Big Questions in Ecology and Evolution
Thomas N. Sherratt and David M. Wilkinson
Reviews and Awards
"It is perhaps both frustrating and fascinating that long-standing questions -- such as Why Sex?, Why Do We Age?, Why Cooperate?, Why is the World Green?, and Why are the Tropics so Diverse? -- do not have completely solid answers. But clearly much has been learned in the attempts to pin these questions down and lay them open to empirical attack. This feeling comes through in this book by Thomas Sherratt and David Wilkinson. They do a brilliant job. The authors show a special gift for getting directly to the crux of the conceptual biscuit, and then walking their readers through the theoretical and empirical nuances."--The Quarterly Review of Biology
"The serious fun of Big Questions in Ecology and Evolution comes from considering the child-like "why?" Unlike the average responses to questions posed by children, here Sherratt and Wilkinson offer answers as good as science currently can deliver. The chapters on topics with which I was familiar I found well written, and those I knew nothing about beforehand were eye-opening."--Science
"Paul Colinvauz's 1978 book Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare was the inspiration for this book. The authors have not tried to write an update of Colinvaux's book but rather to follow its example of asking current big questions but on a wider topic - including evolutionary ecology. And the answer is there there is no simple over-arching answer; an important lesson for students to learn - that ecological and evolutionary answers are often not clear cut and it is about weighing up which factors have what effect. Not a light read, but well worth spending time with."--Bulletin of the British Ecological Society"