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Evolutionary biology

Evolutionary biology is a subfield of biology concerned with the origin and descent of species, as well as their change over time, i.e. their evolution. One who studies evolutionary biology is known as an evolutionary biologist, or less frequently evolutionist.

Evolutionary biology is something of a meta field because it includes scientists from many traditional taxonomically-oriented disciplines. For example, it generally includes scientists who may have a specialist training in particular organisms such as mammalogy, ornithology, or herpetology but use those organisms as systems to answer general questions in evolution. It also generally includes paleontogists who use fossils to answer questions about the mode and tempo of evolution, as well as theoreticians in areas such as population genetics and evolutionary theory. In the 1990s developmental biology made a re-entry into evolutionary biology from its initial exclusion from the modern synthesis through the study of evolutionary developmental biology.



Main article: History of evolutionary thought

Evolutionary biology as an academic discipline in its own right emerged as a result of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s. It was not until the 1970s and 1980s, however, that a significant number of universities had departments that specifically included the term evolutionary biology in their titles. In the United States, as a result of the rapid growth of molecular and cell biology, many universities have split (or aggregated) their biology departments into molecular and cell biology-style departments and ecology and evolutionary biology-style departments (which often have subsumed older departments in paleontology, zoology and the like).

Microbiology has recently developed into an evolutionary discipline. It was originally ignored due to the paucity of morphological traits and the lack of a species concept in microbiology. Now, evolutionary researchers are taking advantage our extensive understanding of microbial physiology, the ease of microbial genomics, and the quick generation time of some microbes to answer evolutionary questions. Similar features have led to progress in viral evolution, particularly for bacteriophage.

Notable evolutionary biologists

Notable contributors to evolutionary biology include:

Notable popularizers of evolution whose research isn't primarily concerned with evolutionary biology include:



Notable monographs and other works

(only author, date of publication and title listed here, see the article for publication details)

Topics in evolutionary biology


(Date:9/1/2014)... reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotidethe basic building block ... of intellectual disability. The study appears in The Journal ... is caused by a defect in a gene on the X ... 1 in 230 women and 1 in 360 men carry a ... end of the FMR1 gene is slightly longer than ...
(Date:8/31/2014)... at the University of Warwick have discovered that ,good, ... , The substance, methylglyoxal - MG, was found to ... bad cholesterol from the body. , Low levels ... heart disease, with increased levels of MG being common ... problems. , Supported by funding from the British ...
(Date:8/31/2014)... go after each other. But when viruses invade bacteria, ... Sometimes viruses actually carry helpful genes that a bacterium ... attack its own hosts. , Scientists have assumed the ... anything it recognized as invading viral genes. However, new ... variety of the bacterial immune system known as the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):A nucleotide change could initiate fragile X syndrome 2Sugar substance 'kills' good HDL cholesterol, new research finds 2Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful vs. helpful viruses 2Discovery reveals how bacteria distinguish harmful vs. helpful viruses 3
... 1, 2011) Lincoln Park Zoo applauds the federal government,s announcement ... living in the United States as an endangered species. A ... of the species, which is endangered in the wild. ... wild chimpanzees are severely endangered and could become extinct within ...
... Genetic detective work by an international group of researchers may ... devastating tree-killing fungus that has hit six of the world,s ... Sept. 1) in the peer-reviewed journal Phytopathology , California ... that is the cause of cypress canker disease. It ...
... of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end ... at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the ... for managing water resources to protect the salmon runs, ... Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and ...
Cached Biology News:Lincoln Park Zoo applauds government decision to consider reclassifying chimpanzees as endangered 2Tree-killing pathogen traced back to California 2Tree-killing pathogen traced back to California 3Tree-killing pathogen traced back to California 4Tree-killing pathogen traced back to California 5Warming streams could be the end for salmon 2
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