Ecology, the study of how individuals and species interact with their surroundings and each other, has been revolutionized by a new molecular approach to the subject. By using molecular biological and molecular genetic techniques, ecological interactions can be investigated in more detail and with more accuracy than ever before. An introduction to Molecular ecology makes this fascinating area of research accessible to students for the fist time. Beginning with the history of molecular ecology, which involves the relationships between natural history, genetics, and evolution, the book moves on to discuss the areas of molecular population genetics, phylogeography, and molecular ecology in conservation biology. Chapters are individually structured to include background information, questions of interest, the underlying theory of the various molecular and analytical approaches, and a range of relevant examples. Two substantial appendices detail accounts of the main practical and analytical methods currently used in molecular ecology.