Simulating Human Origins and Evolution

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Overview

The development of populations over time, and, on longer timescales, the evolution of species, are both influenced by a complex of interacting, underlying processes. Computer simulation provides a means of experimenting within an idealised framework to allow aspects of these processes and their interactions to be isolated, controlled, and understood. In this 2005 book, computer simulation is used to model migration, extinction, fossilisation, interbreeding, selection and non-hereditary effects in the context of human populations and the observed distribution of fossil and current hominoid species. The simulations described enable the visualisation and study of lineages, genetic diversity in populations, character diversity across species and the accuracy of reconstructions, allowing insights into human evolution and the origins of humankind for graduate students and researchers in the fields of physical anthropology, human evolution, and human genetics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wesson's book may help jump-start new work by researchers whose interests span the multiple levels on which natural selection acts to modfiy population persistence." - The Quarterly Review of Biology, Rebecca L. Cann, University of Hawaii

"Wessen's simulation of human evolution will be a useful reference for phylogenetic systematicists, human geneticists, physical anthropologists and primatologists, and paleoarchaeologists who want to think deeply about both the power and limits of reconstructing human history from currently available data and with contemporary tools.
John R. Jungck, BioScience

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ken Wessen has PhDs in both Theoretical Physics and Human Evolution and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Visualisation. He currently works in quantitative finance, and is an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Simulating Species: 2. Overview; 3. Simulation design; 4. Running the simulation; 5. Simulating diversity; 6. Simulating migration; 7. Discussion; Part II. Simulating Genealogies: 8. Overview; 9. Simulation design; 10. Simulating a single population; 11. Simulating multiple populations; 12. Adding genetics to the genealogy; 13. Discussion; Part III. Bibliography and Index.

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