Book of the Week: Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel

Mark Gardener


Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel jacket imageWhat?

A step-by-step guide to data analysis for ecologists in both the R language and Microsoft Excel.

Why?

It takes the reader through the process of data analysis and explains the theoretical basis of statistical tests, and how to apply them in R and in Excel. The author also covers methods for preparing and presenting results.

Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel is the first book in the Data In the Wild series from Pelagic Publishing, which is a series of practical books, sharing key tools and methods for the collection, analysis and interpretation of environmental data.

Who?

Mark Gardener began his career as an optician but returned to science and trained as an ecologist. His research is in the area of pollination ecology. He has worked extensively in the UK as well as Australia and the United States. Currently he works as an associate lecturer for the Open University and also runs courses in data analysis for ecology and environmental science.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: Peonies of the World, Volume 2: Polymorphism and Diversity

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Peonies of the World, Volume 2: Polymorphism and Diversity

Hong De-Yuan


Peonies of the World, Volume 2: Polymorphism and Diversity jacket imageWhat?

Second in a three-volume work dedicated to the genus Paeonia.

Why?

The first volume began this series’ focus on a comprehensive taxonomic revision of the genus Paeonia. This second monograph continues the high standard with a look at the rich diversity found in the worldwide population.

Hong De-Yuan’s work exemplifies a conscientiousness in exploring and defining developments in taxonomy of a plant species, taking into account striking morphological variety, and the existence of herbarium specimens not found in nature.

The result of decades of extensive study in the field, work which was funded by the National Geographic Society, Peonies of the World, Volume 2: Polymorphism and Diversity, is illustrated with 356 colour photos of peonies in their natural context.

This is a very attractive quality monograph and an essential for botanists and horticulturists.

Who?

Hong De-Yuan is Professor of the State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. He is also Chair of the Life Science Division at the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Dean of the School of Life Science, Zhejiang University.

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Book of the Week: Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful

Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful jacket imageGeorge McGhee Jr


What?

New volume in the MIT Press Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology.

Why?

Following the ethos of this series which looks in detail at the theoretical models behind the practical application of the biological sciences, this new volume looks at the phenomenon of convergent evolution through its manifestation in animal and plant biology, as well as in natural systems of all scales from the molecular world to large-scale ecosystems, and finally extending into the realm of mind where convergent characteristics are found in phenomena like tool use, and the evolution of various behaviours such as reproduction and herding.

This is a fascinating account of the state of current thinking on this subject, which brings into perspective the possibilities of life on our planet and Darwin’s vision of “endless forms most beautiful”.

Who?

George McGhee Jr is Professor of Paleobiology in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University and a Member of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Altenberg, Austria.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: The Natural History of the Proboscis Monkey

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

The Natural History of the Proboscis Monkey jacket imageThe Natural History of the Proboscis Monkey

John CM Sha, Ikki Matsuda and Henry Bernard


What?

A new natural history of this unique species, endemic to Borneo.

Why?

This concise, informative and abundantly illustrated volume summarises the current state of knowledge about the natural history of the proboscis monkey. After introducing these charismatic creatures – pictures of which weave through the pages of this book, bringing the animals to life in all the colourful diversity of their behaviour – and their homeland of Sabah, Borneo, the chapters range through distribution, behaviour and social organisation, ecology, predation, and conservation issues.

The latter emphasis, on conservation, includes guidelines for ecotourists observing the proboscis monkeys at large, and suggestions of places to visit. The proboscis monkey is on the IUCN endangered list, and this volume should go some way towards raising awareness of their needs and nature, and their position in the lush forest ecosystem of Sabah.

Who?

John CM Sha, Ikki Matsuda and Henry Bernard are field researchers on proboscis monkeys in Sabah, East Malaysia.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: Vegetation Description and Data Analysis

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Vegetation Description and Data Analysis jacket imageVegetation Description and Data Analysis

Martin Kent


What?

Second edition of the key text for plant ecologists.

Why?

