Driving evolution forward, the Earth's physical environment has challenged the very survival of organisms and ecosystems throughout the ages. With a fresh new perspective, Evolution on Planet Earth shows how these physical realities and hurdles shaped the primary phases of life on the planet. The book's thorough coverage also includes chapters on more proximate factors and paleoenvironmental events that influenced the diversity of life. A team of notable ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and paleontologists join forces to describe drifting continents, extinction events, and climate change -- important topics that continue to shape Earth's inhabitants to this very day. In a world where global change has become an international issue, this book provides a several billion-year evolutionary perspective on what the environment and environmental change means to life.
* Provides thorough background information on each topic while introducing cutting-edge research
* Features original material solicited from the leading minds in evolutionary biology and geology today
* Emphasizes the influence of massive geological forces - continental drift, volcanic activity, sea and tides
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"An excellent text for introductory courses in biology, geology, and evolution."
- SOUTHEASTERN NATURALIST (May 2006)
"The entries are well-written attempts at opening a broad range of material to an interested audience...Highly recommended for libraries with science programs wanting to demonstrate true interdisciplinary work."
-E-STREAMS (March 2004)
"...recommended for libraries supporting undergraduate programs in biology, but it may be of broader interest since the abiotic subjects covered are often studied in chemistry and geology."
-CHOICE (March 2004)
Lynn J. Rothschild, a Research Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, is immersed in the field of Astrobiology. She has broad training in biology, with degrees from Yale University, Indiana University, and Brown University. At NASA her research has focused on how life has evolved in the context of the physical environment, both here and potentially elsewhere. She has studied carbon metabolism and DNA damage and repair in algal mats, work that has taken her to field sites in Baja, Yellowstone National Park and thermal areas on New Zealand. As a result of this work she has become an acknowledged authority in the study of extremophiles, and wrote an invited review on them for Nature (2001). Recent honors have included election to the Presidency of the Social of Protozoologists, founding editor of the International Journal of Astrobiology, and a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. She has made several television and radio appearances, including on the Discovery Channel and World News Tonight, and lectures worldwide including most recently at the Vatican Observatory.
Adrian Lister is Professor Palaeobiology at University College London. After a degree in Zoology from the University of Cambridge, he began research on Quaternary (Ice Age) mammals and their evolution. Today he is acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on the biology and evolution of the mammoth and other ice-age species. He has worked on many excavations and fossil collections around the world, and has recently also become active in the field of elephant conservation. He has published over 100 scientific papers and the highly acclaimed book (with Paul G. Bahn) 'Mammoths'. He is on the Council of the Linnean Society of London and is a member of the Elephant working Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In 1998 he was awarded the Stopes Medal of the Geologists' Association for research into the environment of early Man.
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