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Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Cold Spring Harbor’s 74th Symposium
The Molecular Landscape
Edited by Bruce Stillman,
David Stewart, and
Jan Witkowski,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


About the Book

Evolution permeates all of biology. But researchers in molecular and cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, microbiology, and neuroscience have only recently begun to think seriously in terms of evolution. The chief reasons for this shift are the growing list of organisms with sequenced genomes; the increasingly sophisticated ways of interpreting those sequences; and the ever more powerful experimental techniques (and wider range of model organisms) with which to ask questions about evolution as well as mechanism.

Evolution serves as a primary text for undergraduate and graduate courses in evolution. It is also a text working scientists can use to educate themselves on how evolution affects their fields. It differs from currently available alternatives in containing more molecular biology than is traditionally the case. But this is not at the expense of traditional evolutionary theory. Indeed, a glance at the Table of Contents and the authors' interests reveals the range of material covered in this book. The authors are world-renowned in population genetics, bacterial genomics, paleontology, human genetics, and developmental biology. The integration of molecular biology and evolutionary biology reflects the current direction of much research among evolutionary scientists. Click here to read more.

About the Authors

Nicholas H. Barton (Edinburgh University), Derek E.G. Briggs (Yale University), Jonathan A. Eisen (University of California, Davis), David B. Goldstein (Duke University Medical Center), and Nipam H. Patel (University of California, Berkeley)


From Trends in Ecology and Evolution: “For a comprehensive modern view of evolution, I could do no better than Evolution by Barton, Briggs, Eisen, Goldstein and Patel.” More...

From The Quarterly Review of Biology: “The best undergraduate textbook on modern evolutionary biology currently available...excellent integration of classical approaches to the study of evolution with the techniques of modern molecular genetics that have transformed it.” More...

From Nature: “As a young man I attended an evening party at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Max Delbrück approached me and asked what I was interested in.” More...

From Nature Genetics: “There is now a consensus that the twenty-first century will be the century of biology, just as the twentieth century was the century of physics.” More...

“Absolutely massive book. VERY modern, takes a molecular, genomics approach, but also has all the classical stuff that we also teach in this course. Full of examples, illustrations, fossils, earth history, and history of evolutionary thought. Really well put together... We loved it. If you have a molecular evolution bent, or want to learn about the subject in depth, then this is the book for you. It is about the most complete encyclopaedia of evolution, molecular evolution, evolution of development, and population genetics available, and is written by leading researchers in the field.”
                                   —James Mallet, University College London

“The scope of Barton et al.’s new Evolution manuscript is magnificent. This is by far the best textbook on the subject yet and is much like another wonderful textbook, The Molecular Biology of the Cell.

Well-written and the level of sophistication is pretty equivalent across chapters despite having multiple authors. Figures are, in general, excellent. In its coverage of Evolutionary Processes (Section III), the analytical and conceptual tools of the field are presented in early chapters (genetic drift, population structure, quantitative genetics) and integrated to understand more complex problems in later chapters (i.e., the interaction between selection and other forces).”

—Andrew Martin, University of Colorado

Web Notes

Web Notes gives the primary sources for much of the material in the main text of Evolution. In addition, some points introduced in the book are explored more deeply in Web Notes. These primary sources along with online resources provided in Exploring the Literature make it straightforward for the reader to go beyond the introduction that we provide in the main text and to explore the subject of evolution in much greater depth.

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Since 1933, the publication of books and other media by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press has assisted the Laboratory's purpose of furthering the advance and spread of scientific knowledge. More...


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