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Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity [Hardcover]

Jürgen Gadau , Jennifer Fewell , Edward O. Wilson

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Book Description

March 30, 2009 0674031253 978-0674031258

In this landmark volume, an international group of scientists has synthesized their collective expertise and insight into a newly unified vision of insect societies and what they can reveal about how sociality has arisen as an evolutionary strategy.

Jürgen Gadau and Jennifer Fewell have assembled leading researchers from the fields of molecular biology, evolutionary genetics, neurophysiology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary theory to reexamine the question of sociality in insects. Recent advances in social complexity theory and the sequencing of the honeybee genome ensure that this book will be valued by anyone working on sociality in insects. At the same time, the theoretical ideas presented will be of broad-ranging significance to those interested in social evolution and complex systems.


Editorial Reviews

Review

A major theme of biology in the present century, perhaps the major theme, is the nature and evolutionary origin of the transitions across levels of organization. The most transparent of the transitions, greater than that for example from molecule to cell or species to ecosystem, is organism to superorganism, the level reached when societies are tightly bound by altruism and division of labor. One of the major advances of the half century has been the demonstration, well illustrated in the present volume, of how the transition is made through the emergence of colony-level traits…The authors of each chapter of Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity are among the most productive researchers on the subjects they address. The overall picture they assemble is of a discipline that has grown exponentially during the past half century, and at publication time shows no sign of slacking off. The book is thus at once a history, a dispatch from the research front, and a vision as accurate as can be made of future advances in the study of social insects." from the Foreword by E. O. Wilson (from the Foreword by Edward O. Wilson)

The book's 26 chapters, written by leading scientists in various fields, present the latest conceptual trends in insect sociobiology...They clearly illustrate the advances concerning the nature and evolutionary origin of transitions across levels of organization which are relevant to the discipline, and reexamine the issue of the origin of sociality in various insect groups. The concepts and insights explored make this volume invaluable to anyone working/interested in the study of sociality in insects. (J. M. Gonzalez Choice 2009-07-01)

About the Author

Jürgen Gadau is Assistant Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University.

Jennifer Fewell is Associate Professor of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, and Co-Director of the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity.

Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Hölldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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