Life in the Treetops - Lowman, Margaret D. - Yale University Press

Life in the Treetops

Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology

  • Margaret Lowman; Foreword by Robert Ballard
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Out of Print.

Named one of the Best Books of 1999 by Library Journal

Winner of the 2000 Eugene Odum Award for Excellence sponsored by the Ecological Society of America Education Award

Selected as a 2000 Book for The Teen Age List by the New York Public Library

Winner of the 2000 Kilby Laureate Award given by the Kilby International Awards Foundation

Named a Notable Book of 1999 by the New York Times Book Review

Forest canopies have been characterized as one of the last biotic frontiers on Earth: tree crowns have been difficult to study scientifically because access to them has been so challenging. During the past two decades, however, methods for canopy access have greatly improved. In this book a pioneer canopy scientist describes the mysteries of the treetops—their inhabitants, flowers and fruits, growth and mortality, patterns of diversity, and plant and animal interactions. Margaret Lowman writes about different canopy access techniques in conjunction with the scientific hypotheses she was addressing while using each one. She also portrays the life of a field biologist from a woman’s perspective: what it was like to juggle a demanding career with marriage, housewifery, motherhood, and single parenthood.The chapters are organized chronologically, starting with Lowman’s early days with ropes in Australia and progressing to the use of a cherry picker to access the canopies of eucalypt trees while she was pregnant, research by hot-air balloon in Africa, and building treetop walkways in the temperate forests of Massachusetts and in the tropical rain forests of Belize. The book also includes a lovely array of line drawings and halftones.

Margaret D. Lowman is director of research and conservation at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where she also holds the Jessie B. Cox Chair in Tropical Botany. Robert Ballard is discoverer of the Titanic and director of The Jason Project.