If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
By venturing out of her clinic and spending time on seven family farms, Miller uncovers all the aspects of farming—from seed choice to soil management—that have a direct and powerful impact on our health. Bridging the traditional divide between agriculture and medicine, Miller shares lessons learned from inspiring farmers and biomedical researchers and artfully weaves their insights and discoveries, along with stories from her patients, into the narrative. The result is a compelling new vision for sustainable healing and a treasure trove of farm-to-body lessons that have immense value in our daily lives.
In Farmacology you will meet:a vegetable farmer in Washington State who shows us how the principles he uses to rejuvenate his soil apply just as well to our own bodies. Here we also discover the direct links between healthy soil and healthy humans. a beef farmer in Missouri who shows how a holistic cattle-grazing method can grow resilient calves and resilient children. an egg farmer in Arkansas who introduces us to the counterintuitive idea that stress can keep us productive and healthy. We discover why the stressors associated with a pasture-based farming system are beneficial to animals and humans while the duress of factory farming can make us ill. a vintner in Sonoma, California, who reveals the principles of Integrated Pest Management and helps us understand how this gentler approach to controlling unwanted bugs and weeds might be used to treat invasive cancers in humans. a farmer in the Bronx who shows us how a network of gardens offers health benefits that extend far beyond the nutrient value of the fruits and vegetables grown in the raised beds. For example, did you know that urban farming can lower the incidence of alcoholism and crime? finally, an aromatic herb farmer in Washington State who teaches us about the secret chemical messages we exchange with plants—messages that can affect our mood and even keep us looking youthful.
In each chapter, Farmacology reveals the surprising ways that the ecology of our body and the ecology of our farms are intimately linked. This is a paradigm-changing adventure that has huge implications for our personal health and the health of the planet.
*Lizards in Puerto Rico are evolving feet that better grip surfaces like concrete.
*Europe’s urban blackbirds sing at a higher pitch than their rural cousins, to be heardover the din of traffic.
How is this happening?
Menno Schilthuizen is one of a growing number of “urban ecologists” studying how our manmade environments are accelerating and changing the evolution of the animals and plants around us. In Darwin Comes to Town, he takes us around the world for an up-close look at just how stunningly flexible and swift-moving natural selection can be.
With human populations growing, we’re having an increasing impact on global ecosystems, and nowhere do these impacts overlap as much as they do in cities. The urban environment is about as extreme as it gets, and the wild animals and plants that live side-by-side with us need to adapt to a whole suite of challenging conditions: they must manage in the city’s hotter climate (the “urban heat island”); they need to be able to live either in the semidesert of the tall, rocky, and cavernous structures we call buildings or in the pocket-like oases of city parks (which pose their own dangers, including smog and free-rangingdogs and cats); traffic causes continuous noise, a mist of fine dust particles, and barriers to movement for any animal that cannot fly or burrow; food sources are mainly human-derived. And yet, as Schilthuizen shows, the wildlife sharing these spaces with us is not just surviving, but evolving ways of thriving.
Darwin Comes toTown draws on eye-popping examples of adaptation to share a stunning vision of urban evolution in which humans and wildlife co-exist in a unique harmony. It reveals that evolution can happen far more rapidly than Darwin dreamed, while providing a glimmer of hope that our race toward over population might not take the rest of nature down with us.
Tropical Ecology begins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis: how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species.
Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research, Tropical Ecology is the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
Leading universities that have adopted this book include:
For centuries, agricultural practices have eroded the soil that farming depends on, stripping it of the organic matter vital to its productivity. Now conventional agriculture is threatening disaster for the world’s growing population. In Growing a Revolution, geologist David R. Montgomery travels the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. From Kansas to Ghana, he sees why adopting the three tenets of conservation agriculture—ditching the plow, planting cover crops, and growing a diversity of crops—is the solution. When farmers restore fertility to the land, this helps feed the world, cool the planet, reduce pollution, and return profitability to family farms.
From Russia to Bengal to Palm Beach, Randall Packard’s far-ranging narrative traces the natural and social forces that help malaria spread and make it deadly. He finds that war, land development, crumbling health systems, and globalization—coupled with climate change and changes in the distribution and flow of water—create conditions in which malaria's carrier mosquitoes thrive. The combination of these forces, Packard contends, makes the tropical regions today a perfect home for the disease.
Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.
