Meet the Authors


Afshin akhtar-Khavari

Afshin Akhtar-Khavari is an international law scholar who studies and writes about the ontologies of environmental law, and is interested in legal responses to damage, destruction and extinction. He uses a range of disciplines and approaches to explore how the natural world is socially, culturally, and politically significant for the way that environmental law functions and prioritises itself. His more recent work has been shaped by thinking about recovery and restoration of ecosystems as techniques for dealing with damage but also in helping human beings to develop and train themselves to establish more cooperative relationships with the natural world. He is currently working on a book studying the potential role for the law in helping socio-ecological landscape to flourish

 

tamryn bennett

Dr. Tamryn Bennett is a poet and Artistic Director of Red Room Poetry. Her bilingual poetry collection phospheneis published by Rabbit Poet Series. A second poetry collection icaros explores the healing and ritual use of plants combined with scientific research. She is the Editor of Líneas en Tierra/ Lines in Land a collection of Mexican poems in translation. Other poems and essays appear in Covert Plants, PAN, Cordite, Image Text, Image [&] Narrative. She is co-founder of the ‘plant symphony’ and has exhibited work in Australia and internationally. She is a recipient of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and the Australia Council Professional Development grant with residences in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Bundanon Trust, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, and El Centro de Cultura, Mexico. 

 

renata buziak

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Polish-born Renata Buziak is a photo-media artist, educator and researcher. In 2016, she completed her PhD in Fine Art (Photography), which focussed on native medicinal plants, at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Her practice builds on alternative and experimental photography, intercultural and art–science research, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. For over a decade, she has been developing an image-making process, the biochrome, by fusing organic and photographic materials subject to organic decomposition.  

 

Renata’s work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and her work is in public and private collections. She has received a number of art awards and undertaken several artist residencies. Renata’s monograph Renata Buziak: Afterimage was launched in 2010 by the Queensland Centre for Photography; her work has been published in numerous catalogues and magazines; and her research has appeared in peer-reviewed publications. For more information, please visit www.renata-buziak.com  

 

esthela calderon

Born in Telica, Nicaragua, Esthela Calderón is a poet and visual artist who is the author of Soledad (2002), which won first prize in the Juegos Florales Centroamericanos, Belice y Panamá competition, Amor y conciencia (2004), the pioneering book of ethnobotanical poetry Soplo de corriente vital (2008), Coyol quebrado (2012), Los huesos de mi abuelo (2013), Las manos que matan (2016), the bilingual anthology of her selected poetry The Bones of My Grandfather (2018) and Leyenda urbana (2019). 

 

Her poetry has been anthologized in Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon´s Sacred Vine, as well as El consumo de lo que somos: muestra de poesía ecológica hispánica contemporánea, Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology and The Latin American Eco-Cultural Reader. She has published in the journals World Literature Today (University of Oklahoma), Translation Review (University of Texas, Dallas: special issue on new Latin American literature), Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (Americas Society-New York), and ISLE. 

Her work as a visual artist was featured in individual exhibitions at the art gallery of the Municipal Building of St. Lawrence County in Potsdam, New York. She currently works as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages at St. Lawrence University.


sophie chao

Sophie Chao is an environmental anthropologist interested in plant-human relationships. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry. Sophie has carried out long-term ethnographic fieldwork among Marind peoples in Indonesian West Papua and examined how the destruction of biodiverse forests radically undermines the moral, emotional, material, and cultural ties between sago palms and indigenous communities. Sophie is now embarking on a new research project exploring the effects of mass deforestation on indigenous food-based socialities, ecologies, and identities. Prior to her academic career, Sophie worked for indigenous rights organization Forest Peoples Programme supporting indigenous communities defend their rights to land in the face of state and corporate interests. Outside of work, Sophie enjoys listening to the voices of the forest and making friends with trees – just as Marind taught her to. For more information about Sophie’s work, please visit www.morethanhumanworlds.com.  

 

Joseph Dumit

Joseph Dumit is an anthropologist of passions, improvisation, brains, games, bodies, drugs and facts. His research and teaching ask how exactly we came to think, do and speak the way we do about ourselves and our world. He asks, what are the actual material ways in which we come to encounter facts, conspiracies, and things and take them to be relevant to our lives and our futures? He serves as Chair of Performance Studies, and is professor of Science & Technology Studies, and of Anthropology at University of California Davis. He is the author of Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans & Biomedical America (Princeton 2004), Drugs for Life: How Pharmaceutical Companies Define Our Health (Duke 2012), and co-editor of Cyborgs & Citadels; Cyborg Babies; and Biomedicine as Culture. He drinks a lot of coffee. http://dumit.net 

anne elvey

Anne Elvey lives on Boonwurrung Country in Seaford, Victoria. Author of On arrivals of breath (2019), White on White (2018), Kin (2014), and co-author of Intatto/Intact (with Massimo D’Arcangelo and Helen Moore, 2017), she is managing editor of Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics. She also curated the ebook hope for whole: Poets Speak up to Adani (2018). Anne is an Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, and Honorary Research Associate, Trinity College Theological School, University of Divinity, Melbourne. Author of The Matter of the Text: Material Engagements between Luke and the Five Senses (2011), she is coeditor, with Keith Dyer and Deborah Guess, of Ecological Aspects of War: Engagements with Biblical Texts (2017). Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity. Her writing on plants is inspired by Peter Larkin’s tree poetics. 

