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Shortlists for the annual Society of Biology Book Awards have been announced!

The awards celebrate outstanding biology books for the general reader, as well as exceptional undergraduate and postgraduate textbooks.

Dr William Marshall, Fellow of the Society of Biology and Chair of the general biology book judging panel, said: 'The judges had a difficult task, reviewing over 30 books on topics ranging from embryology to evolution and forestry to farming. All the books were of a high standard and some were outstanding in both their content and design. We had some lively discussions in order to select the shortlist.'

General biology book shortlist:

Birds and People
by Mark Cocker (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)
The judges said: 'An outstanding book with beautiful images, reminiscent of a worldwide Birds Britannica! It is packed with interesting, original anecdotes which weave human interest stories into natural history.'

The Compatibility Gene
by Daniel M Davis (Allen Lane)
The judges said: 'This is a riveting read which tackles some complex science. Personal stories behind the science of what is it to be human, drive the story on.'

The Cancer Chronicles
by George Johnson (Bodley Head)
The judges said: 'A beautifully written book, packed with clear explanations of new developments in cancer research. It covers an amazing amount of biology whilst remaining readable for a general audience.'

Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding
by George Monbiot (Allen Lane)
The judges said: 'An important and captivating book on humanity's stewardship of the earth, which should be read by amateur and professional biologists alike. The creation of powerful images makes the reader feel involved in the story.'

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live
by Marlene Zuk (WW Norton Ltd)
The judges said: 'A passionate myth-busting book in which good fun is had debunking current fad diets. Interesting ideas about the cessation of human evolution are explored.'

Undergraduate textbook shortlist:


Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function, 2nd edition
by Nancy Craig, Rachel Green, Carol Greider, Gisela Storz, Cynthia Wolberger and Orna Cohen-Fix (Oxford University Press)

Primer to the Immune Response
by Tak W Mak, Mary Saunders and Bradley Jett (Elsevier)

Vertebrate Endocrinology, 5th edition
by David Norris and James Carr (Elsevier)

Zoo Animals: Behaviour, Management, and Welfare, 2nd edition

Geoff Hosey, Vicky Melfi, and Sheila Pankhurst (Oxford University Press)

Postgraduate textbook shortlist:


Evolutionary Biomechanics: Selection, Phylogeny, and Constraint
by Graham Taylor and Adrian Thomas (Oxford University Press)

Pheromones and Animal Behaviour, 2nd edition
by Tristram D Wyatt (Cambridge University Press)

Plenty of Room for Biology at the Bottom: An Introduction to Bionanotechnology, 2nd edition
by Ehud Gazit and Anna Mitraki (Imperial College Press)

Urban Ecology - The Science of Cities
by Richard T T Forman (Cambridge University Press)

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 14th October at our annual Awards Ceremony, held at the King's Fund, London, as part of Biology Week 2014.

The Society wishes to thank judges: Ian Carter, Dr Lewis Dartnell, Dr Sue Howarth, Dr Clare Miller, Dr William Marshall, Dr Jenny Morton, Martin Redfern, Dr David Slingsby, Dr Ian Turner and Connie St Louis.