Sketches of Nature - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128019450, 9780128019603

Sketches of Nature

1st Edition

A Geneticist's Look at the Biological World During a Golden Era of Molecular Ecology

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Authors: John Avise
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128019450
eBook ISBN: 9780128019603
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 16th September 2015
Page Count: 280
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This visually appealing book recounts the history of molecular ecology and evolution as seen through the personal lens of one of its most prolific practitioners, who has studied a panorama of creatures ranging from corals, sponges, and other invertebrates to a wide variety of vertebrate animals including numerous birds, mammals, herps, and fishes. The sketches are of two types: evocative drawings of the animals themselves, and more than 230 written abstracts summarizing the author’s eclectic research on ecological-genetic topics spanning the microevolutionary to macroevolutionary. With the abstracts arranged by organismal group and placed in chronological order, the chapters in this book lead readers on a fascinating historical journey into the realm of molecular genetics as applied across the past four decades to intriguing questions in ecology, evolution, animal behavior, and natural history.

Key Features

  • Encapsulates salient genetic findings on a diverse array of creatures in nature
  • Recounts the history of technological and conceptual developments in ecological genetics
  • Includes approximately 80 beautiful line drawings of the animals themselves
  • Provides context by preceding each abstract with an anecdote or historical backdrop
  • Concludes each abstract with an addendum that further contextualizes the research findings
  • Written by a world-leading authority in molecular ecology and evolution


Biologists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and researchers as well as students and academics in these areas and professional scientists in many subfields of biology, such as science-history, medicine, paleontology, ethology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, and sociology

Table of Contents

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  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Collecting the Animals
  • Chapter 2. Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 3. Live-bearing Fishes (Poeciliidae)
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 4. Other Freshwater Fishes
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 5. Pipefishes and Seahorses (Syngnathidae)
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 6. Other Marine Fishes
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 7. Mangrove Rivulus
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 8. Amphibians
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 9. Marine Turtles
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 10. Freshwater Turtles
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 11. Other Reptiles
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 12. Birds
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 13. Rodents
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 14. Other Mammals
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 15. Invertebrates
    • Introduction
  • Chapter 16. Intergroup Comparisons and Theory
    • Introduction
  • Epilogue
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2016
16th September 2015
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

John Avise

John C. Avise is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California at Irvine, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. His research utilizes molecular markers to study the ecology and evolution of wild animals on topics ranging from genetic parentage and mating behaviors to gene flow, hybridization, phylogeography, speciation, and phylogeny. He has published more than 340 scientific articles and 25 books on a wide variety of evolutionary genetic topics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California at Irvine, CA, USA

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