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Speciation [Paperback]

Jerry A. Coyne , H. Allen Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 49.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Jun 2004
Over the last two decades, the study of speciation has expanded
from a modest backwater of evolutionary biology into a large and
vigorous discipline. Thus, the literature on speciation, as well as the
number of researchers and students working in this area, has
grown explosively. Despite these developments, there has been no
book-length treatment of speciation in many years. As a result,
both the seasoned scholar and the newcomer to evolutionary
biology had no ready guide to the recent literature on speciation-a
body of work that is enormous, scattered, and increasingly
technical. Although several excellent symposium volumes have
recently appeared, these collections do not provide a unified,
critical, and up-to-date overview of the field. Speciation is designed
to fill this gap.

Aimed at professional biologists, graduate students, and advanced
undergraduates, Speciation covers both plants and animals (the
first book on this subject to do so), and deals with all relevant areas
of research, including biogeography, field work, systematics,
theory, and genetic and molecular studies. It gives special
emphasis to topics that are either controversial or the subject of
active research, including sympatric speciation, reinforcement, the
role of hybridization in speciation, the search for genes causing
reproductive isolation, and mounting evidence for the role of
natural and sexual selection in the origin of species. The authors do
not hesitate to take stands on these and other controversial issues.
This critical and scholarly book will be invaluable to researchers in
evolutionary biology and is also ideal for a graduate-level course
on speciation.


Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Sinauer Associates; Illustrated. edition (30 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878930892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878930890
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 17.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

JERRY A. COYNE is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, USA.

H. ALLEN ORR is Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester, USA.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
One of the most striking developments in evolutionary biology during the last 20 years has been a resurgence of interest in the origin of species. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speciation, at last 18 May 2011
Format:Paperback
At last a synthesized and wonderfully written piece in the broad speciation field. The book covers must of the general aspects of speciation in carefully constructed scientific texts, without rendering it dull at all. It certainly is a must have for anyone (biologist or not) interested in studying and understanding the origin of species. This work follows much of the line of though carried by E. Mayr, in that an orthodox view of speciation is frequently exhibited. It does, however, cover very little about speciation mechanisms on other taxa besides plants and animals, such as fungi, protists and bacteria.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "... the most exalted object ..." 5 Dec 2008
Format:Paperback
The most definitive work since White, Mayr and Dobzhansky's classics. Although Otte & Endler and Howard & Berlocher were excellent collected works, there has been nothing like this for 30 years. A thorough treatment by two of the masters in the genetics of speciation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 1 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nicest thing about this book apart from having all the details you would want and case studies is that is it actually in a readable format, like a book which is quite unusual for a biology book more often they are for reference where this is defo for reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coyne and Orr: Lords of the flies? 17 Nov 2007
By Plant Doc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for a cross-disciplinary seminar on Speciation. I was the lone plant biologist in the group. I was not deterred. After all, Darwin was a botanist and some of the most intriguing work in evolution has focused on plants. Since G. Ledyard Stebbins wrote Variation and Evolution in Plants in 1949, there is concensus (I think) that plants--perhaps together with bdelloid rotifers--are what make the "species problem" such a problem. With visions of Taraxacum and Rubus and other such deliciously vexing groups running through my mind, I dove in with gusto. What did I find? Flies, flies, flies and more flies! Dobzhansky would be proud. Such an incredible diversity of plant topics that might have been brought to the table were simply overlooked, ignored, or--as I began to suspect further in--simply not understood. I found myself writing the same note over and over in the margin, "yes, but this isn't true of plants". The authors do admit early on that the book is Drosophila-rich, but this is no excuse for not expanding to include other relevant biological systems here.

Coyne and Orr are married to the biological species concept and flat out don't believe in sympatric speciation. If one was actually to apply their "modified" version of the BSC to plants, the taxonomy of plants as we understand it today would collapse. And if you hold any hope that sympatric speciation might be possible, Coyne and Orr will beat those fantasies out of you. In fact, their distaste for the topic borders on fanaticism. By the latter chapters, I found myself rolling my eyes each time sympatry was discussed. Enough!

That said, Speciation is still a solid text on the topic and an excellent introduction for advanced undergrads or grad students. Coyne and Orr do an exceptional job discussing the merits and drawbacks of various research approaches, and do provide suggestions for moving forward. I actually highly recommend this text because I think it introduces concepts well and thoroughly, with the caveat that it is bound to frustrate those working with plants, or asexual taxa of any sort.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars nice review but rather pedantic 16 Jan 2007
By Cody Hinchliff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i bought this book for a class on speciation. however, as a botanist i was somewhat disappointed to find 70% of the papers cited throughout the book related only to drosophila. coyne and orr's personal research deals only with drosophila so this seems like their bias on display. they also use superlatives more often in relation to their own work than anyone else's. though it's a harmless habit, it can become annoying and detract from the rest of the content of the book. the book is a probably the best review of major developments in our understanding of speciation in the past several decades, but it isn't perfect.
24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for speciation studies 19 Dec 2004
By Robert Hannon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excelent book for anyone interested in the processes of speciation. The book is written so that an advanced undergraduate can understand it, but a proffessor of evolution can still get insight from it. Theories of speciation are well laid out and discussed in-debth. A excelent addition for any professional book collection.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars maybe a good one, but hard to follow 4 Oct 2011
By ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not professional in this field so it is a little difficult for me to follow the writing style.

Maybe it is a good book for experts, but hard to follow for outsider who just wants an introduction to speciation.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is THE book in the field. 23 Mar 2008
By L. R. Watt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the most up-to-date book in the field of speciation. It is comprehensive in theory, data, and taxa, but by no means comprehensive of the biology: that may be more a fault of the field and the topic than the book. Tons of references and suggestions for research programs.
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