Preface And Acknowledgments

problems are active rather than reflective and should appeal to trial-and-error or visual learners. Additionally, simulations uniquely demonstrate the outcome of stochastic processes where the evaluation of numerous replicates is required before a pattern or generalization can be seen. Because understanding the biological impact of stochastic processes is a major hurdle for many students, the Interact boxes should improve learning and retention. Problem boxes placed in the text rather than at the end of chapters are designed to provide practice and to reinforce concepts as they are encountered, appealing to experiential learners. Math boxes that fully explain mathematical derivations appeal to mathematical and logical learners and also provide a great deal of insight for all readers into the many mathematical approximations employed in population genetics. Finally, the large number of two-color illustrations in the text were designed to appeal to and help cultivate visual learning.

The teaching strategy employed in this text to cope with mathematics proficiency deserves further explanation. The undergraduate biology curricula employed at most US institutions has students take calculus in their first year and usually does not require the application of much if any mathematics within biology courses. This leads to students who have difficulty in or who avoid courses in biological disciplines that require explicit mathematical reasoning. Population genetics is built on basic mathematics and, in my experience, students obtain a much richer and nuanced understanding of the subject with some comprehension of these mathematical foundations. Therefore, I have attempted to deconstruct and offer step-by-step explanations the basic mathematics (mostly probability) required for a sound understanding of population genetics. For those readers with more interest or facility in mathematics, such as graduate students, the book also presents more difficult and detailed mathematical derivations in boxes that are separated from the main narrative of the text as well as chapter sections containing more mathematically rigorous content. These sections can be assigned or skipped depending on the level and scope of a course using this text. The Appendix further provides some very basic background in statistical concepts that are useful throughout the book and especially in Chapter 3 on genetic drift and Chapters 9 and 10 on quantitative genetics. This approach will hopefully provide students with the tools to develop their abilities in basic mathematics through application, and at the same time learn population genetics more fully.

Members of my laboratory and the students who have taken my population genetics course provided a range of feedback on chapter drafts, figures, and effective means to explain the concepts herein. This feedback was absolutely invaluable and helped me shape the text into a more useful and usable resource for students. James Crow graciously reviewed each chapter and offered many insightful comments on points both nuanced and technical. Rachel Adams, Genevieve Croft, and Paulo Nuin provided many useful comments on each of the chapters as I wrote them. A.W.F. Edwards reviewed the material on the fundamental theorem in Chapter 6 and also provided the photograph of R.A. Fisher. Sivan Rottenstreich and Judy Miller patiently helped me with numerous mathematical points and derivations, including material included in the Math boxes. John Braverman supplied me with insights and thought-provoking discussions that contributed to this book. Ronda Rolfes and Martha Weiss also provided comments and suggestions. I also thank Paulo Nuin for his collaboration and hard work on the creation of PopGene.S2. I also thank the anonymous reviewers from Aberdeen University, Arkansas State University, Cambridge University, Michigan State University, University of North Carolina, and University of Nottingham who provided feedback on some or all of the draft chapters.

John Epifanio provided the allozyme gel picture in Chapter 2. Eric Delwart provided the original data used to draw a figure in Chapter 6. Michel Veuille shared information on Drosophila simulans DNA sequences used in an Interact box in Chapter 8. Peter Armbruster shared unpublished mosquito pupal mass data used in Chapter 9. John Dudley and Stephen Moose generously shared the Illinois Long-Term Selection experiment data used in Chapter 9. Robert J. Robbins kindly provided high-resolution scans from Sewall Wright's Chapter in an original copy of the Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of Genetics (see www.esp.org).

I am grateful to Nancy Wilton for pushing me at the right times and for getting this project off the ground initially. Elizabeth Frank, Haze Humbert, and Karen Chambers of Wiley-Blackwell helped bring this book to fruition. I thank Nik Prowse for his expertise as a copy editor. I owe everyone at the Mathworks an enormous debt of gratitude since all of the simulations and many of the figures for this text were produced using Matlab.

Matthew B. Hamilton September 2008

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