4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2009
This provides a good overview of some of the current theories in speciation and evolution. The format is good and most of the articles are well written. However, it is not for the casual reader because the articles are data-specific and can be quite intensive. It is good for graduate-level studies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2013
I read this book cover-to-cover while studying for my comprehensive exams. This is a fairly advanced book, and the intended audience appears to be graduate students and researchers. A background in evolutionary biology is necessary to read this book and familiarity with mathematical biology and modeling would be helpful for many chapters.
Each chapter is written by different author(s) and some chapters are good, some are bad, and many are forgettable. The order of the chapters doesn't have much in the way of overt organization, which I found frustrating. In addition, the different chapters cover a very broad range of topics that are only loosely connected in terms of the overall theme of speciation, and I felt that they often didn't meld together well.
I found the earlier chapters on microbial and asexual speciation fascinating and informative. These chapters are definitely worth reading. However, the book then entered a dead zone until chapter 12, when it hit the chapter on speciation in the tropics. Many of the in-between chapters suffered from serious issues in their organization and quality of writing, a couple to the extent that I am amazed that the editors decided to include them in the book. After chapter 12, the remaining chapters were okay, with none standing out one way or the ether.
Overall, I recommend reading chapters 1-5 and 12, and merely skimming the rest if they interest you.