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VOLUME 70 NO 4 Winter 2023


1 Naoroji Street, London WC1X 0GB

Tel: 020 3925 3440;


Editor Tom Ireland MRSB,

Book reviews and branches editor

Rachel Duffield,

Chair of the Editorial Board

Professor Dan Davis FRSB,

Imperial College London

Editorial Board

Professor Matthew Cobb FRSB,

The University of Manchester Dr Anthony Flemming FRSB, Syngenta

Dr Sarah Maddocks CBiol MRSB,

Cardiff Met University Dr Esther Odenkule MRSB, GSK Professor Shaun D Pattinson FRSB,

Durham University Dr James Poulter MRSB,

University of Leeds Professor Diane Purchase FRSB,

Middlesex University Dr Natasha de Vere, National Botanical Garden of Wales

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John Innes,

ISSN 0006-3347

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Cover image: Shutterstock


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ON THE COVER 12 Customs of killer whales The incredible diversity of orca learned behaviour, including a pod that collaborated with whalers


16 The price of procreation Is ageing the evolutionary cost of breeding or are other factors at play?

20 Not Just for the Boys Dame Athene Donald on her new book and the science gender gap

28 Understanding the ‘where’ How spatial omics is helping locate patterns of gene expression in tissue

CONNECT WITH US Have an idea for an article or interested in writing for us? RoyalSocBio

@RoyalSocBio royalsocbio

UP FRONT 04 Society news Biology Week 2023 and our photo and drawing award winners

08 Policy news and analysis UK approves gene-editing drug; RSB sets out climate strategy

10 Opinion The case for free will is growing, writes Kevin J Mitchell

FEATURES 12 Orca ecotypes Why niche behavioural traits in killer whales contribute to both their success and vulnerability

16 Ironing out the wrinkles The evolutionary mechanisms that make ageing make sense

20 Interview Athene Donald talks role models and boosting girls from birth

24 Woodland wonder Engaging children with real climate change science

28 So very spatial How spatial omics techniques can help reveal key new details in early development

32 History and heredity The Adelphi Genetics Forum on its eugenics past and new drive to inform debate and discussion

REGULARS 36 Members 40 Book reviews 44 Branches 47 Crossword 48 Amazing experiments Bob Paine’s intertidal interference

Vol 70 No 4 / THE BIOLOGIST / 1

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