Darwin and Collections

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NewSouth, Incorporated, Feb 1, 2013 - 48 pages
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In this volume, excerpted from Charles Darwin: A Celebration of His Life and Legacy (NewSouth Books, 2013), Jonathan Armbruster writes about the grand age of Natural History (late 1700s to about 1900), how it helped shape Darwin as a biologist, and how Darwin in turn influenced the character of the age. From this essay we learn what for some will be shocking news-that magpies were more important than the famous finches of the Galapagos Islands for Darwin's development of the concept of natural selection. Armbruster brings us up to date about the state of natural history collections worldwide and in Alabama, their value, and a recent use made of some of Darwin's specimens that the collector could never have anticipated.

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About the author (2013)

Jonathan Armbruster is an Alumni Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University. He received his BS and PhD from the University of Illinois in the Department of Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution. He teaches comparative vertebrate anatomy and evolution and systematics to undergraduate and graduate students. His research is primarily on the evolution and taxonomy of the suckermouth armored catfishes of South America. He is also curator of Auburn University's Biodiversity Learning Center's fish collection. Dr. Armbruster also played the role of Darwin throughout Auburn's celebration of Darwin in 2009.

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