Book Launch: Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution by Menno Schilthuizen

Book Launch: Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution by Menno Schilthuizen

Monday Apr 09, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

POWERHOUSE @ the Archway
28 Adams Street (Corner of Adams & Water Street @ the Archway)
Brooklyn , NY 11201



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About the Book.
Menna 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-ranging dogs 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 to Town 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 overpopulation might not take the rest of nature down with us.

 

MennoSchilthuizen_InTheField2_credit_JanSchilthuizenAbout the Author.
Menno Schilthuizen is a senior research scientist at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands and professor of evolutionary biology at Leiden University. The author of more than 100 papers in scientific literature, he has also written more than 250 stories, columns, and articles for publications including New Scientist, Time, and Science. A frequent guest on radio and television, he is the author of three previous books: Frogs, Flies and Dandelions (2001), The Loom of Life (2008), and Nature’s Nether Regions (2014). Together with Iva Njunjić, he runs Taxon Expeditions, which organizes scientific expeditions for laypeople. Learn more at schilthuizen.com or follow him on twitter @schilthuizen.

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