|John C Avise|
Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Known for||Phylogeography, Conservation Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics, Ecological Genetics|
|Fields||Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, Phylogeography|
|Institutions||University of California, Irvine|
John Charles Avise (born 1948) is an American evolutionary geneticist, conservationist, ecologist and natural historian. He is a Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolution, University of California, Irvine, and was previously a Distinguished Professor of Genetics at the University of Georgia.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he received his B.S. in 1970 in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; his M.A.in 1971 in Zoology from the University of Texas, Austin; and his Ph.D. in 1975 in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Avise's research entails the use of molecular markers to analyze ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary processes in nature. It covers a broad spectrum of topics: genetic parentage, reproductive modes, population structure, speciation, hybridization, introgression, phylogeography, systematics, and phylogenetics. He has conducted research on diverse animal taxa ranging from corals and sponges to representatives of all the major vertebrate groups.
Research and Scientific Contributions
In 1972, Avise published the first multi-locus allozyme analysis in any fish species, and uncovered a profound effect of genetic drift in nature. During the 1970's and 1980's, his protein-electophoretic work on many fishes, mammals, and birds demonstrated that natural populations are genetically highly polymorphic and that molecular markers can be utilized to address many natural-history topics that previously had been analyzed solely from phenotypic data. He thereby helped to pioneer the fields of molecular ecology and molecular evolution. In 1994, he published Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution, a comprehensive textbook on the application of genetic markers in ecological, behavioral, and evolutionary contexts. In the late 1970's, he was among the first to introduce mitochondrial (mt) DNA to population biology. This seminal work laid the foundation for phylogeography  , a field for which he is recognized as the founding father. Among the many phylogeographic applications for which his laboratory paved the way were genetic assessments of marine and freshwater turtles, catadromous eels, unisexual fishes, and regional assemblages of birds, fishes, mammals, herps, and marine invertebrates. In the 1990's, Avise capitalized upon highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to analyze animal mating systems in nature, on creatures ranging from sea spiders and snails to polyembryonic armadillos to numerous fishes, including male-pregnant pipefishes and seahorses, and hermaphroditic killifishes. This line of inquiry eventuated in many articles plus a trilogy of books dealing with evolutionary perspectives on clonality (2008), hermaphroditism (2011), and pregnancy (2013). In addition to research in molecular ecology and evolution, Avise has published on the relevance of evolutionary genetics to human affairs ranging from religious beliefs, to the human genome, to genetically modified organisms, to the history and philosophy of science. In 2006, Avise joined with Francisco Ayala to inaugurate a series of annual Sachler Colloquia, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, entitled "In the Light of Evolution" (ILE). Each ILE installment highlights a topic that can be informed by evolutionary thought and has broader societal relevance. Proceedings of ten ILE colloquia were published in PNAS, and most also appeared as edited books from the National Academies Press.
- Avise, John C. (2009-08-25). "John C. Avise". Current Biology. 19 (16): R673–R674. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.035. ISSN 0960-9822. PMID 19711500.
- Avise, J. C., J. Arnold, R. M. Ball, Jr., E. Bermingham, T. Lamb, J. E. Neigel, C. A. Reed, and N. C. Saunders (1987). "Intraspecific phylogeography: the mitochondrial DNA bridge between population genetics and systematics". Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 18: 489–522. doi:10.1146/annurev.es.18.110187.002421.
- Avise, John C. (2016), Sketches of Nature: A Geneticist's Look at the Biological World During a Golden Era for Molecular Ecology, Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-801945-0
- Avise, John C. [and Francisco J. Ayala] (2014), Essential Readings in Evolutionary Biology, Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1421413051
- Avise, John C. (2014), Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Genetics: A Brief History of Shifting Paradigms, Academic Press. ISBN 978-0124201668
- Avise, John C. (2013), Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy, Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231160605
- Avise, John C. (2011), Hermaphroditism: A Primer on the Biology, Ecology, and Evolution of Dual Sexuality, Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231153867.
- Avise, John C. (2010), Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-539343-0.
- Avise, John C. (2008). Clonality: The Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Sexual Abstinence in Vertebrate Animals. OUP USA. ISBN 0-19-536967-X.
- Avise, John C. (2007). On Evolution. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8689-9.
- Avise, John C. (2006). Evolutionary Pathways in Nature: A Phylogenetic Approach (1 ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-67417-4.
- Avise, John C. (2004). Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution (2nd Revised ed.). Sinauer Associates Inc.,U.S. ISBN 0-87893-041-8.
- Avise, John C. (2002). Genetics in the Wild (illustrated ed.). Smithsonian Books. ISBN 1-58834-069-4.
- Avise, John C. (2001). Captivating Life: A Naturalist in the Age of Genetics (illustrated ed.). Smithsonian Books. ISBN 1-56098-957-2.
- Avise, John C. (2000). Phylogeography: The History and Formation of Species. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-66638-0.
- Avise, John C. (1998). The Genetic Gods: Evolution and Belief in Human Affairs. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-00533-3.
- Avise, John C; Hamrick, James L (1996). Conservation Genetics: Case Histories from Nature. Chapman & Hall, New York. ISBN 0-412-05581-3.
Honors and Distinctions
- 1985: Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- 1988: Lamar Dodd Award, University of Georgia
- 1991: Member, National Academy of Sciences USA
- 1992: Sloan Foundation Fellow in Molecular Evolution
- 1994: Earle R. Greene Award, Georgia Ornithological Society
- 1994: President, Society for the Study of Evolution
- 1994: Fellow, American Ornithologists' Union
- 1994: Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 
- 1997: William Brewster Memorial Award, American Ornithologists' Union
- 1997: Wilhelmine E. Key Award, American Genetic Association
- 1998: Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation
- 2000: President, American Genetic Association
- 2004: President, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
- 2006: Molecular Ecology Prize, Molecular Ecology Journal
- 2007: Alfred Russel Wallace Award, International Biogeography Society
- 2010: Distinguished Faculty Award for Research, University of California at Irvine
- 2011: Member, American Philosophical Society
- 2014: American Fisheries Society Genetics Hall of Excellence
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 April 2011.