Representing the state of the art in evolutionary paleobiology, this book provides a much-needed overview of this rapidly changing field. An influx of ideas and techniques both from other areas of biology and from within paleobiology itself have resulted in numerous recent advances, including increased recognition of the relationships between ecological and evolutionary theory, renewed vigor in the study of ecological communities over geologic timescales, increased understanding of biogeographical patterns, and new mathematical approaches to studying the form and structure of plants and animals.
Contributors to this volume—a veritable who's who of eminent researchers—present the results of original research and new theoretical developments, and provide directions for future studies. Individually wide ranging, these papers all share a debt to the work of James W. Valentine, one of the founders of modern evolutionary paleobiology. This volume's unified approach to the study of life on earth will be a major contribution to paleobiology, evolution, and ecology.