Principles of Organic Evolution. Biosafety. Genetic Engineering. The Bonobo, Pan paniscus. Human Ecology and Evolution.  The Anatomy of Judgment. History of Consciousness and Human Institutions

Philip Regal

 Welcome to the world of Phil Regal, Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota; Emeritus.

                                                                                                                                              Watch for updates.

                        To reach me by having mail forwarded, send to my name at -- 100 Ecology Building, 1987 Upper Buford Circle,
                        St. Paul, Minnesota 55108.
                        Currently retired and living in Toronto, Canada 

                       (612) 625-5700 EEB department
                       (612) 624-6777 EEB dept. Fax

                        Private phone line in Toronto. Contact first by e-mail at --- regal001 AT tc DOT umn DOT edu

Biographical Information: CV, Links to Personal Photos, etc.

Recent Research Interests and Publications
    Principles and Examples of Biological Adaptation. One defining theme of  my research interests and publications over the decades has been the principles of evolutionary and behavioral adaptation of animals and plants to environmental challenges. My publications in basic biology alone have been diverse: they have been in the areas of biomechanics, behavioral ecology,  physiological ecology, community ecology, ecological plant genetics, biogeography, chronobiology, systematics, tropical ecology, and basic evolutionary theory. See Curriculum Vitae for publications.

    Mind and Brain as Adaptive Systems. I have extended the interest in mechanisms and trends of adaptation to the biological evolution and social adaptation of the human mind. My basic interest in fact goes back to graduate school, when I was awarded a fellowship to study at the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. Eventually the The Anatomy of Judgment (1990) Anatomy of Judgment was written and published. This book explores the biological and social forces that shape human consciousness. It explores the history of science in relation to the problems presented to human consciousness, and to the needs of an intelligent social animal, by a biologically imperfect brain and by intellectually imperfect belief systems and social institutions.  Check related essay on "The Brain and the University" in Essays on Institutional Issues Link below.

    The Shaping of the Modern Mind and Institutions. Much of my research since then has continued the exploration of issues raised in The Anatomy of Judgment but has focused specifically on a historical and functional analysis of the dominant intellectual trends and social institutions that have shaped consciousness in the centuries that have produced the modern world. A huge amount of manuscript remains to be polished for publication. The manuscripts available through my Essays link below are not part of the main body of this unpublished material, but they may be food for thought for readers who are interested in this general area of modern institutions and mentalities.

    Genetic Engineering Biosafety. A major research interest since 1984 has been an effort to develop a scientific basis for predicting the implications of using cutting-edge tools of genetic engineering to modify organisms. What biological concepts are appropriate to think through the particular questions raised about the adaptive potential of GEOs? This project has been comparable in some respects to the general need to define the proper mathematical tools to apply to various problems. When and how should one apply algebra, calculus, or particular statistical techniques to resolve a question? Some recent publications and manuscripts are available below through the Biosafety Page Link., in addition to many suggested links to other biosafety web sites that may be of interest.

    Bonobo Cousins of Humans. Another major research interest has been to analyse the relatively recent knowledge that has been accumulated about the behavior, ecology, anatomy, and genetics of our close relative the bonobo, Pan paniscus, sometimes still called the pygmy chimpanzee. This rare and highly endangered species has  extremely important implications for thinking about human evolution and about the theories of human nature that have been generated in Western cultures but much of the information remains scattered in technical journals, or it has been clouded by odd scientific controversies that  make up a fascinating chapter in the history of science. Thus, bonobos have connections to my long-standing  interests in the biological brain and its evolution, in the development of Western belief systems, and in the history and sociology of science. A Bonobo Page Link is available by clicking below. This page has links to a number of other bonobo web sites that may have interesting information or attractive pictures.


    Click here for materials posted on 'Classroom Entry Page.' Students may note that many of the teaching resources once assigned in certain of my classes, and that they might find to be of continued value  as study aids, are available above under other entries such as biosafety, bonobos, etc. on this main entry page because they are of general interest but also for the use of former students in classes who developed on-going interests.

I am retired and not accepting more graduate students.

This web page will be updated as I find time in a still very busy retirement.  If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail me at regal001 at tc dot umn dot edu

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.