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UW-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

Published on January 5, 2017

Shows birds in an urban area
Image Credit: ​Pexels, unsplash, CC0 License  

It has long been suspected that humans and the urban areas we create are having an important — and surprisingly current and ongoing — effect on evolution, which may have significant implications for the sustainability of global ecosystems.

A new multi-institution study led by the University of Washington that examines 1,600 global instances of phenotypic change — alterations to species’ observable traits such as size, development or behavior — shows more clearly than ever that urbanization is affecting the genetic makeup of species that are crucial to ecosystem health and success.


Their paper was published Jan. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Lead author is Marina Alberti, professor of urban design and planning and director of the Urban Ecology Research Lab in the UW College of Built Environments.

Continue reading at the UW Daily

​Originally posted on The UW Daily by Peter Kelley
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