Spotlight on Evolution

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Why do we spotlight evolution?

Evolutionary theory overarches and underlies the modern, scientific understanding of all biology—from ancient fossils, to microscopic bacteria, to human disease, to rain forest ecology. Perhaps no other ideas have so profoundly impacted our views of the living world as the core evolutionary concepts of common ancestry and natural selection.

Evolution not only allows us to understand and appreciate the history and fantastic biodiversity of life, it helps solve biological problems that impact our lives. Thanks to evolutionary theory, we can build better vaccines, improve our control of crop pests, make informed decisions regarding conservation, and much more! Computer scientists have used evolutionary algorithms to solve computational problems. Engineers have used principles of evolution to develop more efficient robots. Law enforcement agencies depend on DNA analyses that wouldn’t be possible without knowledge of evolutionary theory. When you look for it, evolution is everywhere!

Meet Cal Scientists

What is the focus of these scientists’ research, and why is evolution an important part of their science? Just click on each picture to find out!
Chris Clark Graduate Student Museum of Vertebrate Zoology Abby Moore Graduate Student Instructor Dept. of Integrative Biology
Rebecca Jabbour Postdoctoral Scholar Human Evolution Research Center David Wake Professor & Curator of Herpetology Dept. of Integrative Biology
Carole Hickman Professor Dept. of Integrative Biology Gary Richards Postdoctoral Scholar Human Evolution Research Center
Erin Meyer Graduate Student Dept. of Integrative Biology
Meet more Cal scientists…