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A Primer of Ecological Genetics

Jeffrey K. Conner and Daniel L. Hartl

Publication Date - February 2004

ISBN: 9780878932023

320 pages
6 x 9 inches

Covers basic concepts in population and quantitative genetics


This book covers basic concepts in population and quantitative genetics, including measuring selection on phenotypic traits. The emphasis is on material applicable to field studies of evolution focusing on ecologically important traits. Topics addressed are critical for training students in ecology, evolution, conservation biology, agriculture, forestry, and wildlife management.

Many texts in this field are too complex and mathematical to allow the average beginning student to readily grasp the key concepts. A Primer of Ecological Genetics, in contrast, employs mathematics and statistics--fully explained, but at a less advanced level--as tools to improve understanding of biological principles. The main goal is to enable students to understand the concepts well enough that they can gain entry into the primary literature. Integration of the different chapters of the book shows students how diverse concepts relate to each other.

For Students

Solutions to Problems

Solutions to all of the problems in the textbook, worked out in full, are available. (See the Solutions to Problems button at right.)

For Instructors (Available to qualified adopters)

The Instructor's Resource Library features all of the textbook's figures, tables, and equations, provided in ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations. All of the images have been formatted and optimized for excellent projection quality.

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey K. Conner is Professor, Kellogg Biological Station and Department of Plant Biology, at Michigan State University. He earned his B.A. (Biology) at Harvard University and his Ph.D. (with Thomas Eisner, in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior) at Cornell University. His postdoctoral work with Sara Via, also at Cornell, focused on evolutionary quantitative genetics. Dr. Conner's research integrates evolution, genetics, and ecology. He has taught courses in introductory biology, behavioral ecology, population biology, ecological genetics, evolutionary biology, and field ecology and evolution.

Daniel L. Hartl is Higgins Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with James F. Crow, then did postdoctoral study at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Principles of Population Genetics, Third Edition, with Andrew G. Clark; A Primer of Population Genetics, Third Edition; and A Primer of Ecological Genetics, and other leading textbooks on genetics. His current areas of interest include molecular evolution, evolutionary genomics, and population genetics.


"Until now, a textbook aimed at undergraduates and early postgraduates, which integrates both population and quantitative genetics, has been lacking. In six chapters, Conner and Hartl have successfully filled this gap. The well-planned structure, easy reading style and extensive coverage make this book valuable not only to undergraduate students but also for population and quantitative geneticists aiming to expand their scope of their own research."--JM Cano Arias, Heredity

"I find that this volume will be very useful for both inspired undergraduates who plan on initiating honors studies or independent research, and for beginning graduate students. This primer will help young biologists learn the nuts and bolts of ecological genetics, as well as its practical applications."--Jeffry B. Mitton, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"In sum, A Primer of Ecological Genetics provides a lucid introduction to foundational principles in the field. In their preface, Conner and Hartl state, 'The guiding principle of the book is to focus on clear explanations of the key concepts in the evolution of natural and managed populations.' The first edition of A Primer of Ecological Genetics accomplishes this nicely. I recommend it with enthusiasm."--Mark C. Ungerer, BioScience

"The new Primer of Ecological Genetics is absolutely terrific. The book is bound to go a long way in clearing up fuzzy thinking about basic concepts at the interface of evolution and ecology. Just as importantly, it will engender much better experimental design--and much clearer discussion of results--in future dissertations and the papers that follow from them."--John N. Thompson, University of California, Santa Cruz

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction

    2. Population genetics I: Genetic variation, random and nonrandom mating

    3. Population genetics II: Changes in allele frequency

    4. Quantitative genetics I: Genetic variation

    5. Quantitative genetics II: Advanced topics

    6. Natural selection on phenotypes

    7. Applied ecological genetics

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