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Evolutionary Theory

Mathematical and Conceptual Foundations

Sean H. Rice

Publication Date - June 2004

ISBN: 9780878937028

370 pages
6 x 9 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $119.99

Teaches something of the actual machinery of different branches of theory while gaining a deeper understanding of the evolutionary process


Evolutionary Theory is for graduate students, researchers, and advanced undergraduates who want an understanding of the mathematical and biological reasoning that underlies evolutionary theory. The book covers all of the major theoretical approaches used to study the mechanics of evolution, including classical one- and two-locus models, diffusion theory, coalescent theory, quantitative genetics, and game theory. There are also chapters on theoretical approaches to the evolution of development and on multilevel selection theory. Each subject is illustrated by focusing on those results that have the greatest power to influence the way that we think about how evolution works. These major results are developed in detail, with many accompanying illustrations, showing exactly how they are derived and how the mathematics relates to the biological insights that they yield. In this way, the reader learns something of the actual machinery of different branches of theory while gaining a deeper understanding of the evolutionary process.

Roughly half of the book focuses on gene-based models, the other half being concerned with general phenotype-based theory. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the fundamental relationships between the different branches of theory, illustrating how all of these branches are united by a few basic, universal, principles.

The only mathematical background assumed is basic calculus. More advanced mathematical methods are explained, with the help of an extensive appendix, when they are needed.

About the Author(s)

Sean H. Rice is Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. Dr. Rice's work in evolutionary biology has explored a wide range of topics, including developmental modeling, morphological evolution in both invertebrates and vertebrates, population and quantitative genetics, macroevolution, and the philosophical and conceptual basis of evolutionary theory. His theoretical work currently focuses on two broad areas: (1) developing a rigorous theoretical framework for the study of developmental evolution and (2) the mathematical and conceptual foundations of evolutionary theory.


"All evolutionary biologists should be made to understand this material, and Rice's volume is the best place for them to begin. Anyone who wants to call themselves evolutionary theorists should work their way through this unique book."--Joe Felsenstein, The Quarterly Review of Biology

Table of Contents

    *Selection on One Locus

    *Selection on Two Loci

    *Drift at Neutral Loci

    *Effective Population Size

    *Diffusion Theory: Combining Evolutionary Mechanisms

    *The Algebra of Evolution: Price's Theorem

    *Quantitative Genetics

    *Developmental Evolution

    *Evolutionary Game Theory and Strategy Dynamics

    *Multi-level Selection

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