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identification of Finches

This is a six episode series discussing topics in evolutionary biology in  the Issues in Evolution course.

Hosted by Dr. Amy Sullivan, Assistant Teaching Professor, Project Dragonfly/Department of Biology at Miami University.

Have ideas or feedback on these podcasts? Feel free to contact Amy at

We hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!

Note: This podcast series was recorded in 2021 and covers discussion topics for the Issues in Evolution (IEV) class. We are constantly revising the readings for this course to highlight the most current issues and ideas in evolutionary biology, so you may find that some of the IEV readings for the current semester are different from those discussed in the podcast. However, the topics covered are still the focus of the discussions in IEV. If you are interested in checking out the papers covered in the podcast, make sure to check out links listed below.

Evolution of Biodiversity

Dragonfly team members and instructors Amy Sullivan, Jeannie Miller Martin, and Kevin Matteson discuss species concepts, speciation, and processes underlying observed biodiversity patterns.


Evolution in the Anthropocene

Dragonfly instructors Sarena Randall Gill, Judy Metcalf, and Amy Sullivan discuss eco-evolutionary dynamics and evolutionary responses to anthropogenic stressors including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and urbanization.

Links to papers discussed during the Evolution in Anthropocene podcast. Papers are listed in the order in which they are talked about:


Wood, Z. T., Palkovacs, E. P., Olsen, B. J., & Kinnison, M. T. (2021). The Importance of Eco-evolutionary Potential in the Anthropocene . BioScience.
Legrand, D., Cote, J., Fronhofer, E., Holt, R. D., Ronce, O., Schtickzelle, N., Travis, J. M. J., & Clobert, J. (2017). Eco-evolutionary dynamics in fragmented landscapes . Ecography, 40(1), 9–25. 
Hoffmann, A., Sgrò, C. Climate change and evolutionary adaptation . Nature 470, 479–485 (2011).
Johnson, M. T., & Munshi-South, J. (2017). Evolution of life in urban environments. Science, 358(6363).

Dragonfly team members Jeannie Martin, Kevin Matteson, and Amy Sullivan discuss how conservation actions can affect evolutionary processes, the importance of clearly defining conservation goals, and potential conflict between preserving biodiversity of currently adapted species and evolutionary potential in the face of environmental change. 

Links to papers discussed during the Evolution in Conservation podcast. Papers are listed in the order in which they are talked about:


Shefferson, R. P., Mason, C. M., Kellett, K. M., Goolsby, E. W., Coughlin, E., & Flynn, R. W. (2018). The evolutionary impacts of conservation actions. Population Ecology , 60 (1), 49-59.
Derry, A. M., Fraser, D. J., Brady, S. P., Astorg, L., Lawrence, E. R., Martin, G. K., ... & Crispo, E. (2019). Conservation through the lens of (mal) adaptation: Concepts and meta‐analysis. Evolutionary Applications , 12 (7), 1287-1304
Milot, E., Béchet, A., & Maris, V. (2020). The dimensions of evolutionary potential in biological conservation . Evolutionary Applications , 13 (6), 1363-1379. 
Link to article
about parthenogenesis in California Condors that Jeannie mentioned


Evolution Education

Dragonfly instructors Sarena Randall Gill, Katie Feilen, and Amy Sullivan discuss why evolution education is important, barriers to teaching and learning about evolution, and strategies to overcome some of those barriers.

Links to papers discussed during the Evolution in Education podcast. Papers are listed in the order in which they are talked about:


Harms, U., & Reiss, M. J. (2019). The present status of evolution education . In Evolution education re-considered (pp. 1-19). Springer, Cham.
Barnes, M. E., & Brownell, S. E. (2017). A Call to Use Cultural Competence When Teaching Evolution to Religious College Students: Introducing Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE) . CBE—Life Sciences Education, 16(4), es4. doi:10.1187/cbe.17-04-0062
Sandford, R. M. (2020). You can’t fight feelings with facts: start with a chat . Nature 578, 339. doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-00452-3
Bertka, C.M., Pobiner, B., Beardsley, P. et al. (2019).  Acknowledging students’ concerns about evolution: a proactive teaching strategy. Evo Edu Outreach 12, 3


Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics

Dragonfly instructors Deanna Soper and Amy Sullivan discuss eco-evo dynamics and related topics including phenotypic plasticity and epigenetics.