The Evolution of Life stands alone amongst the major textbooks by focusing on key principles to offer a truly 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 book adopts a lucid, crystal-clear 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.
The Evolution of Life is written to instil a true understanding of the essential principles of evolutionary biology without that understanding being compromised by peripheral detail. As such, it is the ideal introduction for any student encountering this fascinating subject for the first time.
Online Resource Centre
The Evolution of Life is supported by the following online resources:
For registered adopters:
- Figures from the book in electronic format for use in lectures
- A set of exam questions for each chapter
- Journal Clubs: discussion questions that guide students through research papers related to each chapter
- Programs and interactive spreadsheets related to activities posed in the book
Graham Bell is a James McGill Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at McGill University, Montreal, where his research explores genetic variation and species diversity in environments that vary in space and time. Having published over 120 research papers in refereed journals, he is also the author of Selection: the mechanism of evolution (second edition, OUP, 2007).
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