Chasing the Red Queen

The Evolutionary Race Between Agricultural Pests and Poisons

  • Andy Dyer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introducing the Red Queen

  3. Ignoring the Red Queen

  4. Trying to Beat the Red Queen

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Andy Dyer
      Pages 95-105
  5. Playing the Red Queen

About this book


In the race to feed the world’s seven billion people, we are at a standstill. Over the past century, we have developed increasingly potent and sophisticated pesticides, yet in 2014, the average percentage of U.S. crops lost to agricultural pests was no less than in 1944. To use a metaphor the field of evolutionary biology borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, farmers must run ever faster to stay in the same place—i.e., produce the same yields. With Chasing the Red Queen, Andy Dyer offers the first book to apply the Red Queen Hypothesis to agriculture. Dyer examines one of the world’s most pressing problems as a biological case study. He presents key concepts, from Darwin’s principles of natural selection to genetic variation and adaptive phenotypes. Understanding the fundamentals of ecology and biology is the first step to “playing the Red Queen,” and escaping her unwinnable race. The book’s novel frame will help students, researchers, and policy-makers alike apply that knowledge to the critical task of achieving food security.

Authors and affiliations

  • Andy Dyer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South CarolinaAikenUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Andy Dyer 2014
  • Publisher Name Island Press, Washington, DC
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-59726-536-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-61091-520-5
  • About this book