Ever since Wallace | Mapping Ignorance


Ever since Wallace | Mapping Ignorance.

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1813) is especially known as one of the discoverers of evolution by natural selection. However, among his various contributions to the development of modern biology we can also consider the British naturalist as the father of biogeography: the study of the spatial distribution of organisms over the surface of the planet. Wallace’s travels, first through the Amazon rainforest and later all over the Malay Archipelago, gave him a privileged perspective on an apparently trivial observation: different areas host different animals. He was the first person to systematically define and name a geographic area by the integrity of its fauna (mainly based on mammals), in other words, to enclose a region within a virtual border that reflects a more or less dramatic turnover in the composition of animal species, genera or families between both sides of this border. After a remarkable synthetic work, he summarized his conclusions in a map that still looks familiar to modern biologists.

Rafael Medina is a postdoctoral researcher in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at the University of Connecticut. He began his career at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he obtained his Ph.D. working on taxonomy and phylogenetics of epiphytic bryophytes. His main interests focus on the exploration, study and conservation of biodiversity, as well as on the reconstruction of the evolutionary processes.

http://mappingignorance.org/2013/03/04/ever-since-wallace/

Advertisements

One thought on “Ever since Wallace | Mapping Ignorance

  1. Pingback: BBC Two – Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero, Wallace in Borneo, Bill’s Jungle Hero: Alfred Russel Wallace | caryl beach

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s