BIOL 2007 - EVOLUTIONARY GENETICS


Reading list

Course Book: None you absolutely must buy, but see recommended books below.

Updated internet notes will be available (we hope) for downloading the night before the lecture.
These notes will be a more or less complete guide to the course.

However, you will certainly want additional input from one or more of the following books.  Any of the following general evolution and evolutionary genetics books will probably do, so take your pick -- we suggest you browse the UCL library, or in a bookshop like Waterstone's (Gower Street). Both locations should have virtually all of them, or any bookshop online or otherwise can order them if they are in print.


Recommended (in approximate order of usefulness for this course):

Douglas J. Futuyma. 2005. Evolution. Sinauer Associates.
A very complete, encyclopaedic book that covers almost the entire course very well. Would suit a student who wants a complete reference for future use. It is long (about 600 pages including index)!  It is a welcome replacement, however, of his 900 page "Evolutionary Biology" (1998).   The book is also fairly inexpensive (about £34). This new edition goes into great detail about the evolution and history of life, which is covered more in other Biology courses than in ours. If you are also interested in knowing about evolution within and also beyond the remit of this course, this is our top recommendation. In any case, the Library's copies will be useful.

Scott Freeman and Jon C. Herron.  2003.  Evolutionary Analysis.  3rd Ed. Prentice Hall.
Another encyclopaedic textbook like Futuyma's, but smaller and arguably more modern, and yet somewhat "vanilla" in outlook. Around £44. Excellent on human examples and social issues such as AIDS and IQ, and covers the entire course very well.  But strangely weak on some topics we feel are important and interesting areas, such as spatial evolution, mimicry, shifting balance.  Really!

Nicholas Barton et al.  2007.  Evolution.  Cold Spring Harbor Press, Woodbury, New York.
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, though some of the images could probably be prettier, but the unevenness of production is probably a result of assembling such a huge project.  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. The only reason we don't recommend it as our top course book is that we couldn't possibly cover the whole book in a single half-unit course at UCL. Having said that, everything in BIOL2007 is in the book; in fact, Nick Barton, the lead author, taught a forerunner of BIOL2007 many years ago when he was here. You can get the book for £40 -- a great investment for a serious student, especially one who wants to carry on with the subject and maybe do a research degree afterwards.

Go to: Chapter readings, from the top two books, as companions for our lectures. Readings from the third will be added soon.



Other recommended books:

Mark Ridley. 2004. Evolution. 4th Ed. Blackwell Science.
We have often used this as a course text in the past. Popular with students, but does not cover in detail some of the more genetic aspects of evolutionary biology stressed in this course. Student-friendly price of around £25. If you find evolution interesting, but are not so keen on genetics, it may be the book for you. You could pass the course using this book.

John Maynard Smith. 1998.  Evolutionary Genetics. 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press.
A very original and useful book which was used as a course text in 1999. Some students complained that this book was too difficult; stronger on maths, but weaker on "whole organisms". Brief and to the point, and around £33. Does an excellent job on the basic mathematical theory of evolution and on some molecular evolution topics.  If you like the theory, go for it!



Go to: Chapter readings (from first two books)
Back to: BIOL2007 TIMETABLE
Back to: BIOL2007 COURSE OUTLINE