Origins of Biodiversity: An Introduction to Macroevolution and Macroecology

ISBN : 9780199608713

Lindell Bromham; Marcel Cardillo
448 ページ
189 x 246 mm

Origins of Biodiversity is a unique introduction to the fields of macroevolution and macroecology, which explores the evolution and distribution of biodiversity across time, space and lineages. Using an enquiry-led framework to encourage active learning and critical thinking, each chapter is based around a case-study to explore concepts and research methods from contemporary macroevolution and macroecology. The book focuses on the process of science as much as the biology itself, to help students acquire the research skills and intellectual tools they need to understand and investigate the biological world around them. In particular, the emphasis on hypothesis testing encourages students to develop and test their own ideas. This text builds upon the foundations offered in most general introductory evolutionary biology courses to introduce an exciting range of ideas and research tools for investigating patterns of biodiversity.


1 What is macroevolution? What is macroecology?
2 How did evolution get started?
3 Does evolution favour increased size and complexity?
4 What caused the explosion of animal evolution in the Cambrian?
5 Were dinosaurs evolutionary failures?
6 Was the diversification of mammals due to luck?
7 Is sex good for survival?
8 Why are most species small?
9 Why are there so many kinds of beetles?
10 Why are there so many species in the tropics?
11 What is the future of biodiversity?


Lindell Bromham's main research focus has been in the application of DNA sequence analysis to investigating evolutionary patterns and processes, applied to a range of questions in evolution, ecology, conservation, genetics, bioinformatics, development, virology, and linguistics. Lindell has taught evolutionary biology at five universities in three countries and has written several undergraduate textbooks: the latest, An Introduction to Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology Undergraduate Textbook Prize of 2016.; Marcel Cardillo's research focuses on understanding and explaining broad-scale patterns of biodiversity such as latitudinal gradients and biodiversity hotspots, explaining patterns of extinction risk and predicting future loss of biodiversity. Marcel has lectured on topics in macroecology, macroevolution, biogeography, and conservation biology at universities in Australia and the UK. www.macroevoeco.com