Crow, James


James Crow has not only been a central figure in the history of twentieth century evolutionary genetics, but also has done a great deal of service for the sciences, as a teacher and mentor to some of the most influential biologists today, and as a leader in professional and public scientific societies. His research covered speciation, genetic load, the theory of random drift, the effects of inbreeding, the evolution of sex and effects of atomic radiation in human populations. Crow served as President of the Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has shaped the thinking of generations of evolutionary biologists and geneticists.

Keywords: evolutionary genetics; modern synthesis; genetic load; neutral theory; random drift; speciation; mutation rates; radiation; Drosophila genetics


Interview with Professor James Crow (2006) BioEssays 28(6): 660–678. DOI 10.1002/bies.20426.

Further Reading

Crow JF (1997) The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94: 8380–8386.

Crow JF (2000) The origins, patterns and implications of human spontaneous mutation. Nature Reviews Genetics 1: 40–47.

Crow JF (2002) Here's to Fisher, genic variance, and the FTNS. Evolution 56: 1313–1316.

Crow JF (2002) Unequal by nature: a geneticist's perspective on human differences. Dedalus Winter 2002: 81–88.

Crow JF (2003) Was there life before 1953? Nature Genetics 33: 449–450.

Crow JF (2004) Assessing population subdivision. In: Wasser SP (ed.) Evolutionary Theory and Processes: Modern Horizons, pp. 35–42. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Crow JF (2006) Age and sex effects on human mutation rates, an old problem with new complexities. Journal of Radiation Research 47: B75–B82.

Crow JF and Abrahamson S (1997) Seventy years ago: mutation becomes experimental. Genetics 147: 1491–1496.

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Plutynski, Anya(Nov 2010) Crow, James. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0006247]