John H. Gillespie

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John H. Gillespie is an evolutionary biologist interested in molecular evolution and natural selection. In molecular evolution, he emphasized the importance of advantageous mutations and balancing selection. For that reason, Gillespie is well known for his selectionist stance in the neutralist-selectionist debate. He is widely considered the main proponent of natural selection in molecular evolution. He had a well-known feud with the father of the neutral theory of molecular evolution, Motoo Kimura, initiated by a review in Science of Kimura's book in which Gillespie criticized Kimura for "using the book as a vehicle to establish for himself a niche in the history of science.". Gillespie is currently professor at the University of California, Davis.


  • Blum, D. (1992). "Scientists in Open War over "Neutral Theory" of Genetics". Sacramento Bee, March 16, p.A1.[1]
  • Gillespie, J.H. (1984). "The Status of the Neutral Theory: The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution.". Science. 224: 732–733. 
  • Gillespie, J.H. (1994). The Causes of Molecular Evolution. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509271-6. 
  • Gillespie, J.H. (2004). Population Genetics : A Concise Guide. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8009-2. 

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