The new edition of this essential guide through the various practices and challenges in the field of vegetation description and multivariate analysis has been updated to reflect all new developments and technologies introduced since the previous edition was published in 1993.

Clearly, a significant proportion of that which has been introduced in the last two decades is related to developments in computer hardware and software, but this edition reflects also the international nature of the field, with the establishment of new journals giving it truly global scope and relevance.

New material includes: the nature of plant communities; induction and deduction in plant ecology; the potential relevance of Bayesian statistical analysis; recent advances in methods of ordination and classification (cluster analysis) and links to spacial analysis; a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the wide range of computer software now available; the increasing importance of R-related software.

Who?

Martin Kent is Emeritus Professor of Biogeography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Plymouth.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: Cotingas and Manakins

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Cotingas and Manakins

Guy Kirwan and Graeme Green


Cotingas and Manakins jacket imageWhat?

New Helm Identification Guide from two leading authorities on Neotropical birds.

Why?

The Cotingas and the Manakins are two of the most attractive of the Neoptropical bird groups. They are immensely popular with birders for their striking colours and unusual plumage, as well as being of great benefit to the sciences of ornithology and evolutionary biology, due to their characteristic natural history and behaviour.

This new volume from Helm includes all the latest research into identification and behaviour, along with the latest conclusions regarding the enticingly complex taxonomy of these birds – which is now considered to consist of species belonging to at least five different families.

Colour plates are by Eustace Barnes, a professional ornithologist and artist specialising in the Neotropics, and these are accompanied by detailed distribution maps, while hundreds of spectacular full-colour close-up photographs illustrate the vast majority of the species described.

Who?

Guy Kirwan has spent much of the last two decades in the Neotropics, from Mexico to Argentina and Chile, but especially Brazil, a country in which he has spent more than seven years in the field. He has written several books, including The Birds of Turkey and is a regular contributor to the academic literature. A research associate of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Guy was one of the founders of the Neotropical Bird Club, and has edited its journal “Cotinga” since 1996. Since 2004, he has also been the editor of the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. Guy now divides his time between his homes in Rio de Janeiro and Norwich. 

Graeme Green was born in Scotland, but grew up in Kent, one of the best counties in Britain for birdwatching. During the late 1970s Graeme was a regular on the UK ‘twitching’ scene and from there it was a small step to travel abroad in search of birds; he eventually chose the ‘bird continent’ as his primary love and has travelled widely in search of cotingas and manakins. He has served on the councils of the Oriental Bird Club and the Neotropical Bird Club, and formerly compiled the Taxonomic Round-up for Cotinga.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: Frozen Planet: A World Beyond Imagination

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Frozen Planet: A World Beyond Imagination

Alastair Fothergill and Vanessa Berlowitz


Frozen Planet: A World Beyond Imagination jacket imageWhat?

The book that accompanies the latest extraordinary series from the BBC Natural History Unit, currently showing on BBC One on Wednesday evenings.

Why?

Roughly following the episode format of the series, Frozen Planet depicts the spectacular polar worlds and the unique lives of the animals that live in them. As series presenter David Attenborough says in his foreword, the pictures and film produced during the three-year process of creating the series “record, in their full splendour, these astonishing wonderlands that have existed for hundreds of thousands of years before humans reached them.”

Once again the insight and dramatic visual impact of these painstakingly crafted documentaries is invaluable in bringing environmental concerns to the forefront of people’s minds, while being a testament to the beauty and diversity of life on Earth and, of course, the state of modern cinematographic technology.

The book is replete with stunning photography and includes some of the sequences from the films, and the accompanying narrative brings to life not only the animals and their habitats but also the fascinating stories behind the making of the series.

Who?

Alastair Fothergill was the executive producer of the BBC series, Frozen Planet. He studied zoology at the University of Durham, joined the BBC Natural History Unit in 1983 and was appointed head of the unit in 1992. Alastair is the author of four books.

