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1 - 1 of 1 results for: OSPMADRD 93: New Worlds and Old: The biogeography of the Age of Discovery as the foundation for later insights in

OSPMADRD 93: New Worlds and Old: The biogeography of the Age of Discovery as the foundation for later insights in

Biogeography, the study of the distribution of life in time and space, was a crucial foundation for the recognition of the evolutionary processes at work in our world. Quite simply, Darwin and Wallace needed the access to the tropics that opened up with the Age of Discovery in order to recognize the mechanisms of evolution. Class sessions will alternate between discussions and lectures. However, rather than modern primary literature or textbooks, the readings will come from three classic texts: Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle (1839), Henry Walter Bates' The Naturalist on the River Amazons (1863), and Alfred Russel Wallace's Malay Archipelago (1869). These three books cover much of the geography of the Iberian colonies founded in the Age of Discovery: respectively, Spanish South America and the Portuguese Amazon and Southeast Asia. No matter what "mid-19th century popular science/travelogue" might suggest, these books are highly readable and show how insights sprang from individua more »
Biogeography, the study of the distribution of life in time and space, was a crucial foundation for the recognition of the evolutionary processes at work in our world. Quite simply, Darwin and Wallace needed the access to the tropics that opened up with the Age of Discovery in order to recognize the mechanisms of evolution. Class sessions will alternate between discussions and lectures. However, rather than modern primary literature or textbooks, the readings will come from three classic texts: Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle (1839), Henry Walter Bates' The Naturalist on the River Amazons (1863), and Alfred Russel Wallace's Malay Archipelago (1869). These three books cover much of the geography of the Iberian colonies founded in the Age of Discovery: respectively, Spanish South America and the Portuguese Amazon and Southeast Asia. No matter what "mid-19th century popular science/travelogue" might suggest, these books are highly readable and show how insights sprang from individuals who confronted a newly available world with rigorous curiosity. (And they also highlight how much the tropics have changed and how oblivious people can be to the consequences of their actions.) The lectures will then bring up to date the science that developed from the explorations described in the texts. And Spain is the perfect location for a local focus to demonstrate the enormity of the geologic forces involved in what can otherwise feel like biogeographic abstractions. Imagine contact of North Africa and Iberia sealing off the Mediterranean, allowing it to dry down to brine in a hole more than 3 km deep and imagine Gibraltar being carved by its catastrophic reflooding¿it all happened more than once and can be expected surely to happen again.
Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Boyce, C. (PI)
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