Phylogeography is a discipline concerned with various relationships between gene genealogies—phylogenetics—and geography. The word “phylogeography” was coined in 1987, and since then the scientific literature has reflected an exploding interest in the topic. Yet, to date, no book-length treatment of this emerging field has appeared. Phylogeography: The History and Formation of Species fills that gap.
The study of phylogeography grew out of the observation that mitochondrial DNA lineages in natural populations often display distinct geographic orientations. In recent years, the field has expanded to include assessments of nuclear as well as cytoplasmic genomes and the relationships among gene trees, population demography, and organismal history, often formalized as coalescent theory. Phylogeography has connections to molecular evolutionary genetics, natural history, population biology, paleontology, historical geography, and speciation analysis.
Phylogeography captures the conceptual and empirical richness of the field, and also the sense of genuine innovation that phylogeographic perspectives have brought to evolutionary studies. This book will be essential reading for graduate students and professionals in evolutionary biology and ecology as well as for anyone interested in the emergence of this new and integrative discipline.
Phylogeography is a growth area of evolutionary biology. John Avise coined the term ‘phylogeography’ in 1987 and has been the prime mover in promoting the successful development of the field ever since. It is therefore to be welcomed that he has written this book which reviews the history of phylogeography, the fundamental principles of the field, and the current and future value of phylogeography within biogeography and evolutionary biology… I was very impressed by the manner in which Avise communicates the fundamentals of phylogeographic theory. He introduces much of this theory early on but elegantly extends concepts as necessary later in the book. He is exceptionally clear in discussing coalescence, lineage sorting, gene trees, species trees, differing consequences of nuclear vs. mitochondrial markers, etc.… A very good book… It deserves considerable success.
Phylogeography is an enjoyable and gap-filling synopsis that introduces an actively developing research area. Given its alleged integrative function, [this] book is clearly set apart from other current treatments on population genetics and phylogenetic biology… For graduate students and professionals, [this book is] a very amenable read and a valuable reference source for further inquiry.
Avise founded the study of phylogeography, and the field has become an extremely active area in evolutionary biology. While most of the studies are of species of animals, there is a substantial number on humans, and some on plants. I doubt that anyone could have created a book on phylogeography that would be as authoritative and insightful. Avise not only compiles the literature for the reader, he summarizes many of the best studies, and then directs future studies by indicating where the field is shallow, and where the field needs to go. His writing style is easy to read, direct and clear. This is a fine book.
Phylogeography is a wonderful work and will be a benchmark contribution. The writing style is simple and direct, the content fabulous and the perspective illuminating. It will be a valuable resource for graduate students and other professionals in the field of population genetics, but it should interest all biologists.
- 464 pages
- 7 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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