A book titled Organism and Environment (Oxford University Press, 2015) by evolutionary ecologist Sonia Sultan, professor of biology, professor of environmental studies, has been shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology Award for Best Post-graduate Textbook.The winner will be announced later this month.
In addition, Organism and Environment was named a “landmark volume” in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and reviews are forthcoming in BioScience, Ecology, Evolution and Biology and Philosophy.
In November, Sultan will speak about her research on developmental plasticity at the New Trends in Evolutionary Biology: Philosophical and Social Science Implications symposium held jointly by the Royal Society and the British Academy. Sultan is one of 22 invited scientists and humanists from Europe, North America and Israel.
At Wesleyan, Sultan’s research group studies plant ecological development or how individual plants develop and function differently in response to different environmental conditions, in particular to factors that vary in nature such as light and shade, soil moisture and key nutrients. To examine these responses, Sultan determines developmental patterns (or norms of reaction) expressed by genetic individuals collected from field populations. These experiments reveal the interplay of genotypic and environmental factors in shaping the functional and reproductive outcomes of individual development.
Sultan has long been a major contributor to the empirical and conceptual literatures on individual plasticity and its relation to ecological breadth and adaptive evolution.
She teaches Plant Form and Diversity, Principles of Biology II, Evolution Journal Club, Evolution in Human-Altered Environments and Nature/Nurture: The Interplay of Genes and Environment.