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Happy Darwin Day!


Today is Darwin Day! Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809. In 1859, he published On the Origin of Species, forever changing how we view the world.

Forty-four years later, Darwin’s theory of evolution inspired the formation of the American Genetic Association.

Then called the American Breeders Association, members first met to discuss the ‘new’ science of genetics for practical breeding of plants and animals in 1903. In 1910, they published their first issue of the American Breeders Magazine. Four years later, the organization became the American Genetic Association, and the journal became the Journal of Heredity.

On the cover of that first issue in 1910 were two familiar faces: Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel. Articles in the first issue were mostly about breeding—crossing varieties of lettuce, the history of south Australian poultry, experiences in raising Virginia deer.

Now, 109 years later, the Journal of Heredity is the longest continuously published journal devoted to genetics. We publish organismal research in areas of interest to the genetics and genomics community. Our most recent issue details the unique relationship between certain species of cactus, yeast, and Drosophila. Our Editor’s Choice article in previous issue provides important insights into population-model assumptions when estimating evolutionary parameters for long-lived, free-ranging species, using data from black bears. Like all of our Editor’s Choice articles, the paper is freely available to read and download.


In this blog, you can expect to learn even more about organismal genetics and genomics, with particular emphasis on conservation, biodiversity, and populations. You can expect to learn about the science, the people behind it, and what it means for the world. Keep your eyes peeled for more soon.

Have something you’d like us to cover? A person you’d like to hear about, a topic that just won’t leave your mind? Send your suggestions to

Happy Darwin Day, and happy reading!

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Chantal Cough-Schulze is a science writer, audio producer, and photographer. Chantal created the American Genetic Association’s blog in 2019 while working as the social media editor for the Journal of Heredity and the American Genetic Association. She currently works as an environmental science writer and editor for Texas Water Resources Institute and as an audio producer for Signal Switch, an upcoming climate change communication podcast from the World Meteorological Organization. She received her M.S. in science journalism from Texas A&M University. To learn more about Chantal’s work, go to


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