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Professor Bierzychudek studies natural selection’s effect on desert flowers

November 06, 2007

(Portland, Ore.)—Twenty years after beginning a field study in the Mojave Desert, evolutionary biologist Paulette Bierzychudek has published a report that reconsiders the shifting balance theory, which has influenced scientists and researchers for decades. Bierzchudek, William Swindells Sr. Professor of Natural Sciences, and Douglas Schemske of Michigan State University found that the dissemination of blue and white flowers on separate sides of a ravine was the result of natural selection, not chance. Their conclusion challenges the prevailing assumption about genetic drift and desert flower distribution. Read a review of their findings at Science or the full report at Evolution.

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Emily Miller
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