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&i;Ernest Hodgkin's Swanland&o; is based on, and inspired by, the life and work of a man intrigued by the natural world. It is a synthesis of the results of many years of research on the estuarine environments from the Murchison to Esperance, Western Australia. Hodgkin's study of the estuaries was firmly grounded in the discipline of science, but he married this with best traditions of the naturalist and the historian.
Anne Brearley's more recent and widely sourced research has been grafted into Earnest Hodgkin's extensive body of work, providing a comprehensive guide for the conservationist, scientist, student, observer and visitor. It focuses on the individual estuaries: their history of formation, geography, geology, water-flows, plants and animals, and how these have changed since European settlement with increasing pressures of nutrient enrichment, urban development, fisheries, and the opening of sand bars.
The wealth of material in the book has been organised in an order and form that makes it readily accessible to a wide readership of varying ages, interests and expertise. It can be read in a number of ways, either by location, theme, or by reading the figure captions that link with the text. Additional background material on topics of relevance to multiple chapters in the book is presented in boxed text and cross-referenced to other sections.
Dr Anne Brearley is a Research Associate in the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Austrlia. Anne's early interest in natural history was fostered by membership of the Western Australian Naturalists Club and Shell Club. Her role in collating and writing the book Swanland for the Ernest Hodgkin Trust for Estuary Education and Research through the National Trust of Australia (WA Branch) has been a culmination of over 40 years interest in natural history encopassing geology and fossils, terrestrial and aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, fish and birds.