The goal of this volume is to provide a compendium of examples of how evolutionary approaches have illuminated the forces of evolution impacting a broad array of science and society from biodiversity studies, to medicine, to linguistics, to law.

The volume, for which there is already an agreement in place with Oxford University Press to be published, will be an exceptional tool for those teaching biology (whether at the high school or college level), as a centerpiece for undergraduate/graduate seminars, and as a critical resource for faculty to use in educating the general public in the importance of understanding evolutionary mechanisms. The volume will contain at least 50 - 1-3 page vignettes (including up to 1 figure and 1 table) summarizing published examples of the role of evolution in shaping biodiversity and the associated techniques used in evolutionary biology. To generate this large number of quality vignettes, we propose a completely novel approach by enlisting the community of evolutionary biology graduate students around the world to organize seminars. These seminars would focus on writing quality vignettes covering the exceptional research over the past 150 years in evolutionary biology. By incorporating graduate students who are not associated with the primary research topic of the vignette, we hope to obtain excellent general summaries of the published (and therefore already peer-reviewed and impactful) research.

Photo: Andrew Hendry

Photo: Andrew Hendry


"There are really no titles out there with this concept."


Indeed, when doing Google searches you find a lot of sites speculating on the LACK of applications of evolutionary biology (and thus what is the need to study it). So there is clearly a need for a concise volume with exceptional examples of the diversity of applications of evolutionary biology in a broad array of fields. The only thing that comes close to this is the new journal Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell. But these articles are not significantly different than what one would find in the journal Evolution. They are typical research articles written for the evolutionary science audience (primary literature). Our volume, on the other hand, would be much more geared toward a broader audience of students and faculty providing them with concise summaries of highly impactful research using evolutionary concepts from a broad array of disciplines.


About the Chief Editor


Keith A. Crandall, PhD is the founding Director of the Computational Biology Institute at The George Washington University. Professor Crandall studies the computational biology, population genetics, and bioinformatics of a variety of organisms, from crustaceans to agents of infectious diseases. His lab also focuses on the development and testing of Big Data methods DNA sequence analysis. He applies these methods and others to the study of the evolution of infectious diseases with particular focus on HIV evolution. Professor Crandall has published over 270 peer reviewed publications, as well as three books (The Evolution of HIV, Algorithms in Bioinformatics, and Decapod Crustacean Phylogenetics). Dr. Crandall’s research has been funded by both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health as well as from a variety of other agencies, including American Foundation for AIDS Research, National Geographic, US Forest Service, Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturer’s of America Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, etc. He has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Oxford University and an Allen Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution Sabbatical Fellow at the Bioinformatics Institute at the University of Auckland. Professor Crandall has received a number of awards for research and teaching, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Evolution at the University of Texas, the American Naturalist Society Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a PhRMA Foundation Faculty Development Award in Bioinformatics, an NIH James A. Shannon Directors Award, ISI Highly Cited Designation, Honors Professor of the Year award at Brigham Young University, and the Edward O. Wilson Naturalist Award. He was also recently elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Linnean Society of London. Professor Crandall earned his BA degree from Kalamazoo College in Biology and Mathematics, an MA degree from Washington University in Statistics, and a PhD from Washington University in Biology and Biomedical Sciences. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Puyo, Ecuador.