Ph.D. Indiana University, 2002
History of Biology, evolutionary theory, genetics and ecology, biology of behavior; biology and society.
I’m a historian of biology with interests in evolutionary theory, genetics, behavior and the environment. My work explores the varied interpretations and applications of evolutionary theory from the late19th century to the present. My dissertation, “Vero Copner Wynne-Edwards and the History of Group Selection Theory,” was completed in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University (2002).
During a post-doctoral teaching fellowship, at the Lyman Briggs School at Michigan State University I taught courses in the history of genetics and evolution and was co-leader of a study abroad course in Panama on Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation.
I’m currently examining the connections of group selection to ethology and evolutionary psychology. This research aims to clarify the factors that contributed to the development of the field of ethology and illuminate some of the shortcomings of the developing field of evolutionary psychology that are a direct result of this history.
Ratcliff WC, Denison RF, Borrello M, Travisano M. 2012. Experimental evolution of multicellularity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA.
Evolutionary Restraints: The Contentious History of Group Selection, University of Chicago Press, 2010.
“Radicals and Revolution” Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 35 (2004) 209-216.
“Mutual Aid and Animal Dispersion: An Historical Analysis of Alternatives to Darwin” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 47 (2004): 15-31.
“Synthesis and Selection: Wynne Edwards Challenge to David Lack", Journal of the History of Biology, 36 (2003): 531-566.