Egbert Giles Leigh, Jr.
Staff Scientist Emeritus
Address: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
ATT: Egbert Giles Leigh, Jr.
9100 PANAMA CITY PL
Washington DC 20521-9100
Telephone: +507 212-8940
FAX: +507 212-8148
1. What population genetics can tell us about evolutionary process, the levels of selection, and the meaning of fitness.
2. The mechanisms of the balance of nature in ecological communities, especially tropical forest.
3. What factors govern the structure, productivity and diversity of tropical forests?
4. The neutral theory of forest ecology as a null hypothesis in exploring the causes of the diversity of tropical trees.
5. What the analogies between economies and ecosystems revelal about the causes of ecosystem evolution.
6. Tree shapes, leaf arrangements, and the structure and physiognomy of tropical forests, lowland and montane, around the world.
7. The interrelationships between philosophy and (primarily Christian) theology, the goals of conservation, and the theoretical foundations of science.
1. How can/does natural selection reconcile individual advantage with the good of that individual's group,species or ecological community?
2. What circumstances are required for cooperation to evolve between members of the same species, or mutualism to evolve among members of different species?
3. To what extent are ecosystems "commonwealths" in whose integrity member species have a common interest? What factors, if any, favor the transformation of ecosystems into mutually beneficial commonwealths?
4. Why are there so many kinds of tropical trees?
5. What can small, newly isolated islands tell us about the ecological organization of intact forest?
6. How does the limited area of a long-isolated island shape the characteristics of its ecosystem.
7. How do human economies help us understand ecosystem evolution?"
Education and Degrees
B.A., Princeton University, 1962.
Ph. D., Yale University, 1966.
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1970. Natural selection and mutability. American Naturalist 104: 301-305
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1973. The evolution of mutation rates. Genetics 73 (suppl.): 1-18
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1983. When does the good of the group override the advantage of the individual? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 80: 2985-2989
E. G. Leigh, Jr., E. A. Herre and E. A. Fischer. 1985. Sex allocation in animals.Experientia 41: 1265-1276
E. G. Leigh, Jr., R. T. Paine, J. F. Quinn and T. H. Suchanek. 1987. Wave energy and intertidal productivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,USA. 84:1314-1318
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1990. Tree shape and leaf arrangement: a quantitative comparison of montane forests, with emphasis on Malaysia and south India. pp. 119- 174 in J. C. Daniel and J. S. Serrao, eds Conservation in Developing Countries: Problems and Prospects. Oxford University Press, Bombay and Oxford.
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1991. Genes, bees and ecosystems: the evolution of a common interest among individuals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 6: 257-262
E. G. Leigh, Jr., S. J. Wright, F. E. Putz and E. A. Herre. 1993. The decline of tree diversity on newly isolated tropical islands: a test of a null hypothesis and some implications. Evolutionary Ecology 7: 76-102.
E. G. Leigh, Jr. and T. E. Rowell. 1995. The evolution of mutualism and other forms of harmony at various levels of biological organization. Écologie 26: 131-158
J. P. Abraham, R. Benja, M. Randrianasolo, J. U. Ganzhorn, V. Jeannoda and E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1996. Tree diversity on small plots in Madagascar: a preliminary review. Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et la Vie) 51: 93-116
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 1999. Tropical Forest Ecology. Oxford University Press, New York
C. Ziegler and E. G. Leigh, Jr. 2002. A Magic Web. Oxford University Press, New York
E. G. Leigh Jr. & G. J. Vermeij. 2002. Does natural selection organize ecosystems for the maintenance of high productivity and diversity? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 357: 709-718
E. G. Leigh Jr, P. Davidar, C.W. Dick, J-P Puyravaud, J. Terborgh, H. ter Steege, S.J. Wright. 2004. Why do some tropical forests have so many species of trees?. Biotropica. 36: 447-473.
E.G. Leigh, Jr. 2007. Neutral theory: a historical perspective. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20: 2075-2091.
E.G. Leigh, Jr.,A. Hladik,CM. Hladik,A. Jolly. 2007. The biogeography of large islands, or, How does the size of the ecological theater affect the evolutionary play?. Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et la Vie). 62: 105-168.
E. G. Leigh, Jr., G. J. Vermeij, M. Wikelski. 2009. What dohuman economies, large islands and forest fragments reveal about the factors limiting ecosystem evolution? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22: 1-12
E. G. Leigh, Jr. 2010. The group selection controversy. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 6-19.