Radiation, pollution and urbanization are taking over natural selection
Humans do a lot of different things to the environment, and there aren’t many natural processes that can rival the scale of changes brought on by human activity. In this episode, we speak to three experts who study different ways that human action – from radiation to pollution to urbanization – is affecting how plants and animals evolve, and how humanity has become the single biggest driver of evolutionary changes on Earth.
Featuring Germán Orizaola, a biologist at the University of Oviedo in Spain, Andrew Whitehead, a professor of environmental toxicology at University of California, Davis in the US and Marc Johnson, a professor of biology at the University of Toronto in Canada.
This episode was produced by Mend Mariwany and Daniel Merino and the executive producer is Gemma Ware. Eloise Stevens does our sound design and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.
Further reading and listening:
- Chernobyl black frogs reveal evolution in action
- Russian capture of Ukraine’s Chornobyl nuclear plant threatens future research on radioactivity and wildlife
- To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift
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