IL-VI front cover

About John C. AVISE

I am a naturalist at heart, a geneticist by training, and my career has been devoted to wedding these two areas. My schooling came at a time when molecular methods were being introduced to population biology, and I saw that molecular markers could open the entire biological world for genetic scrutiny. Ever since then, my students and I have used molecular markers to analyze the behaviors and evolution of wild animals. Topics range from micro- to macro-evolutionary: genetic parentage and mating systems, population structure, gene flow, hybridization, biogeography, speciation, systematics, and phylogenetics. We have researched diverse vertebrate and invertebrate animals from aquatic and terrestrial environments. Our typical goal is to unveil ecological or evolutionary features of the organisms, but we also try to elucidate genetic and evolutionary properties of protein and DNA molecules. The theory and practice of evolutionary genetics are relevant to ecology and conservation biology, which provide themes for much of our research. Although I am a recognized 'father of phylogeography', I like to think of myself more broadly as a pioneer in molecular ecology, molecular evolution, and conservation genetics. In addition to numerous scientific articles, I have published 20 books on topics ranging from the science-religion interface to genetic engineering, natural history, molecular ecology and evolution, biogeography, phylogenetics, reproductive modes, educational outreach, and humor in science.
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