Gabriel Dover

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Gabby Dover
Gabriel A. Dover

(1937-12-13)13 December 1937
Died1 April 2018(2018-04-01) (aged 80)
Alma mater
Known forMolecular drive[1][2]
Scientific career
ThesisThe genetics and function of the meiotic pairing-control systems in the triticinae (1972)
Doctoral advisorRalph Riley[3]
Doctoral students

Gabriel A. Dover was a British geneticist, best known for coining the term molecular drive in 1982 to describe a putative third evolutionary force operating distinctly from natural selection and genetic drift.[10][11][12][3]


Dover was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in botany and genetics from the University of Leeds.[citation needed] He was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1972 for research on the genetics and function of the meiotic pairing-control systems supervised by Ralph Riley.[3][13]

Research and career[edit]

Dover's research has been on the evolution of genes and genomes, particularly the complex processes that occur in multigene families such as ribosomal RNA genes. His recent work has focused on development in flies, in particular the co-evolution between the developmental regulatory elements involved in morphogenesis.

The majority of his career was spent at the Department of Genetics at the University of Cambridge. In 1992, Dover became a Professor of Genetics at the University of Leicester.[14] He was awarded a Research Fellowship in 1997 and an Emeritus Fellowship in 2002 by the Leverhulme Trust.[15]

Dover co-edited the textbook Genome Evolution[16][17] with Richard B. Flavell. He has also written a popular book on evolution, Dear Mr Darwin: Letters on the Evolution of Life and Human Nature,[18] framed as an exchange of letters with Charles Darwin from beyond the grave. The book seeks to refute the selfish gene theory promulgated by Richard Dawkins.

Personal life[edit]

Dover retired in 2002 and lived in Oxford.[3] He died on 1 April 2018 of a chest infection and was survived by his children, Merav, Noam and Alexis, and grandchildren Micha and Manya.[3]


  1. ^ Dover, G. A.; Strachan, T; Coen, E. S.; Brown, S. D. (1982). "Molecular drive". Science. New York, N.Y. 218 (4577): 1069. doi:10.1126/science.7146895. PMID 7146894.
  2. ^ Dover, G. A. (1986). "Molecular drive in multigene families: How biological novelties arise, spread and are assimilated". Trends in Genetics. 2: 159. doi:10.1016/0168-9525(86)90211-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kyriacou, Bambos (2018). "Bereavements: Professor Gabriel Dover". University of Leicester. Archived from the original on 2018-07-04. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  4. ^ Brown, Stephen D. M. (1981). The molecular organisation and evolution of rodent genomes (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 556404448. EThOS
  5. ^ Brown, S. D. M.; Dover, G. A. (1980). "Conservation of segmental variants of satellite DNA of Mus musculus in a related species: Mus spretus". Nature. 285 (5759): 47. doi:10.1038/285047a0.
  6. ^ Brown, S. D.; Dover, G (1981). "Organization and evolutionary progress of a dispersed repetitive family of sequences in widely separated rodent genomes". Journal of Molecular Biology. 150 (4): 441–66. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(81)90374-0. PMID 6276556.
  7. ^ Brownlee, C. (2004). "Biography of Enrico Coen". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101 (14): 4725–4727. doi:10.1073/pnas.0401746101. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 387315. PMID 15051867.
  8. ^ Coen, Enrico S.; Thoday, John M.; Dover, Gabriel (1982). "Rate of turnover of structural variants in the rDNA gene family of Drosophilam elanogaster". Nature. 295 (5850): 564–568. doi:10.1038/295564a0. ISSN 0028-0836.
  9. ^ Coen, Enrico Sandro (1982). The dynamics of multigene family evolution in Drosophila (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 499809938.
  10. ^ Dover, Gabriel (1982). "Molecular drive: A cohesive mode of species evolution". Nature. 299 (5879): 111. doi:10.1038/299111a0.
  11. ^ Gabriel Dover publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  12. ^ Wratten, N. S.; McGregor, A. P.; Shaw, P. J.; Dover, G. A. (2006). "Evolutionary and functional analysis of the tailless enhancer in Musca domestica and Drosophila melanogaster". Evolution & Development. 8 (1): 6–15. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2006.05070.x. PMID 16409378.
  13. ^ Dover, Gabriel A. (1972). The genetics and function of the meiotic pairing-control systems in the triticinae (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 500428008. EThOS
  14. ^ Dover G. Dear Mr Darwin: Letters on the Evolution of Life and Human Nature (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000); biographical note, p.4.
  15. ^ "Williams L. Fellowships", Times Higher Educational Supplement, 24 October 1997. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
    - Awards to Individuals 2002, The Leverhulme Trust. Retrieved 21 March 2010. Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Genome Evolution (Academic Press, 1982)[ISBN missing]
  17. ^ Baglioni, C. (1983). "Genome evolution GA Dover and RB Flavell (eds) London: Academic Press Ltd., 1982, $ 19.50". American Journal of Medical Genetics. 15 (2): 349. doi:10.1002/ajmg.1320150223.
  18. ^ Dear Mr Darwin: Letters on the Evolution of Life and Human Nature (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2000) ISBN 0520227905