Martín Espada

 Martín Espada was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1957. He has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His forthcoming book of poems from Norton is called Floaters. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016),The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), Alabanza (2003), A Mayan Astronomer in Hell’s Kitchen (2000), Imagine the Angels of Bread (1996), City of Coughing and Dead Radiators (1993) and Rebellion is the Circle of a Lover’s Hands (1990). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern University Press. A former tenant lawyer, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

luke fischer

Luke Fischer is a poet and philosopher. He is the author of the poetry collections A Personal History of Vision (UWAP, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013), the monograph The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems (Bloomsbury, 2015), and the children’s book The Blue Forest (Lindisfarne Books, 2015). He is a co-editor of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus: Philosophical and Critical Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019), The Seasons: Philosophical, Literary and Environmental Perspectives (SUNY Press, forthcoming), and a special issue of the Goethe Yearbook (2015) on ‘Goethe and Environmentalism’. He frequently collaborates in events with other writers, musicians, and artists, and is an honorary associate of the philosophy department at the University of Sydney. For more information see: www.lukefischerauthor.com 

 

monica gagliano

Monica Gagliano is a research associate professor in evolutionary ecology and former fellow of the Australian Research Council. She is currently based at the University of Sydney as a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, where she has opened the doors of the brand-new BI Lab–Biological Intelligence Lab as part of the Diverse Intelligences Initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. Monica is a Research Affiliate at the Hawaii Institute of Unified Physics and a 2020 Fellow-in-residence at the Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth (ICE). In her latest book, Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants (North Atlantic Books, 2018), which she calls a phytobiography, she describes her experiments that opened the space to begin to understand how to make contact with this other-than-human intelligence. For more information: www.monicagagliano.com



 

juan carlos galeano

Juan Carlos Galeano is a poet and environmentalist born in the Amazon region of Colombia. He has published several books of poetry and has translated North American poets into Spanish. Over a decade of fieldwork on symbolic narratives of riverine and forest people in the Amazon basin resulted in his production of a comprehensive collection of storytelling (Folktales of the Amazon, ABC-CLIO, 2008) and the documentary films (The Trees Have a Mother, Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 2008), and El Río (2019, Gaia Award, USA). His poetry inspired by Amazonian cosmologies and the modern world (Amazonia 2003, 2011, and Yakumama and other Mythical Beings, 2014), has been anthologized and published in international journals such as Casa de las Américas (Cuba), Poesia (Italy/Europe), The Atlantic Monthly and Ploughshares (USA). He continues to lead field work and service learning journeys to the Amazon Basin with scholars and students from several universities in the States. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he teaches at Florida State University Latin American poetry, and cultures of Amazonia http://myweb.fsu.edu/jgaleano  

alex gearin

Alex K. Gearin, PhD, is an anthropologist from Australia who spends most of his time researching the Amazonian shamanic brew ayahuasca. He has conducted research in Peru, Australia, and China on the use of ayahuasca by indigenous and Western cultures and is the co-editor of the book The World Ayahuasca Diaspora. He is the founder of the online ayahuasca learning hub Kahpi.net which teaches courses by ayahuasca scholars, scientists and therapists. He is an assistant professor of anthropology at Xiamen University, China. 

prudence gibson

Dr Prudence Gibson is Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of Art and Design, University of NSW, Sydney. Her area of research is Critical Plant Studies, a subset of Environmental Aesthetics. Her particular field of study interrogates the crossover of plant life and the arts, and how this energetic interaction can improve human perception of vegetal life. She is author of several books: The Plant Contract  Brill Rudopi, 2018; The Rapture of Death 2010; Janet Laurence: The Pharmacy of Plants New South Publishing 2015. She co-edited Aesthetics After Finitude, Re.press 2016 and Covert Plants Punctum Books 2018. She has also published over 350 essays and articles for Art and Australia, The Conversation, Art Monthly etc and has written many essays for art catalogues. 

