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The Invention of Nature
Call Number: Q143.H9 W85 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt's most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. Now Andrea Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus: his daring expeditions and investigation of wild environments around the world and his discoveries of similarities between climate and vegetation zones on different continents. She also discusses his prediction of human-induced climate change, his remarkable ability to fashion poetic narrative out of scientific observation, and his relationships with iconic figures such as Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Wulf examines how Humboldt's writings inspired other naturalists and poets such as Darwin, Wordsworth, and Goethe, and she makes the compelling case that it was Humboldt's influence that led John Muir to his ideas of natural preservation and that shaped Thoreau's Walden. With this brilliantly researched and compellingly written book, Andrea Wulf shows the myriad fundamental ways in which Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world, and she champions a renewed interest in this vital and lost player in environmental history and science.
Call Number: QL568.A6 O858 2013
Publication Date: 2013-09-12
The vital role of bees in human ecology is underlined by the estimate that every third mouthful of human food is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Only recently have biologists discovered that human survival is inextricably linked to the survival of insects, specifically, bees. Today the 16-20,000 species of bee continue to play vital roles in human ecology. We survive only by grace of the life-sustaining network of bee-plant relationships. Bees immerses readers in the world of a group of insects whose diversity of form and behavior is eloquent testimony to the fine-tuning of natural selection. Written by a world-leading entomologist and specialist in bees, the book's topics include: What are bees? (The Wasp Inheritance) - Bees as foragers, their nesting instinct, on-board computing facility, sun-compass orientation and sense of time The many ways of being a bee -- Solitary versus social, Miners and masons, Leafcutters and carpenters Bees and flowering plants The male of the species -- Mating strategies, patrols, competition, territoriality, the role of scent The enemies of bees -- Cleptoparasites, cuckoo bees Bees and People -- historic and contemporary Bees in Folk and Modern Medicine The Conservation of Bees -- the decline of bees and honeybees, bees in human ecology, bee conservation, urban bees Bee projects -- the backyard bee scientist. Bees can be found throughout history in roles poetic and military, in medicine and agriculture, in the kitchen and in the kit of a traditional healer. They have played a bigger role in human existence than is often recognized. This beautifully illustrated, appreciative tribute will be welcomed by entomologists, students and all naturalist readers.
Biology of Ticks
Call Number: QL458.15.P37 B55 2014
Publication Date: 2013-11-26
In The Last Few Decades, The Field of Tick Biology Has Advanced substantially, primarily due to the enormous increase in the prevalence of human tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, which has impacted people and animals around the world. This growth has also resulted in developments and insights from different areas of the scientific community. In this expended second edition, Biology of Ticks presents the most current research and analyses in the field from experts across the globe. Spanning two volumes, the book discusses the systematics, biology, structure, ecological adaptations, evolution and genomics, development, and survival of ticks. The array of diseases transmitted as well as modern methods for their control is also examined. This multi-authored word includes contributions from experts from a variety of scientific backgrounds such as molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology, veterinary medicine, imaging, and computational biology. A reference for students, scientists, physicians, and specialists alike, Biology of Ticks is the definitive resource on ticks and the diseases they transmit. Volume I covers tick systematics, tick life cycles, external and internal anatomy, chemical communication, blood digestion, heme processing, and storage proteins. Chapters are also dedicated to specific organ systems, including the tick integument, mouthparts and digestive system, salivary glands, excretory systems, respiratory system, circulatory system and hemolymph, fat body, the nervous and sensory systems, endocrine system, and reproductive systems. Volume II features chapters on the ecology of non-nidicolous and nidicolous ticks, genetics, genomics, tick control and acaricide resistance, repellents, tick rearing, immunity, and vaccine development. The volume also covers the many diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens, including protozoa, viruses, all types of rickettsiae, bacteria, as well as tick paralysis and tick toxicity caused by the ticks themselves. Book jacket.
In Search of Mechanisms
Call Number: QH331 .C898 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-07
Neuroscientists investigate the mechanisms of spatial memory. Molecular biologists study the mechanisms of protein synthesis and the myriad mechanisms of gene regulation. Ecologists study nutrient cycling mechanisms and their devastating imbalances in estuaries such as the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, much of biology and its history involves biologists constructing, evaluating, and revising their understanding of mechanisms. With In Search of Mechanisms, Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden offer both a descriptive and an instructional account of how biologists discover mechanisms. Drawing on examples from across the life sciences and through the centuries, Craver and Darden compile an impressive toolbox of strategies that biologists have used and will use again to reveal the mechanisms that produce, underlie, or maintain the phenomena characteristic of living things. They discuss the questions that figure in the search for mechanisms, characterizing the experimental, observational, and conceptual considerations used to answer them, all the while providing examples from the history of biology to highlight the kinds of evidence and reasoning strategies employed to assess mechanisms. At a deeper level, Craver and Darden pose a systematic view of what biology is, of how biology makes progress, of how biological discoveries are and might be made, and of why knowledge of biological mechanisms is important for the future of the human species.