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The Evolution of Life

Graham Bell

Publication Date - February 2015

ISBN: 9780198712572

488 pages
10.4 x 7.7 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $104.99

Focuses on key principles to offer a truly accessible, unintimidating treatment of evolutionary biology


The Evolution of Life is unique in its focus on key principles, offering an accessible, unintimidating treatment of evolutionary biology. With adaptation through natural selection -- how the integrated complexity of living organisms comes about -- as its central theme, the text adopts a lucid narrative to explain the mechanism of evolution and its main outcomes.

Chapters are grouped into six themed parts -- basics, history, origins, adaptation, selection, and interaction -- and the text is regularly interspersed with descriptive headings that set out a clear path through the subject.


  • A clear account of the central issue of evolutionary biology -- adaptation through natural selection -- that is tailored to the needs of a one-semester course
  • Its strict focus allows students to grasp the essentials without being burdened by excessive detail
  • Written by an eminent evolutionary biologist known both for his clarity of thinking and clarity of writing

About the Author(s)

Graham Bell is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at McGill University, where his research explores genetic variation and species diversity in environments that vary in space and time. Having published over 120 research papers, he is also the author of Selection: The Mechanism of Evolution, Second Edition (OUP 2007).

Table of Contents

    Section 1: Basics
    1. The Evidence for Evolution
    2. The Engine of Evolution
    Section 2: History
    3. The Tree of Life
    4. The Diversity of Life
    5. The Ancestry of Life
    Section 3: Origins
    6. The Origin of Variation
    7. The Origin of Species
    8. The Origin of Innovation
    Section 4: Adaptation
    9. Adaptation and Evolved Design
    10. Evolving Bodies
    11. The Dynamic Genome
    Section 5: Selection
    12. Artificial Selection
    13. Experimental Evolution
    14. Selection in Natural Populations
    Section 6: Interaction
    15. Sexual Selection
    16. Cooperation and Conflict
    17. Symbiosis and Struggle

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