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What is an accessible book about plant evolution for a non-biologist?

What is an accessible book about plant evolution for a non-biologist?


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I have an acquaintance interested in learning about the evolution history of plants. This person has a wide knowledge on botanics, from personal reading and taking care of plants, but E is neither a biologist or a biology student.

Based on this, which is an accessible book to non-biologist that can be used to learn about the evolution of plants?


I have Fossil Plants by Paul Kenrick and Paul Davis, published by The Natural History Museum in London. It takes the reader through a well-researched but accessible illustrated history of the evolution of plantlife from the beginnings to now. There are photos of many key fossils, and artist's renderings of what the landscapes of the past would have looked like.


Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean Insights for Conservation

Since the first edition of Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean published in 2005, there has been an immense amount of new and fascinating work on the history, ecology, and evolution of the Mediterranean flora. During this time, human impacts have continued to increase dramatically, significantly influencing both the ecology and evolution of the region's biota. This timely and comprehensive update of the original text integrates a diverse and scattered literature to produce a synthetic account of Mediterranean plant evolutionary ecology. It maintains the accessible style of its previous version whilst incorporating recent work in a new structural framework. This is not a traditional "plant science" book per se, but a novel integration of history, ecology, biogeography, and evolution, all set in the context of a dramatically increasing human footprint. There is a particular emphasis on the role of human activities as an ecological factor and their subsequent impact on plant evolution. Conversely, it demonstrates how an understanding of the evolutionary ecology of the region's flora can be used to provide insights into its future conservation and management.

Plant Evolution in the Mediterranean is aimed at all those who are interested in the biology of the Mediterranean region, whether it is taxonomy, ecology, evolution, conservation policy and management, or the regional history of its biodiversity in general. It will be of relevance and use to all graduate students and researchers of Mediterranean-type ecosystem ecology and geography, as well as professional ecologists, evolutionary biologists, conservation biologists, and environmental practitioners requiring a concise, authoritative overview of the topic.

New to this Edition:
- All chapters heavily revised and updated to reflect the enormous amount of new work on Mediterranean flora since 2005.
- Complete reworking of the first edition content plus new chapters devoted to diversification and endemism, conservation and climate change, and future perspectives.


The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution, Conservation

While social bees such as honey bees and bumble bees are familiar to most people, they comprise less than 10 percent of all bee species in the world. The vast majority of bees lead solitary lives, surviving without the help of a hive and using their own resources to fend off danger and protect their offspring. This book draws on new research to provide a comprehensive and authoritative overview of solitary bee biology, offering an unparalleled look at these remarkable insects.

The Solitary Bees uses a modern phylogenetic framework to shed new light on the life histories and evolution of solitary bees. It explains the foraging behavior of solitary bees, their development, and competitive mating tactics. The book describes how they construct complex nests using an amazing variety of substrates and materials, and how solitary bees have co-opted beneficial mites, nematodes, and fungi to provide safe environments for their brood. It looks at how they have evolved intimate partnerships with flowering plants and examines their associations with predators, parasites, microbes, and other bees. This up-to-date synthesis of solitary bee biology is an essential resource for students and researchers, one that paves the way for future scholarship on the subject.

Beautifully illustrated throughout, The Solitary Bees also documents the critical role solitary bees play as crop pollinators, and raises awareness of the dire threats they face, from habitat loss and climate change to pesticides, pathogens, parasites, and invasive species.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the PROSE Award in Single Volume Reference/Biological Science, Association of American Publishers

"This is a brilliant, important and useful new text."Bees for Development

"In the many vignettes and case studies throughout the text, the wonders of solitary bees are revealed. . . . I expect to return to this book to learn more about the truly incredible world of bees for a long time to come."—Stephen Fleming, Bee Craft

"This book . . . is an extremely thorough reference work that should amply imform the serious researcher about a specific topic being explored. However, it is also a highly entertaining and enlightening tome for the curious naturalist, allowing one to dip in and out at any point in the chapters lured by imaginative titling, and come away feeling enthralled and educated in the most beguiling manner."—Adrian Knowles, British Journal of Entomology and Natural History

"A wonderful book full of extraordinary information and research."An Beachaire

"This book is a comprehensive most up-to-date resource on the biology and evolution of solitary bees. . . . People reading this book will likely further educate their friends, children or colleagues by sharing stories about the interesting natural history of solitary bees they learnt by reading across this book. By doing this, an increasing numberof people will ultimately contribute to protect nature and biodiversity."—Alexandra-Maria Klein, Basic and Applied Ecology

"For us, this book reinvigorated the pleasure of discovery, natural history and love for nature."—James D. Crall and Ignasi Bartomeus, Evolution

