Chrysalis Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis

Chrysalis Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
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  • ISBN-13: 9780156032995
  • ISBN: 0156032996
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Publishers


Todd, Kim


"Fascinating reading about a little-known, independent woman."--Science Today, an entomologist in a laboratory can gaze at a butterfly pupa with a microscope so powerful that the swirling cells on the pupa's skin look like a galaxy. She can activate a single gene or knock it out. What she can't do is discover how the insect behaves in its natural habitatwhich means she doesn't know what steps to take to preserve it from extinction, nor how any particular gene may interact with the environment. Three hundred years ago, a fifty-two year-old German woman set sail on a solo scientific expedition to study insect metamorphosis. She could not have imagined the routine magic that scientists perform todaybut her absolute insistence on studying insects in their natural habitats was so far ahead of its time that it is only now coming back into favor.Chrysalisrestores Maria Sibylla Merian to her rightful place in the history of science, taking us from golden-age Amsterdam to the Surinam tropics to modern laboratories where Merian's insights fuel new approaches to both ecology and genetics. "What makesChrysalissuch a pleasure is that our awe is guided by Merian's discoveries. Her life was dedicated to understanding and depicting the science of transformation, yet she never lost her enchantment with what few of us could deny is also miraculous."--Orion "This lovely and thoughtful book sets Maria Merian's work in its natural context, restoring its true meaning and the reputation she deserves."--Andrea Barrett, author of The Voyage of the Narwhal Kim Todd's previous book,Tinkering with Eden,received the PEN/Jerard Fund Award and the Sigurd F. Olsen Nature Writing Award. Her essays and articles have appeared inSierra, Orion, Backpacker,andGrist,among other places. She lives in Missoula, Montana.Todd, Kim is the author of 'Chrysalis Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis', published 2007 under ISBN 9780156032995 and ISBN 0156032996.

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