Revisiting Hubbell 1997

The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, published as a monograph  in 2001, by Stephen Hubbell, is considered one of the most important recent developments in Ecology. What is, probably, less well-known is that the ideas in the book were originally laid out in a paper published in the journal Coral Reefs in 1997. … Continue reading Revisiting Hubbell 1997

Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

In a paper published in The American Naturalist in 2003, Daniel Bolnick, Richard Svanbäck, James A. Fordyce, Louie Yang, Jeremy Davis, Darrin Hulsey and Matthew Forister reviewed studies that examined individual specialization on resource use and quantified how much inter-individual variation contributes to a species' niche width. Based on their review, they discuss the ecological, … Continue reading Revisiting Bolnick et al. 2003

Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982

In a paper published in Science in 1982, William Hamilton and Marlene Zuk showed positive associations between the level of chronic blood infections and  display characteristics across North American Passerines. Based on these results they proposed a "good genes" model of sexual selection (Hamilton-Zuk Hypothesis): display characteristics used in mate selection are indicators of parasite … Continue reading Revisiting Hamilton and Zuk 1982

Revisiting Lande and Arnold 1983

In 1983, following up on a little-known paper published by Karl Pearson eighty years earlier, Russell Lande and Stevan Arnold, developed statistical methods to measure selection based only on changes in population phenotypic traits within a generation. Thirty-six years after the paper was published, I asked Stevan Arnold about the making of this paper, his … Continue reading Revisiting Lande and Arnold 1983

Revisiting Vellend 2010

In a paper published in The Quarterly Review of Biology in 2010, Mark Vellend proposed a new conceptual framework for Community Ecology, drawing inspiration from Population Genetics. Vellend proposed that, like in the case of genetic variation in populations, biological communities too can be thought of being governed by four main higher-level processes - selection, … Continue reading Revisiting Vellend 2010

Revisiting Brosnan and de Waal 2003

In a paper published in Nature in 2003, Sarah Brosnan and Frans de Waal provided what was, arguably, the first evidence for inequity avoidance in a non-human animal. Brosnan and de Waal found that brown capuchin monkeys, refused to participate in trials if they observed conspecifics receiving a more attractive award for performing the same … Continue reading Revisiting Brosnan and de Waal 2003

Revisiting Agrawal et al. 1999

In a paper published in Nature in 1999, Anurag Agrawal, Christian Laforsch and Ralph Tollrian showed that non-lethal exposure of Daphnia and wild radish to their predators, in addition to inducing defences, led to production of offspring that were better defended than those from unattacked individuals. This study was one of the first to find … Continue reading Revisiting Agrawal et al. 1999