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Jonathan Losos is a professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He is also a member of the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration.

The focus of Dr. Losos’s research is biological diversity, how it originates evolutionarily and how it is maintained in ecological communities. Answering these questions requires synthesis of ecological, behavioral, functional, and evolutionary data, requiring work both in the laboratory and the field. The organisms of choice in these studies are lizards, and Dr. Losos’s research has taken him throughout the world, conducting studies in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar, and Australia.

Dr. Losos is the former editor of the American Naturalist, a leading interdisciplinary journal in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, and has authored or edited two books, two textbooks and more than 100 scientific papers. He is the recipient of the Theodosius Dobzhansky Prize, the David Starr Jordan Prize, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Dr Losos is also a regular contributor to Anole Annals, a blog written and edited by scientists who study Anolis lizards. http://anoleannals.wordpress.com/

What the Platypus Can Tell Us About Life on Other Planets

Despite our many differences, we humans and platypuses share an important distinction: not only are we both well adapted to our ecological niches, but we’re both evolutionary singletons, species that have no parallel, no evolutionary doppelgänger, either today or in the past. Why that is so is a mystery. If big brains, bipedality, and opposable thumbs are so useful, why didn’t natural selection lead to the evolution of human-like creatures multiple times? As for the platypus, streams like the ones they live in occur throughout the world, yet the duckbill is singular.

Repeatable Evolution: Lizard Diversification On Different Islands Produces Similar Outcomes

For years, evolutionary biologists have debated the predictability of evolution. Stephen Jay Gould famously said that if the tape of life could be rewound to the same starting point, it would replay with a very different outcome. On the other hand, many evolutionary biologists have pointed to the ubiquity of adaptive convergent evolution–when species facing…

Rediscovery of the Enigmatic Ecuadorian Horned Anole Lizard

Anolis is the most species rich genus of lizards, with nearly four hundred described species in the tropics of the New World (and probably many more yet to be named). Yet, of all the anoles great and small, near and far, green and brown, one stands out for its combination of elegance, charm, and mystique.…

Lizard Genome Promises Great Advances in Understanding Evolution

The genome of Anolis carolinensis has just been published in the journal Nature, and most attention is focusing on how this genome, the first reptile to be sequenced (not including birds), differs from other vertebrate genomes, and what these differences may tell us about genome evolution.