kathleen cruz gutierrez

Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez is a doctoral candidate in the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. To date her writing and research have contributed to the history of modern Philippine botany, science and technology studies of northern Philippine textile production, and the environmental humanities of the Asian–Pacific region. She teaches courses on the literatures of Southeast Asia and the history of science and technology in the region. Her dissertation is a history of colonial Philippine botany (1858–1936) told through the scientific lives and work of a Filipino illustrator, a Spanish botanist, and a U.S. plant collector. The research behind her dissertation has been funded by Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright–Hays program of the Department of Education, The Huntington Library, and the Bentley Historical Library

joela jacobs

Joela Jacobs is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona and founded the Literary and Cultural Plant Studies Network. Her research focuses on 19th-21st century German literature and film, Animal Studies, Environmental Humanities, Jewish Studies, the History of Sexuality, and the History of Science. She is currently working on a monograph, entitled Animal, Vegetal, Marginal: Being (Non)Human in German Modernist Grotesques, in which plants are agents in the creation and disruption of human identity (re)production. She has published articles on monstrosity, multilingualism, literary censorship, biopolitics, animal epistemology, zoopoetics, phytopoetics, cultural environmentalism, and contemporary German Jewish identity. 

Megan kaminski

Megan Kaminski a poet and essayist—and the author of three books of poetry, most recently Gentlewomen (Noemi Press, 2020). By exploring ideas of indeterminacy, rootedness, and resilience, her current book project Withness uses plant thinking as a model for response to our current moment and towards the future. Her public-facing work, in the form of the Prairie Divination Deck (w/ L. Ann Wheeler) and the Ad Astra Writing Project, helps people connect to their own ecosystems for strategies to live in their world, to grieve and heal after loss, and to re-align thinking towards kinship, community, and sustainability. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas specializing in poetry and poetics, ecosomatics, queer ecology, plant studies, nonfiction, and the environmental humanities. Her work is informed by collaborative and interdisciplinary research in social welfare, evolutionary biology, the visual arts, and philosophy, as well as previous work in the healing arts and at non-profit environmental organizations. 

 

sarah laborde

 Sarah Laborde is a research fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Australia. She is a student the connections between people and water. She has a background in the hydrological sciences as well as the social sciences, and completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2012 with joint affiliations in water resources engineering and environmental anthropology. Her current research projects relate to the notion of “flow” and to the links between water and well-being. Some of her teachers are Nyikina and Gooniyandi custodians of the Margaret and Fitzroy Rivers, in the North West of Australia.

janice lee

Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, editor, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 4 books of fiction: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Imagine a Death (The Operating System, 2021), and 2 books of creative nonfiction: Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015) and The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She combines shamanic and energetic healing with plant & animal medicine and teaches workshops on inherited trauma, healing, and writing. She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University. 

megan ljubotina

Megan Ljubotina is a plant biologist and horticulturalist who has frequently worked with Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, using it as a model organism to ask questions about how plants seek out nutrients, respond to stress, and interact with other plants belowground. Her work with James F. Cahill Jr. on sunflower root foraging and social behaviour has recently been published in an article in Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2019).  

luis luna

Luis Eduardo Luna was born in Florencia, Colombia, in 1947. He conducted research on shamanism and the use of sacred plants among the indigenous and mestizo population of the Peruvian and Colombian. He has a B.A. from Madrid University (1972), an interdisciplinary Master from Oslo University (1980), and a Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Religion Stockholm University (1989).  He is a Guggenheim Fellow (1986), a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London (1989), and is a Doctor Honoris Causa, from St. Lawrence, Canton, New York (2002).  

 

Luna is the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon (1986), a co-author with Pablo Amaringo of Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman (1991), and co-author with Rick Strassman, Slawek Wojtowicsz and Ede Frecska of Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys Through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual technologies (2008). He is co-editor with Steven White of Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine (2000, 2016). He is director of Wasiwaska, Research Center for the Study of Psychointegrator Plants, Visionary Art, and Consciousness, Florianópolis, Brazil. www.wasiwaska.org. 

 

Barry Mcdonald

Barry McDonald lives in rural Australia. He envisions his life in terms of relationship rather than achievement; of deep engagement with Land, Ancestors, family and Story. Barry continues to explore, in writings across a variety of media – poetry, creative non-fiction and song - the expanding dimensions of his relational experience. 

 

solvejg nitzke

Dr. Solvejg Nitzke is a postdoctoral scholar at Technische Universität Dresden in Germany. She was part of the DFG-funded project “Climate’s Time” at the University of Vienna and earned her doctorate at Ruhr-University Bochum in 2015 with a thesis on the Tunguska-Event (“Die Produktion der Katastrophe. Das Tunguska-Ereignis und die Programme der Moderne” transcript 2017). Her current research project “Precarious Nature” examines proto-ecological knowledge in 19th century country-literatures. She works on disaster and science fiction, the intersection of story-telling and knowledge production and ecological thought. Her work on plants focuses on trees and their relationship with and agency in story-telling, she is working on a book-project called Making Kin with Trees and the collection Baum und Text (in German) will be published in spring 2020. 

