The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us

Meg Lowman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-0-374-16269-6
Conservationist Lowman (Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology) takes a passionate look at the “unexplored wonderland” of trees in this vivid survey of life among forest canopies. Over half of all land creatures live “about one hundred feet or more above our heads,” Lowman writes, and notes that, historically, information about trees has focused from “trunk-level,” despite the fact that the dark ground is vastly different from the sun-filled canopy. A self-professed “arbornaut,” Lowman recounts research experiences high in the foliage in Australia, where she studied leaves; India, where she learned about the canopies above endangered tigers; and Scotland, where she got her start as a master’s student in ecology. She offers snapshots of her childhood—born in Upstate New York, she collected wildflowers, twigs, bird nests, stones, and feathers—and mentions the difficulties she has faced as a woman working in field biology. Lowman shines in her ability to combine accessible science with exciting personal anecdotes that effectively convey the “thrill of aerial exploration” and bolster her case that trees—and sustainable ecosystems—are worth studying, protecting, and preserving. Nature lovers will find much to consider. Agent: Jessica Papin, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 03/29/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-63808-102-9
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-250-84918-2
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