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Jerry A. Coyne and H. Allen Orr

Publication Date - May 2004

ISBN: 9780878930890

545 pages
7 x 9 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $149.99

A ready guide to the recent literature on speciation


Over the last two decades, the study of speciation has expanded from a modest backwater of evolutionary biology into a large and vigorous discipline. Thus, the literature on speciation, as well as the number of researchers and students working in this area, has grown explosively. Despite these developments, there has been no book-length treatment of speciation in many years. As a result, both the seasoned scholar and the newcomer to evolutionary biology had no ready guide to the recent literature on speciation--a body of work that is enormous, scattered, and increasingly technical. Although several excellent symposium volumes have recently appeared, these collections do not provide a unified, critical, and up-to-date overview of the field. Speciation is designed to fill this gap.

Aimed at professional biologists, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates, Speciation covers both plants and animals (the first book on this subject to do so), and deals with all relevant areas of research, including biogeography, field work, systematics, theory, and genetic and molecular studies. It gives special emphasis to topics that are either controversial or the subject of active research, including sympatric speciation, reinforcement, the role of hybridization in speciation, the search for genes causing reproductive isolation, and mounting evidence for the role of natural and sexual selection in the origin of species. The authors do not hesitate to take stands on these and other controversial issues. This critical and scholarly book will be invaluable to researchers in evolutionary biology and is also ideal for a graduate-level course on speciation.

About the Author(s)

The authors have collaborated since 1989, coauthoring a number of research and review papers on speciation.

Jerry A. Coyne is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He earned his Ph.D. (Biology) at Harvard University, followed by an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Genetics at the University of California, Davis. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses spanning a wide range of topics, including evolutionary biology, speciation, genetic analysis, social issues and scientific knowledge, and scientific speaking and writing. Dr. Coyne was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 1989. He has served as Vice President of the Society for the Study of Evolution (1996) and as Associate Editor of Evolution (1985-1988; 1994-2000) and The American Naturalist (1990-1993). His work is widely published, not only in scientific journals, but in such mainstream venues as The New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, and The New Republic. His research interests include population and evolutionary genetics, speciation, ecological and quantitative genetics, chromosome evolution, and sperm competition.

H. Allen Orr is Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester, where he has taught courses in evolution, quantitative and population genetics, evolutionary genetics, and speciation. He completed his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago and undertook postdoctoral study at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Orr was awarded both the Young Investigator Prize (American Society of Naturalists, 1992) and the Dobzhansky Prize (Society for the Study of Evolution, 1993). Other honors include the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering (1995-2000) and a Guggenheim fellowship (2000-2001). Dr. Orr has served on the editorial boards of Evolution (1998-2000) and Genetical Research (1996-present), authored or coauthored numerous articles in scientific journals, and been a frequent contributor of book reviews and critical essays to such publications as The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, and Boston Review. His research interests include population genetics, the genetics of speciation in Drosophila, and the genetics of adaptation.


"Coyne and Orr have done the field a great favour by synthesising so much research so comprehensively. I think the book will serve its purpose of teaching upcoming (and existing) generations of evolutionary biologists of what we do and do not know about speciation. It will literally be the point of reference for the next ten years."--Menno Schilthuizen, BioEssays

"Coyne and Orr's thorough and thoughtful review of speciation ranges over the entire field and examines it dispassionately. Theirs is a remarkable work of synthesis, and it belongs on every biologist's bookshelf. On the whole, this book is a wonderful resource and a fine example of what happens when clever scientists take a clear and unbiased look at the evidence. It will, I predict, join the pantheon of really important books about evolution."--Christopher Wills, Journal of Heredity

"I highly recommend this deeply insightful book. The field of speciation research was in need of a sagacious update, and this benchmark work will provide a solid foundation for further scientific inquiry into what has been one of evolution's most engaging and enduring mysteries."--John C. Avise, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

"Coyne and Orr's Speciation has been eagerly awaited. If its messages are heeded, it will bring much-needed order and rigor to the current burst of activity. Systematic and incisive analysis is what makes the book so powerful. Coyne and Orr have done the field a great service by providing such a clear analysis of the status quo. Hopefully, a wide audience will read the book, apply similarly rigorous arguments and direct their research efforts more profitably as a result."--Roger K. Butlin, Evolution

Table of Contents


    1. Species: Reality and Concepts

    2. Studying Speciation

    3. Allopatric and Parapatric Speciation

    4. Sympatric Speciation

    5. Ecological Isolation

    6. Behavioral and Nonecological Isolation

    7. Postzygotic Isolation

    8. The Genetics of Postzygotic Isolation

    9. Polyploidy and Hybrid Speciation

    10. Reinforcement

    11. Selection versus Drift

    12. Speciation and Macroevolution

    Appendix: A Catalogue and Critique of Species Concepts


    Author Index

    Subject Index

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