Jody Hey is an evolutionary biologist at Temple University. In the 1980s and 1990s he did research on natural selection and species divergence in fruit flies (Drosophila). More recently he has worked on the development of methods for studying evolutionary divergence, on the divergence of cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi, on chimpanzees and on human populations. His research on divergence and speciation also lead him to study the difficulties of identifying species.
Hey has also conducted mathematical and statistical research in population genetics. He is the author of several computer programs that are used by other biologists for questions in population genetics. In 2004 Hey and Rasmus Nielsen produced the computer program IM, which implements a method for fitting an isolation-with-migration model to a pair of closely related populations or species. They updated this method with a new program in 2007 called IMa.
In 1998 Hey received a Guggenheim fellowship.
In 2008 Hey was elected to the presidency of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Hey on the species problem
Although a geneticist and evolutionary biologist, Hey has also published on philosophical and historical aspects of the species problem. He has argued that the difficulties of defining species cannot be addressed without also appreciating people's motivations and tendencies with regard to categorization. Hey has also questioned the development of, and debate over, multiple species concepts that were inspired by Ernst Mayr. More recently Hey examined the confusion between Mayr's idea of "Population thinking" and the biological concept of a population.
Links to online articles
- Genes Categories and Species Oxford 2001
- Systematics and the Origin of Species: On Ernst Mayr's 100th Anniversary National Academies Press 2005
- Hey, J., and R. Nielsen. 2004. Multilocus methods for estimating population sizes, migration rates and divergence time, with applications to the divergence of Drosophila pseudoobscura and D. persimilis. Genetics 167:747-760.
- Hey, J., and R. Nielsen. 2007. Integration within the Felsenstein equation for improved Markov chain Monte Carlo methods in population genetics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:2785–2790.
- Hey, J. 2001. Genes Categories and Species. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
- Hey, J. 2001. The mind of the species problem. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16:326-329.
- Hey, J. 2006. On the failure of modern species concepts. Trends Ecol Evol 21:447-450.
- Hey, J. 2011. Regarding the Confusion between the Population Concept and Mayr's “Population Thinking”. The Quarterly Review of Biology 86:253-264.