Evolution in a toxic world

How life responds to chemical threats

Reviews of Unnatural Selection

Unnatural Selection is a well-written book in the tradition of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. It usefully updates that epochal work, engagingly presenting new research on the impact of chemical products from herbicides to antibiotics, both on other species and on ourselves. Despite its elegant brevity, it covers a satisfying breadth of ecological and evolutionary concerns in environmental toxicology. It can be safely offered as recommended reading for biology undergraduates, congressional staffers, or general readers who are concerned about the environment.” Michael Rose, in Trends in Ecology and Evolution
“The power of evolution, toxicologist Monosson (Evolution in a Toxic World) demonstrates, is quite amazing: when strong selective pressure is coupled with short generation times, significant changes in populations can occur over very brief intervals. … She concludes with an interesting, if tangential, discussion of epigenetics.”
Publishers Weekly 

If you’ve ever wondered why you should care about evolution, Unnatural Selection is the book for you. And if you haven’t wondered that, you need to read this to find out what you’re missing. Environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson, with prose that is clear, succinct, and so interesting it’s hard to put the book down, explains how people are speeding up an evolutionary arms race both within and around us. And that arms race is between us, disease, pests, and many other species on Earth. A thoroughly engaging read for anyone that cares about the role of humans on our planet.
Anthony Barnosky, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley and author of Heatstroke

“Darwin’s evolutionary laboratories were far flung islands and exotic shores. Emily Monosson uncovers rapid evolution much closer to home, in our farm fields, cities and even among the microbes in our own bodies. Through personal stories and scientific discovery, this readable, accessible account explores the evolution that Darwin never knew.”
Stephen R. Palumbi, Professor of Marine Science, Stanford University and author of The Evolution Explosion

In a world where the denial of evolution, or its importance, is still common, this book should convert even the most entrenched skeptics.
Andrew Hendry, Professor, Redpath Museum & Department of Biology, McGill University

Prepare for the unexpected! Evolution has consequences and when we rapidly drive the process, through our profligate use of antibiotics and toxic chemicals, we should be prepared for unexpected outcomes. Monosson succinctly shows us how and why our inability to control diseases and pests and grow sufficient food to eat is an inevitable product of our anthropogenic toxification of the Earth. Eye opening and timely.
Daniel T. Blumstein, Professor & Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA



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