Vanessa Berlowitz was the series producer. She studied human sciences at the University of Oxford, where she took up photography and made her first films. She joined the BBC Natural History Unit in 1991 and went on to become a multiple award-winning director and producer. She has also contributed to a number of books and written on wildlife and conservation for magazines.

Available Now from NHBS

The DVD and Blu-ray editions of the series will be available in December – you can pre-order them today.

Book of the Week: Icelandic Bird Guide: Appearance, Way of Life, Habitat

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Icelandic Bird Guide: Appearance, Way of Life, Habitat

Johann Oli Hilmarsson


Icelandic Bird Guide: Appearance, Way of Life, Habitat jacket imageWhat?

New edition of the popular guide to Iceland’s birds by the country’s pre-eminent ornithologist and photographer, Johann Oli Hilmarsson.

Why?

This attractive and informative guide completely revises and expands the previous edition and covers the appearance, behaviour and other identifying features of over 160 different species.

Includes detailed information, and maps and diagrams, about breeding range, seasonal distribution, migration behaviour, breeding and feeding, and plumage variations by age, size and sex.

Illustrated with more than 700 photos, species are depicted clearly in their natural habitat in various behavioural modes.

Who?

Johann Oli Hilmarsson is a leading authority on the birds of Iceland and one of the country’s most experienced bird photographers. He has written numerous articles on birds in books, magazines and newspapers.  He has held many courses, lectures and exhibitions and his photographs have been published around the world, and he is also president of BirdLife Iceland.

Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles: An Identification Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae, 2nd Edition

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles: An Identification Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae

Edited by DM John, AJ Brook and BA Whitton


The Freshwater Algal Flora of the British Isles: An Identification Guide to Freshwater and Terrestrial AlgaeWhat?

New edition of the pre-eminent algae identification guide for freshwater and terrestrial algae of the British Isles, excluding diatoms.

Why?

Since the first edition of the Flora, published in 2001, there have been changes in classification and taxonomy of many of the algae, and around 200 extra species have been defined; new information is available about ecology, molecular biology and distribution patterns. This edition addresses these developments and revisions and is therefore an up-to-date account of 2,400 algal species of the British Isles.

Detailed description are accompanied by line drawings, colour plates  and user-friendly keys for accurate identification of genus and species.

The CD of the previous edition has been replaced by a DVD featuring a photo catalogue over 1,400 images, illustrated articles and video clips, and the book is introduced by a series of essays on various topics related to algal flora research.

Who?

David M. John is Adjubct Professor at the Martin Ryan Institute. National University of Ireland, Galway, and Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum in London.

Brian A. Whitton is Emeritus Professor of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University

Alan J. Brook is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Buckingham


Available Now from NHBS


Book of the Week: Wildlife In Printmaking

Continuing our selection of the very best titles available through NHBS:

Wildlife In Printmaking

Edited by Carry Akroyd


Wildlife in Printmaking jacket imageWhat?

Volume 30 in the Langford Press Wildlife Art Series.

Why?

This characterful volume features the work of 22 artists who are working within this fascinating and versatile medium to represent the natural world. With its variety of style and subject matter, Wildlife In Printmaking amounts to a rich and engrossing compendium of the best of the genre from the last few decades. The direct, yet abstract, quality of the medium of print is conveyed lucidly through the design and presentation of the book, and the artist segments – which balance autobiographical introductions, examples of their work, and accompanying descriptions of the creative process – are interspersed with three subject ‘stories’: Winter, Water and Insects & Flowers.

Familiar names include Robert Gillmor, whose artwork features on the covers of recent volumes in the New Naturalists series, and Andrew Haslen, who we interviewed here on the Hoopoe last year on publication of his book The Winter Hare.

Who?

Carry Akroyd has initiated many projects and exhibitions that have brought together groups of artists, and editing this book has been an extension of that curatorial experience. Carry has been making prints for 40 years, and her book Natures Powers and Spells: Landscape Change, John Clare and Me is also published in the Wildlife Art Series.

Available Now from NHBS