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The Hidden Universe: Adventures in Biodiversity

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Everything you need to know about biodiversity - what it is, how it works, and why it's the single most important tool to battle climate change - from Kew's Director of Science.

‘Engaging and urgent’ - Nature


Author: Alexandre Antonelli. 288pp. 198 x 126 mm. Hardback, ISBN 9781529109160, Ebury Press in association with RBG Kew, 2022.

This brief, lucid book by Kew's Director of Science Alex Antonelli takes you on an unforgettable tour of the natural world, showing how biodiversity - the rich variety of life in the world and in our own backyards - provides both the source and the salvation of our existence. Combining inspiration stories and the latest scientific research, Alex Antonelli reveals the wonders of biodiversity at a genetic, species and ecosystem level - what it is, how it works, and why it's the most important tool in our battle against climate change.

A deeper understanding of biodiversity has never been more important, as the slow violence of habitat loss has put the fate of almost one-fifth of all species on Earth at risk of extinction in the coming decades. These building blocks of life form a network that underpins almost every aspect of our lives, providing invaluable sources of food, medicine, fibre, clothing, building material and more. With simplicity and clarity, The Hidden Universe shows you not only what's at stake, but what can be done (and is already being done) to protect and restore biodiversity around the world. It marks the arrival of a bold new voice in popular science.

Alexandre Antonelli is Director of Science of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he leads the work of over 350 scientists. A botanist by training, he was made Full Professor of Biodiversity at University of Gothenburg in Sweden aged 36, and founded the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre and served as Cisneros Visiting Scholar at Harvard University before joining Kew. He remains an active researcher at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Oxford in the UK. This is his first book.

Media coverage

Engaging and urgent - Nature

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