The Wealth of Nature suggests public policy initiatives and personal choices that can help alleviate the economic impact of peak oil. These strategies must address not only financial concerns, but the issues of resource depletion and pollution as well. Examples include:Adjusting tax policy to penalize the use of natural nonrenewable resources over recycled materials Placing public welfare above corporate interests Empowering individuals, families, and communities by prioritizing local, sustainable solutions Building economies at an appropriate scale.
Profoundly insightful and impeccably argued, this book is required reading for anyone interested in the intersection of the environment and the economy as we enter the twilight of the Age of Abundance .
Topics covered in this book include
• The definitions of wildlife and management• Human dimensions of wildlife management• Animal behavior• Predator–prey relationships • Structured decision making• Issues of scale in wildlife management• Wildlife health• Historical context of wildlife management and conservation• Hunting and trapping• Nongame species• Nutrition ecology• Water management• Climate change• Conservation planning
This second edition of How to Do Ecology features new sections on conducting and analyzing observational surveys, job hunting, and becoming a more creative researcher, as well as updated sections on statistical analyses.
In Matter and Desire, internationally renowned biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber rewrites ecology as a tender practice of forging relationships, of yearning for connections, and of expressing these desires through our bodies. Being alive is an erotic process—constantly transforming the self through contact with others, desiring ever more life.
In clever and surprising ways, Weber recognizes that love—the impulse to establish connections, to intermingle, to weave our existence poetically together with that of other beings—is a foundational principle of reality. The fact that we disregard this principle lies at the core of a global crisis of meaning that plays out in the avalanche of species loss and in our belief that the world is a dead mechanism controlled through economic efficiency.
Although rooted in scientific observation, Matter and Desire becomes a tender philosophy for the Anthropocene, a “poetic materialism,” that closes the gap between mind and matter. Ultimately, Weber discovers, in order to save life on Earth—and our own meaningful existence as human beings—we must learn to love.
Written by leading experts, Pursuing Sustainability shows how more inclusive and interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives can help you achieve your sustainability objectives. It stresses the need for understanding how capital assets are linked to sustainability goals through the complex adaptive dynamics of social-environmental systems, how committed people can use governance processes to alter those dynamics, and how successful interventions can be shaped through collaborations among researchers and practitioners on the ground.
The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students and an invaluable resource for anyone working in this fast-growing field, Pursuing Sustainability also features case studies, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading.
Artwork from the book is available to instructors online at www.blackwellpublishing.com/hunter and by request on CD-ROM.
Peter Cotgreave and Irwin Forseth have designed this book to meet the needs of these students, by providing a basic synthesis of how individual organisms interact with their physical environment, and with each other, to generate the complex ecosystems we see around us. The unifying theme of the book is biodiversity-its patterns, causes, and the growing worldwide threats to it.
Basic ecological principles are illustrated using clearly described examples from the current ecological literature. This approach makes the book valuable to all students studying ecology. Examples have been chosen carefully to represent as wide a range of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic, northern and southern hemisphere) and life forms (animal, plant and microbe) as possible. Particular attention is paid to consequences of global change on organisms, populations, ecological communities and ecosystems. The end result is a text that presents a readable and persuasive picture of how the Earth's natural systems function, and how that functioning may change over the coming century.
· strong coverage of applied and evolutionary ecology
· applications of ecology to the real world
· a question-orientated approach
· the only comprehensive treatment of ecology written for the introductory student
· an emphasis on definitions of key words and phrases
· an integration of experimental, observational and theoretical material
· examples drawn from all over the world and a wide variety of organisms
· a logical structure, building from the response of individual organisms to physical factors, through population growth and population interactions, to community structure and ecosystem function
· suggested further reading lists for each chapter
· boxes to explain key concepts in more depth
· dedicated textsite featuring additional information and teaching aids www.blackwellpublishing.com/cotgreave
Peter Cotgreave is an animal ecologist who has worked for the University of Oxford and the Zoological Society of London. His research interests centre on abundance and rarity within animal communities. Irwin Forseth is a plant physiological ecologist who has taught introductory ecology and plant ecology at the University of Maryland since 1982. His research focuses on plant responses to the environment. The authors have studied organisms as diverse as green plants, insects and mammals in habitats from deserts to tropical rainforests. They have worked in ecological research and education in Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean.
Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.
Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.
Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.