1) Bell, Michael A. et al. (editors). Evolution Since Darwin: The First 150 Years. 2010. Sinauer. Paperback: 688 pages. Price: $69.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Evolution since Darwin: The First 150 Years comprises 22 chapters and eight shorter commentaries that emerged from a symposium held in November 2009 at Stony Brook University. Thirty-nine authors from 22 universities and two museums in five countries wrote on areas of evolutionary biology and related topics on which their research focuses. Their essays cover the history of evolutionary biology, populations, genes and genomes, evolution of form, adaptation and speciation, diversification and phylogeny, paleobiology, human cultural and biological evolution, and applied evolution. The volume is intended to summarize progress in major areas of research in evolutionary biology since Darwin, to review the current state of knowledge and active research in those areas, and to look toward the future of the broader field.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in evolution.
2) van der Geer, Alexandra et al.. Evolution of Island Mammals: Adaptation and Extinction of Placental Mammals on Islands. 2010. Wiley-Blackwell. Hardbound: 479 pages. Price: $99.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Evolution on islands differs in a number of important ways from evolution on mainland areas. Over millions of years of isolation, exceptional and sometimes bizarre mammals evolved on islands, such as pig-sized elephants and hippos, giant rats and gorilla-sized lemurs that would have been formidable to their mainland ancestors.
This timely and innovative book is the first to offer a much-needed synthesis of recent advances in the exciting field of the evolution and extinction of fossil insular placental mammals. It provides a comprehensive overview of current knowledge on fossil island mammals worldwide, ranging from the Oligocene to the onset of the Holocene.
The book addresses evolutionary processes and key aspects of insular mammal biology, exemplified by a variety of fossil species. The authors discuss the human factor in past extinction events and loss of insular biodiversity.
This accessible and richly illustrated textbook is written for graduate level students and professional researchers in evolutionary biology, palaeontology, biogeography, zoology, and ecology.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with an interest in mammalian evolution.