Evolutionary genetics is the study of how genetic variation leads to evolutionary change. With the recent explosion in the availability of whole genome sequence data, vast quantities of genetic data are being generated at an ever-increasing pace with the result that programming has become an essential tool for researchers. Most importantly, a thorough understanding of evolutionary principles is essential for making sense of this genetic data. This up-to-date textbook covers all the major components of modern evolutionary genetics, carefully explaining fundamental processes such as mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, and speciation, together with their consequences. Evolutionary Genetics also draws on a rich literature of exciting and inspiring examples to demonstrate the diversity of evolutionary research, including an emphasis on how evolution and selection has shaped our own species. Furthermore, at the end of each chapter, study questions are provided to motivate the reader to think and reflect on the concepts introduced.
Practical experience is essential when it comes to developing an understanding of how to use genetic and genomic data to analyze and address interesting questions in the life sciences and how to interpret results in meaningful ways. In addition to the main text, a series of online tutorials using the R language serves as an introduction to programming, statistics, and the analysis of evolutionary genetic data. The R environment stands out as an ideal all-purpose, open source platform to handle and analyze such data. Evolutionary Genetics and its online materials take full advantage of the authors' own experience in working in a post-genomic revolution world, and introduce readers to the plethora of molecular and analytical methods that have only recently become available.
1: The foundations of evolutionary genetics
2: Genomes and the origin of genetic variation
3: Changes in allele and genotype frequency
4: The theory of natural selection
5: The power of natural selection
6: Multilocus evolution
7: Inferring evolutionary processes from DNA sequence data
8: Genetics and genomics of speciation
9: Reconstructing the past
10: Sequencing the genome and beyond
Glenn-Peter Sætre is Professor in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Oslo, Norway. He is fascinated by the roles that speciation, adaptation, and behaviour play in the evolution of life on Earth. He received a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of Oslo in 1993. Since then he has worked primarily on evolution, speciation, and sexual selection in birds, including flycatchers and Passer sparrows.
Mark Ravinet is an evolutionary biologist working with genomic and bioinformatics tools to understand speciation, adaptation, and evolution. He obtained his PhD in evolutionary biology and population genetics from Queen's University Belfast, UK. Since completing his PhD, he has gained postdoctoral experience in speciation and evolutionary genomics in Sweden, Japan, and now Norway. His research involves a wide array of different taxa including stickleback fishes, Littorina marine snails, bedbugs and Passer sparrows.