"There is something astonishing on every page."—Richard Jones, Discover Wildlife

"The Solitary Bees is an excellent book that gives an up-to-date overview of this amazing group of insects. It presents the newest knowledge on modern phylogeny and evolution, as well as on the biology and life cycle (including mating, nest architecture, foraging, and provisioning behavior) of solitary wild bees."Conservation Biology

"The Solitary Bees provides a holistic overview of the astounding diversity of solitary bee species, integrating recent scientific advancements with fascinating stories of complex behaviors. This book will inspire a new generation of scientists to focus their passion on studying these species while helping all of us better appreciate the amazing bees in our backyards, farms, and parks."—Christina M. Grozinger, Pennsylvania State University

“This is a wonderful book—a much-needed addition to the literature on bees and pollinators.”—Laurence Packer, author of Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees Are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them

"The Solitary Bees is the essential guide to the biology, phylogeny, and behavior of these unsung heroes of the bee world. It skillfully blends the most up-to-date scientific knowledge with natural history studies to provide stunning insights into this fascinating group."—Simon Potts, University of Reading

“A significant contribution by respected leaders in this important field of research. This is the first book to synthesize what we know about the evolution, lifestyles, and associates of solitary bees.”—Robbin W. Thorp, coauthor of California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists

"This inspiring and informative book is a sorely needed resource for all those who care about the conservation of pollinators. The Solitary Bees is a pleasure to read."—Mace Vaughan, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

"This richly detailed yet accessible book covers the ecology, evolution, and life history of solitary bees. A must-read for seasoned researchers as well as those who are new to the field."—Neal M. Williams, University of California, Davis

"Finally, we have the definitive book on most of the world's bee species—the solitary bees. Danforth, Minckley, and Neff have written a book that is extremely well-informed, full of charming natural history, and delightful to read."—Rachael Winfree, Rutgers University

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Books for studying cell biology?

Iɽ like to know, what is the best list of books for non-biologist to understand, how signalling between organels is organized inside of eukaryotic cells. I really want to get how cell as separate system works until apoptosis happen. Of course, any useful online courses (like MIT ocw) are appreciated.

As far as textbooks go, Campbell Biology is great for an overview, and is pretty friendly for non-biologists.

If youɽ like a more in-depth view, Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition is one of the best for the specifics of important cellular processes (the 5th Edition is fine too if the 6th is too expensive).

There's also ɾssential cell biology' by Alberts and co which is slightly less advanced than the full version and a bit more accessible for non-biologists

Alberts' Essential Cell Biology 3rd Edition is available for free as a pdf. I used this one when I took cell biology. http://ftp.dsma.dp.ua/211/ENG/Other/Alberts%20-%20Essential%20Cell%20Biology%203rd%20ed.pdf

Lodish's Molecular Cell Biology 4th edition is also available for free. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21475/ I teach cell bio and have found my students prefer Lodish to Alberts. It's a great book for everything except the cell cycle chapter. Use Alberts for the cell cycle.

Unfortunately, it's a little difficult to find actual books on the subject that aren't expensive text books. You can try Khan academy. They have some great biology courses. Also, Barron's E-Z series is great. You can find them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (as well as other places I'm sure) and it gives great, easy to understand breakdowns on the subject.


Familiar with Cancel Culture

As you know, intelligent design isn’t loved by the establishment media, or elite professors, or social media giants. In fact, we face censorship and discrimination on all fronts in getting our message out. Intelligent design supporters are well acquainted with the “cancel culture,” because we’ve faced it for a long time.

Nevertheless, we are succeeding because the evidence is so compelling — and because readers like you have been willing to go around the censorship by sharing our materials with your family, colleagues, and friends.

In November we hope to publish A Mousetrap for Darwin by biochemist Michael Behe, a book that will vindicate Behe’s revolutionary ideas. Next spring HarperOne will publish Steve Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis, a powerful book about scientific discoveries pointing to a personal Creator. In a few days, we plan to release The Fitness of Nature for Mankind, a video by geneticist Michael Denton about how nature is exquisitely fine-tuned for life like us.


Assessment Strategy

Formative assessment was used to ensure that students made accurate measurements, recorded data correctly, and generated correct graphical depictions. Additionally, as a distal assessment, students were given 15 horse species cards, each with information about the size of the horse and when it existed. Drawing from this information combined with their data table, students created a museum exhibit (as discussed by MacFadden et al., 2012) that accurately depicted the evolutionary history of the 15 species, from 55-million-year-old Hyracotherium to modern-day Equus. Students presented their displays orally to their peers and were assessed by the instructor using a rubric.


