wrote, "Jerry Coyne and Allen Orr, who have alone and together made several seminal discoveries in speciation, have written a magisterial, comprehensive volume ...

Endless Forms: Species and Speciation

edited by Daniel J. Howard and Stewart H. Berlocher
New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 484 pages.

The publisher writes, "This volume presents the newest research findings on speciation bringing readers up to date on species concepts, modes of speciation, and the nature of reproductive barriers.

Darwin's Dreampond: Drama on Lake Victoria

by Tijs Goldschmidt
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. 280 pages.

Like the finches of the Galápagos, the cichlids of Lake Victoria have descended from a recent common ancestor, and radiated, spectacularly, across the range of available ecological niches. In Darwin's Dreampond, Tijs Goldschmidt not only explains the evolution and the ecology of the Lake Victoria cichlids, but also engagingly relates his adventures and misadventures as a researcher in the field. Mark Ridley comments, "The biological story itself is fascinating, and Mr Goldschmidt tells it well.

Evolution in Hawaii

by Steve Olson
Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2004. 56 pages.

Intended as a supplement to Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science, Evolution in Hawaii focuses on the Hawaiian islands as laboratories of evolution in the wild. Included is a speciation exercise in which, as the preface describes it, "Using real genetic data from 18 species of Drosophila flies in Hawaii, students draw evolutionary trees depicting the relationships of the species and investigate the link between speciation and the ages of the Hawaiian islands.

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