, Volume 139, Issue 5, pp 535-539
Date: 09 Dec 2010

Genetics and the origin of species: the continuing synthesis a symposium in honor of Richard G. Harrison

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This is a special issue of Genetica that has its origins in a symposium held in honor of Richard G. Harrison at Ithaca, New York on July 22–23. Former students of Rick Harrison organized the symposium and most of the speakers were former students, as well. The quality and breadth of the talks were a testament to Rick’s influence as a thinker, synthesizer, and mentor and it is only appropriate to reflect on Rick’s contributions to the fields of evolutionary ecology, systematics, and genetics in this preface to the symposium articles.

Although R.G. Harrison began his scientific career as a biochemist studying the structure of myosin (Cohen et al. 1970; Harrison et al. 1971); an interest in natural history, ecology, systematics, and evolution brought him to Cornell University in the mid-1970s where he pursued his Ph.D. in the Section of Ecology and Systematics under the guidance of Peter Brussard. This was an exciting period in the field of evolutionary biology. Allozymes, which were the f