Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is EvoDemo?

The question has arisen how we should define Evolutionary Demography, such that we can decide if someone's work qualifies. I have offered 2 short definitions, into which I haven't yet put a lot of thought.

Short definition 1 : Scientific study which combines evolutionary biology and demography.

Short definition 2: The study of the evolutionary history, function, variation and relevance of demographic traits.

These are both broadly phrased. I don't like constraining definitions to the traditional terrain. A zebra found outside Africa is, in my opinion, still a zebra. As such, I haven't included anything about what traits, methods, etc. evolutionary demographers usually consider.

My question to you, dear readers, is: Can you think of anything that should be considered evolutionary demography that doesn't qualify under these definitions, or anything that shouldn't qualify that these definitions let in?

2 comments:

Gerald said...

The only thing I can think to add (to definition number 2)is frequency changes (of genes and traits) over time, in other words, population genetics. This makes explicit what is probably implicit. GML

Dan Levitis said...

But much of population genetics is not evolutionary demography. Frequency changes of genes result from and influence demography, but are not demography.