Genetics and Evolution

Who was Alfred Russel Wallace?

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913) was a naturalist whose work was presented with Charles Darwin’s at the Linnaean Society of London in 1858. After extensive travels in the Amazon basin, Wallace independently came to the same conclusions as Darwin on the significance of natural selection in driving the diversification of species. Wallace also worked as a natural history specimen collector in Indonesia. Wallace, like Darwin, also read the work of Thomas Malthus (1766–1834). During an attack of malaria in Indonesia, Wallace made the connection between the Malthusian concept of the struggle for existence and a mechanism for change within populations. From this, Wallace wrote the essay that was eventually presented with Darwin’s work in 1858.


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