Category Archives: natural selection

A new paper showing the usefulness of the kin-selection model

There’s a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA by David A. Galbraith et al. (free link and reference at bottom) that has a very cool result: one predicted by kin-selection theory. Kin selection, as you may know, is the idea that the adaptive value of a gene (and hence its evolutionary […]

End of the line

You can guess what happened here (photo from Pickering Creek Audubon Center). Can anybody identify either species?  

New paper shows that Nowak et al. were wrong: kin selection remains a valuable concept in evolutionary biology

In 2010 three authors—Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita, and E. O. Wilson—published a paper in Nature (reference and link below) purporting to explain the evolution of eusociality in insects: the phenomenon whereby a colony contains different “castes” that perform different tasks, and at least one caste is sterile.  In bees, for example, there is usually a single fertile […]

Guest post: Natural selection in real time via road kill

by Greg Mayer A new paper in Current Biology by Charles & Mary Brown with the folksy title, “Where has all the road kill gone?”  reports evidence for rapid evolution of wing length in cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) nesting on highway overpasses in Nebraska. (See also this news piece on Science‘s website.) For those evolution-deniers […]