Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Climate Change (July 2017)

This essay first appeared in the July issue of Choice (volume 54 | issue 11).


Anthropogenic climate change is an issue of urgent importance for both the overall health of Earth and the stability of human societies. An extensive literature documents the physical science of climate change and its association with rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, and rapid loss of biological diversity. Instead, this essay highlights a smaller but complementary and growing body of work that explores, from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, the implications of climate change and apparent limitations of human efforts to acknowledge and confront it. While emphasizing books and online resources, there is citation of a few seminal works from …

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About the author:

Diane P. Genereux is a senior scientist at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She studied mathematical biology at Emory University and the University of Washington, and taught genetics at Westfield State University. Her research focuses on population epigenetics and human evolution in the context of infectious disease.

David A. Lovejoy is professor of biology and herbarium curator at Westfield State University in Westfield, Massachusetts where, since 1970, he has taught evolution and a variety of environmentally oriented courses. He is the author of Vascular Flora of Springfield, Massachusetts.