Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

Evolution: A Developmental Approach


By: Wallace Arthur

404 pages, Col & b/w figs

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | Dec 2010 | #187933 | ISBN-13: 9781405186582
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £42.50 $52/€48 approx
Hardback | Dec 2010 | #187931 | ISBN-13: 9781444337204
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £115.00 $141/€129 approx

About this book

This book is aimed at students taking courses on evolution in universities and colleges. Its approach and its structure are very different from previously-published evolution texts. The core theme in this book is how evolution works by changing the course of embryonic and post-embryonic development. In other words, it is an evolution text that has been very much influenced by the new approach of evolutionary developmental biology, or 'evo-devo'.

Key themes include the following: developmental repatterning; adaptation and coadaptation; gene co-option; developmental plasticity; the origins of evolutionary novelties and body plans; and evolutionary changes in the complexity of organisms. As can be seen from this list, the book includes information across the levels of the gene, the organism, and the population. It also includes the issue of mapping developmental changes onto evolutionary trees. The examples used to illustrate particular points range widely, including animals, plants and fossils.

This exceedingly accessible and very attractive text is illustrated in full color. (Booknews, 1 June 2011)

"Although this is a text intended for third level students and professional biologists, Prof Arthur's book brings anyone with more than a passing interest up to date on the mechanisms involved in evolution, and as he notes, we should go easy on the assumptions." (Science Spin, 1 May 2011)


PART I:FOUNDATIONS. 1 Introduction. 2What is evo-devo? 3 Development, cells and molecules. 4 Natural populations. PART II: DEVELOPMENTAL REPATTERNING. 5 Mutation and developmental repatterning. 6 Heterochrony. 7 Heterotopy. 8 Heterometry. 9 Heterotypy. 10 The integrative nature of repatterning. 11 Mapping repatterning to trees. PART III: THE DIRECTION OF EVOLUTION. 12 Adaptation, coadaptation and exaptation. 13 Developmental constraint and bias. 14 Developmental genes and evolution. 15 Gene co-option as an evolutionary mechanism. 16 Developmental plasticity and evolution. 17 The origin of species, novelties and body plans. 18 The evolution of complexity. PART IV: CONCLUSIONS. 19 Key concepts and connections. 20 Prospect.

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Wallace Arthur is Professor of Zoology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is one of the founding editors of the journal Evolution & Development. He obtained his PhD from the University of Nottingham, and held positions at several British universities before moving to Galway in 2004. He has been a Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University and a Visiting Associate of Darwin College, Cambridge.

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