Marla B Sokolowski and Joel D Levine

Inheritance is associated with a paradox it roars with the survival of the species, while at the same time it whispers a fragile message that is constantly modified even among kin. The genes, the environmental context and the traits that arise from their interaction are interrelated. A complexity that characterises this three-way relationship has been attributed to the nature-nurture dichotomy. Traditionally, nature is understood to mean the genes, whereas nurture denotes the environment. So,...

Social evolution sexual intrigue and serendipity

Ground hornbills Bucorvus leadbeateribreed cooperatively, and their chicks rely on the group for food for longer than any other social species except our own. Photo Morne DuPlessis. Like many aspects of science, my interest in social evolution came about at least in part by accident. My early training was in population and community ecology, on plants and rodents living rather asocial lives. Although I had read much of Peter Klopfer's 1973 book Behavioral Aspects of Ecology, my own evolutionary...