General Evolution

In Search of Cell History

by Franklin M. Harold

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. 304 pages.

In Search of Cell History offers an ambitious, onestop overview of early cell evolution that covers all major theories related to the origin of life, the early evolution and diversification of cells, and the emergence of eukaryotic cells with their structural novelties, such as nuclei, mitochondria, and plastids,” writes reviewer David Baum.

The Tree of Life

edited by Pablo Vargas and Rafael Zadoya

Sunderland (MA): Sinauer, 2014. 713 pages.

Comparing The Tree of Life with Guillaume Lecointre and Hervé Le Guyader’s similar 2006 book of the same name, reviewer Kevin Padian writes, “The aim of both books is to document the phylogenetic relationships of living groups, characterizing each one by its unique features … and providing a sketch of its ecology and evolution.

Animal Weapons

by Douglas J. Emlen

New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2014. 288 pages.

Animal Weapons is a hard-hitting campaign—a bit of a Blitzkrieg through major themes in evolutionary escalation, peppered with dazzling examples from across the spectrum of animals and their adaptations, from the horns of dung beetles to the guns of battleships,” writes reviewer Rafe Sagarin. “Emlen is so intimately immersed in those subjects and such a good communicator that he easily weaves them into some clever new syntheses and clear comparative frameworks.”

One Plus One Equals One

by John Archibald
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. 224 pages.

In his book, “Archibald relates what is now known about the origin of eukaryotes and presents the questions that remain,” writes reviewer Susan Spath. “[H]is book is not easy for a non-specialist to read, but it is enjoyable and rewarding. It would be most useful to readers with reasonably strong science backgrounds who want to learn about the origins of the endosymbiont theory and understand where it stands today.

The Monkey’s Voyage

by Alan de Queiroz

New York: Basic Books, 2014. 368 pages.

“In The Monkey’s Voyage, de Queiroz argues that long-distance dispersal is a crucial process in biogeography, and that vicariance biogeography, ‘while taking advantage of cladistics and incorporating continental drift, also made a turn down an intellectual cul-de-sac,’” writes reviewer Nicholas J. Matzke.

The Princeton Guide to Evolution

edited by Jonathan B Losos

Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press, 2013. 880 pages.

The Princeton Guide to Evolution is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, scientists in fields related to evolutionary biology, and others with a serious interest in evolution,” writes reviewer Marvalee H Wake. “[I]t will enhance the libraries of all who teach, at almost any level; students who want to know more about particular topics of interest; and the public, which has long deserved an authoritative and objective presentation of the many facets of evolutionary biology.

Evolution and Medicine

by Robert L Perlman

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 162 pages.

“Robert Perlman’s Evolution and Medicine is packed with technical details, current research, and important discussions of a number of areas of concern in evolutionary medicine,” writes reviewer Wenda Trevathan, although she warns, “It is not an ‘easy read,’ however, and potential readers must be prepared to pay attention.” In the end, she concludes, “It is an excellent resource for those desiring to understand evolutionary medicine beyond the more generalized and popular writings and will be especially usefu

Understanding Galápagos: What You’ll See and What It Means

by Randy Moore and Sehoya Cotner

New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014. 425 pages.

Reviewer Kenneth Saladin writes, “for true insight and delightful reading while cruising from one island to the next, you can’t do better than Moore and Cotner. This is clearly the most biologically intelligent guidebook to the Galápagos for those who want more than just a species description, location, and a bit of behavior and natural history of each species. … its evolutionary insightfulness and up-to-date information amply repay the investment.”

Microbes and Evolution

edited by Roberto Kolter and Stanley Maloy

Washington DC: ASM Press, 2012. 299 pages.

“The book is divided up into thirty-nine short essays, written by leaders in the field,” explains reviewer Tara C Smith. However, this is not a textbook by any means; the essays are largely personal notes, reflecting on the writers’ careers, how they ended up where they are, and the roles they and colleagues have played in advancing evolutionary theory via their study of microbes.” Although the writing is uneven, Smith recommends the anthology both for biologists and for lay readers.

Relentless Evolution

by John N Thompson

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 512 pages.

Relentless Evolution “painstakingly details the case that evolutionary change happens rapidly, and that evolution profoundly affects interactions between species,” writes reviewer Christopher Irwin Smith. The book offers numerous “examples where rapid evolutionary change has been observed, and presents a compelling case that these changes are important in a broad array of fields ....