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John Alcock
In a Desert Garden

Original Airdate: July 22, 1998


About the Author

John Alcock is an American behavioral ecologist and author. He is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. His research interests include the evolution of diversity in insect populations, studying the adaptive value of different ways in which males find mating partners. He has authored several books, including "The Kookaburras' Song: Exploring Animal Behavior in Australia" (1988), "Sonoran Desert Summer" (1990), "The Triumph of Sociobiology" (2003) and "Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach" (ninth edition, 2009). He authored "Sonoran Desert Spring" (1994) which was illustrated by Marilyn Hoff Stewart, and he also authored "In a Desert Garden: Love and Death Among the Insects" (1999), illustrated by Turid Forsyth.


About this Book

"In a Desert Garden" deals with Alcock's specialty: desert ecology in the American Southwest. The focus of Alcock's new work is his own front yard in Tempe, Arizona, and its insect inhabitants. Several years ago, Alcock tore out his typical suburban lawn to re-create a miniature native desert habitat, complete with representative local desert vegetation. He also added a small vegetable garden on one side. Readers will gain insight into how science is practiced as the author's lively, often humorous observations of assorted beetles, bugs, wasps, bees, caterpillars and butterflies are related to broad concepts of animal behavior, ecology and survival.


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