Wallace's achievements rivaled, and in some capacities superseded Darwin’s because Wallace not only co-discovered the primary mechanisms of evolution: natural selection acting on variation in inherited traits. He went further than elaborating the temporal dimension of biological diversification by describing how Earth’s geography and barriers shape distribution of biodiversity.
His insight, derived from his extensive travels, keen observations, and systematic and prodigious collecting of specimens, provides a firm foundation for understanding life on earth. Scientists today apply concepts from evolution and biogeography in a wide variety of fields, such as conservation, evolutionary medicine, and crop improvement.
Furthermore, Wallace captured the hearts of local people in the Malay Archipelago. In Ternate, Indonesia, a wall mural bearing a portrait of Wallace proudly states "Alfred Russel Wallace: British-born Ternate Scientist.' They have claimed him as one of their own.