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Population Genetics

Matthew Hamilton

ISBN: 978-1-405-13277-0 April 2009 Wiley-Blackwell 424 Pages

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This book aims to make population genetics approachable, logical and easily understood. To achieve these goals, the book’s design emphasizes well explained introductions to key principles and predictions. These are augmented with case studies as well as illustrations along with introductions to classical hypotheses and debates. 

Pedagogical features in the text include:

  • Interact boxes that guide readers step-by-step through computer simulations using public domain software.
  • Math boxes that fully explain mathematical derivations.
  • Methods boxes that give insight into the use of actual genetic data.
  • Numerous Problem boxes are integrated into the text to reinforce concepts as they are encountered.

This text also offers a highly accessible introduction to coalescent theory, the major conceptual advance in population genetics of the last two decades.

1. Thinking like a population geneticist

2. Genotype frequencies

3. Genetic drift and effective population size

4. Population structure and gene flow

5. Mutation

6. Fundamentals of natural selection

7. Further models of natural selection

8. Molecular evolution

9. Quantitative trait variation and evolution

10. The Mendelian basis of quantitative trait variation

11. Historical and synthetic topics


“To achieve these goals, the book design emphasizes a well explained introductions to key principles and predictions. These are augmented with case studies as well as illustrations along with introductions to classical hypotheses and debates.”  (Zentralblatt MATH, 2012)

“The most catching aspect of Hamilton’s book is its extremely well thought-out structure and pedagogical concept. All sections are well motivated in the respective introduction and all chapters have reviews at the end. A large number of problems have been interspersed throughout the text for students to work on, and the solutions are provided at the end of each chapter. A very interesting and novel feature is the use of so-called ‘interact boxes’, which are essentially links to interactive learning and simulation software available on the internet.” (Human Genetics, December 2009)

"Hamilton's volume would be the best choice for someone seeking a thorough grounding in the subject." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, April 2010)

"Both population biologists and upper-level biology students will appreciate the relatively clear explanations of exceptionally difficult material." (CHOICE, November 2009)

Dedicated Website Click here to find interactive computer simulations for each chapter, designed to show the fundamental concepts of population genetics.
  • excellent introduction to first principles for advanced undergrads and beginning graudate students
  • comceptual material augmented with case studies
  • methods boxes teach students to solve problems with commonly available software