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Nicholas Harberd's narrative of the changing seasons has as its focus one tiny thale-cress plant in an East Anglian churchyard. He describes both what can be seen with the naked eye and the hidden molecular mechanisms that underlie it. He also tells the story of the last ten years of discovery in his own laboratory, as the team works to understand the genetic control of the growth of thale-cress. Part field notebook, part sketchbook, part diary, "Seed to Seed" is a dazzling evocation of the beauty of the natural world and an exhilarating explanation of the secret workings of plants.
Nicholas Harberd is one of the world's leading plant biologists. He currently directs a research team at the John Innes Centre in Norwich and is Honorary Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 he will become Sibthorpian Professor of Plant Sciences and Professorial Fellow at St John's College, University of Oxford. He is the author of numerous scientific papers, has published in the leading international scientific journals Nature and Science, and is the father of Alice and Jack.
'Natural History in its purest form. A botanical masterpiece in miniature' David Bellamy 'A bravura performance It is a privilege to watch a subtle and daring mind at work and to glimpse, from so many angles, a scientist at work in the world' Jenny Uglow, Sunday Times 'Tracing the lifespan of a weed, both in the wild and in a laboratory, makes enthralling reading. Harberd, intensely aware of nature's changing seasonal patterns, blends day-by-day observance with scientific exactness to sharpen our awareness of nature's purposes and beauty. Brilliantly written' Penelope Hobhouse 'It's another world. Another language. But Harberd has the gift of connecting us with it What Harberd's book gives us clueless amateurs is a huge sense of awe at the extraordinary and brilliant machinery that regulates plant growth' Anna Pavord, Independent