The Life of David Lack: Father of Evolutionary Ecology

Overview

Most people who have taken a biology course in the past 50 years are familiar with the work of David Lack, but few remember his name. Almost all general biology texts produced during that period have a figure showing the beak size differences among the finches of the Galapagos Islands from Lack's 1947 classic, Darwin's Finches. Lack's pioneering conclusions in Darwin's Finches mark the beginning of a new scientific discipline, evolutionary ecology. Tim Birkhead, in his acclaimed book, The Wisdom of Birds, calls ...

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The Life of David Lack: Father of Evolutionary Ecology

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Overview

Most people who have taken a biology course in the past 50 years are familiar with the work of David Lack, but few remember his name. Almost all general biology texts produced during that period have a figure showing the beak size differences among the finches of the Galapagos Islands from Lack's 1947 classic, Darwin's Finches. Lack's pioneering conclusions in Darwin's Finches mark the beginning of a new scientific discipline, evolutionary ecology. Tim Birkhead, in his acclaimed book, The Wisdom of Birds, calls Lack the 'hero of modern ornithology.' Who was this influential, yet relatively unknown man? The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology provides an answer to that question based on Ted Anderson's personal interviews with colleagues, family members and former students as well as material in the extensive Lack Archive at Oxford University.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As Ted Anderson shows in his charming and very readable biography, Lack's argument, which developed slowly, was that differences in the way populations adapt to and compete for local resources (such as seeds, in the case of finches) is a key part of the process of speciation...Anderson gives us a vivid portrait of Lack and the personalities and careers of many people he interacted with." — Ben C. Sheldon, Nature

One of Teaching Biology's Top 25 Popular History of Science Books

"Ted Anderson ... has written an excellent and fascinating account of the life and work of perhaps the most influential ornithologist and evolutionist of the 20th century." —The Guide

From the Publisher

"As Ted Anderson shows in his charming and very readable biography, Lack's argument, which developed slowly, was that differences in the way populations adapt to and compete for local resources (such as seeds, in the case of finches) is a key part of the process of speciation...Anderson gives us a vivid portrait of Lack and the personalities and careers of many people he interacted with." -- Ben C. Sheldon, Nature

One of Teaching Biology's Top 25 Popular History of Science Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199922642
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ted R. Anderson is Emeritus Professor of Biology at McKendree University. Professor Anderson is the author of Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow: From Genes to Populations (OUP 2006). He is retired and lives with his wife, Carol, in Kingston, Washington.

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Table of Contents

Chapter I: The Birds of Cambridgeshire

Chapter II: The Life of Robin

Chapter III: Darwin's Finches

Chapter IV: Robin Redbreast

Chapter V: The Natural Regulation of Animal Numbers

Chapter VI: Swifts in a Tower

Chapter VII: Evolutionary Theory and Christian Belief

Chapter VIII: Enjoying Ornithology

Chapter IX: Population Studies of Birds

Chapter X: Ecological Adaptations for Breeding in Birds

Chapter XI: Ecological Isolation in Birds

Chapter XII: Evolution Illustrated by Waterfowl

Chapter XIII: Island Biology

Notes

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