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C4 Plant Biology

Due to many issues related to long-term carbon dynamics, an improved understanding of the biology of C4 photosynthesis is required by more than the traditional audience of crop scientists, plant physiologists, and plant ecologists. This work synthesizes the latest developments in C4 biochemistry, physiology, systematics, and ecology. The book concludes with chapters discussing the role of C4 plants in the future development of the biosphere, particularly their interactive effects on soil, hydrological, and atmospheric processes.

Due to many issues related to long-term carbon dynamics, an improved understanding of the biology of C4 photosynthesis is required by more than the traditional audience of crop scientists, plant physiologists, and plant ecologists. This work synthesizes the latest developments in C4 biochemistry, physiology, systematics, and ecology. The book concludes with chapters discussing the role of C4 plants in the future development of the biosphere, particularly their interactive effects on soil, hydrological, and atmospheric processes.


General Overviews

Definitions of cognition vary, as discussed in Shettleworth 2010, but a typical definition views cognitive processes as involving the formation or use of mental representations, such as a cognitive map, that are only indirectly manifest in behavior. Broader definitions of cognition encompass all processes underlying the acquisition, retention, and use of information from the environment and thus would include perceptual processes. A number of overlapping subfields address cognitive evolution: comparative psychology, neuroecology, comparative cognition, cognitive ecology, and evolutionary anthropology, and, depending on the preferred definition, sensory ecology and much of behavioral ecology would also be relevant. Although a more restrictive definition has much to recommend it, here a fairly broad view of cognition is taken, following current practice. Sherry 2006 provides an overview of neuroecology, while Shettleworth 2010 is a comprehensive overview of animal cognition from an evolutionary standpoint, as well as a review of the history of the field. Dukas 1998, Dukas and Ratcliffe 2009, and Heyes and Huber 2000 are edited volumes that give an idea of the breadth of the subject, while Wynne 2004 is an insightful book that is accessible to the nonspecialist. Deary 2001 concisely covers human intelligence, a useful backdrop to considerations of animal cognition.

Deary, I. J. 2001. Intelligence: A very short introduction. Very Short Introductions 39. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

A short volume on human intelligence that, unusually, actually defines the slippery concept of intelligence. Covers issues such as the evidence for general intelligence in humans, and the links between brain size and intelligence.

Dukas, R., ed. 1998. Cognitive ecology: The evolutionary ecology of information processing and decision making. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

A very useful edited, multiauthor volume that helped establish the field of cognitive ecology, bringing together a variety of research programs on the study of the fitness consequences of cognition.

Dukas, R., and J. M. Ratcliffe, eds. 2009. Cognitive ecology II. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

Follow-up volume with a new set of contributions, demonstrating the maturation and expansion of the field since the 1998 edition.

Heyes, C., and L. Huber, eds. 2000. The evolution of cognition. Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

A multiauthored edited volume with contributions from many of the leaders in the field, bringing together several points of view to provide an integrative overview and covering genetic evolution and cultural evolution, as well as developmental influences on cognition.

Sherry, D. F. 2006. Neuroecology. Annual Review of Psychology 57:167–197.

Neuroecology, the study of how evolution shapes cognition and the brain, links behavioral and evolutionary ecology to cognitive neuroscience. Sherry reviews the field, comparative methods, controversies, and several research foci, including birdsong, sex differences in brood parasites, and avian food storing. Comprehensive overview in a single paper. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

Shettleworth, S. J. 2010. Cognition, evolution, and behaviour. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

Provides excellent and broad coverage of the field, with an emphasis on bringing together work from psychology and biology: special attention is given to explaining the specialized terminology of these fields. First edition was published in 1998.

Wynne, C. D. L. 2004. Do animals think? Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

Written for nonspecialists, Wynne takes selected research programs as case studies to examine the nature and variety of animal minds, and to discuss how this should influence how we think about animals. Wynne has also written a useful 2001 undergraduate textbook on animal cognition, titled Animal Cognition: The Mental Lives of Animals (New York: Palgrave).

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About the Author

Sylvia Mader

Sylvia S. Mader has authored several nationally recognized biology texts published by McGraw-Hill. Educated at Bryn Mawr College, Harvard University, Tufts University, and Nova Southeastern University, she holds degrees in both Biology and Education. Over the years she has taught at University of Massachusetts, Lowell Massachusetts Bay Community College Suffolk University and Nathan Mayhew Seminars. Her ability to reach out to science-shy students led to the writing of her first text, Inquiry into Life, which is now in its fifteenth edition. Highly acclaimed for her crisp and entertaining writing style, her books have become models for others who write in the field of biology.


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