"Birds" Professor's New Book Profiles Speciation Trailblazer


Nov 21, 2013 Bookmark and Share

David Lack book cover

The cover of Ted Anderson's new book, "The Life of David Lack."

Professor Ted Anderson, who taught our Biology of Birds class for many years, most recently in 2012, has a new book in print.  The Life of David Lack: Father of Evolutionary Ecology (Oxford University Press, 2013) examines the professional and personal life of this science great. 

It was David Lack whose seminal work, Darwin's Finches (Cambridge University Press 1947; reissued with a new introduction by Lack in 1961, by Harbor, New York), first interpreted the Galapagos Finches' beak shape and size as adaptations to diet. His later career included 3 books that greatly synthesized and advanced the field of evolutionary ecology. The chronological publication of these and Lack's nine other books provides the narrative structure of Anderson's volume.

The journal Nature said in its review of the book, "Anderson gives us a vivid portrait of Lack and the personalities and careers of many people he interacted with. Lack was a socially reserved man, for whom family life was of great importance, but he was also often described as prickly and abrasive over scientific issues. Anderson does not shy away from discussing Lack's scientific and personal conflicts."

Anderson is a Professor Emeritus at McKendree University.  He is also the author of The Ubiquitous House Sparrow: from Genes to Populations (Oxford University Press 2006).

Ted Anderson

UMBS Professor Ted Anderson at Mud Lake Bog with the Biology of Birds class in 2005.