My book ‘The World in Miniature’ is currently only available in Dutch, but here’s a short preview:
Islands are hotbeds of evolution: the arrival of the first plants and animals on a barren rock mark the start of the wildest experiments. Their isolation offers the ideal conditions for the formation of the most remarkable creatures, like elephants the size of a dog and birds that cannot fly. Despite their small total land surface, islands contribute disproportionally to global biological and cultural diversity. It is therefore not surprising that scientists like Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Jared Diamond and Edward Wilson gained much of their insights about the origin and distribution of life on Earth from islands.
Based on his own experiences and the most recent insights from the academic field of island biogeography, Sietze Norder makes a journey through the fascinating world of islands. Starting from the moment the first humans land on shore, Norder traces the ecological and societal changes that follow, such as the rise and fall of island civilizations, and the emergence of novel ecosystems, languages and cultures. As nodes in the exchange of people, goods, species and ideas, islands have played a fundamental role in shaping the unfolding of world history. Islands provide a window into the historical roots of current global challenges like the biodiversity crisis and climate change but also provide perspectives on a sustainable future.