A welcome dive into the world of aquarium craft that offers much-needed knowledge about undersea environments.
Atlantic coral is rapidly disappearing in the wild. To save the species, they will have to be reproduced quickly in captivity, and so for the last decade conservationists have been at work trying to preserve their lingering numbers and figure out how to rebuild once-thriving coral reefs from a few survivors. Captive environments, built in dedicated aquariums, offer some hope for these corals. This book examines these specialized tanks, charting the development of tank craft throughout the twentieth century to better understand how aquarium modelling has enhanced our knowledge of the marine environment.
Aquariums are essential to the way we understand the ocean. Used to investigate an array of scientific questions, from animal behaviour to cancer research and climate change, they are a crucial factor in the fight to mitigate the climate disaster already threatening our seas. To understand the historical development of this scientific tool and the groups that have contributed to our knowledge about the ocean, Samantha Muka takes up speciality systems – including photographic aquariums, kriesel tanks (for jellyfish), and hatching systems – to examine the creation of ocean simulations and their effect on our interactions with underwater life. Lively and engaging, Oceans under Glass offers a fresh history of how the aquarium has been used in modern marine biology and how integral it is to knowing the marine world.
Series Foreword: Oceans in Depth
1. Aquarium Craft: Replicating Oceans under Glass
2. Photography Tanks: Viewing Oceans under Glass
3. Kreisel Tanks: Crafting Movement under Glass
4. Reef Tanks: Building Ecosystems under Glass
5. Breeding Tank Systems: Closing the Cycle under Glass
Conclusion: “You Are the Ocean”: Scaling Up Oceans under Glass
Samantha Muka is an assistant professor of science, technology, and society in the College of Arts and Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. Her work has appeared in academic publications as well as popular outlets including the Atlantic, Slate, American Scientist, and Scientific American.