 

 

kristi onzik

Kristi is a Phd Candidate in the UC Davis Sociocultural Anthropology program. Her dissertation research studies a small but growing community of scientists experimenting with the boundaries of the scientifically (un)thinkable: plant thought. Building upon conversations in feminist science studies and a “more-than-human” anthropology, she asks how concepts like plant cognition, neurobiology, and behavior are being assembled from within the experimental practices of a variety of plant scientists—many of whom are risking their careers on not simply the possibility that plants think, but working from an inner feeling, a “tacit” knowing, that plants have always already been making sense of us; we just need to learn how to listen. She has been a visiting researcher at LINV in Florence, Italy, the MINT lab in Murcia, Spain, the Plant Growth Lab in Seattle, WA, and is an ongoing collaborator with the Biological Intelligence Lab in NSW, Australia and the Plant Studies Collaboratory.  

 

andre parise

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, in the southern Brazilian city of Florianópolis, and I’m currently doing my master’s degree in Plant Physiology at the Federal University of Pelotas, in the more-southern-still Pelotas, also in Brazil. Through the last years, I have been studying plant cognition, intelligence and communication, which is a new and fascinating topic of research. I’m very fond of science popularisation and, as far as possible, I’m always trying to make science understandable to the general audience.

 

matteo politi

Matteo Politi has a PhD in natural product chemistry and a specialization in naturopathy. He has more than 20 years of multidisciplinary experience related with herbal medicine, working for several University centres, not-for-profit organizations, and private companies. He is currently a research collaborator at the Takiwasi Center in Peru and at the University of Chieti in Italy. 

 
He has a deep passion for all sorts of traditional medicines, especially those orally transmitted from bio-diverse cultural contexts. He likes to travel to remote and wild environments, constantly looking for new insights from people and nature. He supports the vitalistic approach to health, and the animistic vision of nature, he practices with pleasure herbal medicine as a form of care and learning.  

 

laura ruggles

Laura Ruggles is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Adelaide in philosophy of biology and cognitive science, and an avid gardener and macrofungal enthusiast. With a background in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, her research explores the emerging use of plants as model organisms in the cognitive sciences. She looks at how plant research is offering novel insights into the diversity of cognition and how cognitive frameworks offer insights into understanding plant mechanisms. She is interested in how our ways of framing plants and the metaphors that we use as thinking tools constrain the sorts of questions we ask about them and the research we do, and how plant theorising and plant-human relations have changed over time. 

 

john charles ryan

John Charles Ryan is Adjunct Associate Professor at Southern Cross University and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. His interests include the environmental humanities, ecopoetics, critical plant studies, and Southeast Asian ecocriticism. His recent edited book is Australian Wetland Cultures: Swamps and the Environmental Crisis (2019, Lexington Books). His article in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2020) examines environmental precarity in the work of contemporary Indonesian poets. In 2020, he is Writer-in-Residence at Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Virginia (www.osgf.org) and Visiting Researcher at University of 17 Agustus 1945 (UNTAG) in Surabaya, Indonesia.   

 

kirli saunders

Proud Gunai Woman, Kirli Saunders is an award-winning international Children's Author, Poet, Teacher, and emerging Artist. She leads Poetry in First Languages, delivered by Red Room Poetry. Kirli’s debut picture book The Incredible Freedom Machines was shortlisted for the Prime Ministers Literary Awards and CBCA notables. Her poetry collection, Kindred was Highly Commended in Black&Write. She is the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and University of Canberra ATSI Poetry prize. Kirli was shortlisted for the 2020 NSW Woman of the Year. She was guest writer for the Embassy in Jakarta and Bali (2019) and Beijing (2020).  

gabriel toledo

I was born in the west of São Paulo state, Brazil, and I always was troubled with the destruction that the region’s environment suffered through the years because of greed and ignorance. Willing to learn more about life and its links with human behaviour, I started my bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the State University of Maringá. However, I finished it at the University of Western São Paulo. Later on, I did my master’s degree in ‘Environmental and Regional Development’, also in the University of Western São Paulo. And now, I’m finishing my PhD at the Federal University of

Pelotas, in Rio Grande do Sul state. During my career, I have worked with topics related to plant cognition, such as plant behaviour, plant communication and plant intelligence. For ecological, educational and conservational purposes, I always try to evidence the importance of considering plants as intelligent beings.

mauricio tolosa

I am an independent writer and photographer. For the last few years, I have been working on arborecer, a multimedia project depicting the interaction and possible communication between plants and human beings. I focus on the influence and inspiration that a crab apple tree has gifted me. It has opened many doors in my artistic and research journey with plants. I am amazed to discover the many ways in which it is possible to establish a deep relationship with plants, how we can enter their world, and how they join with ours. I feel honored to have the chance to get a glance at what could be in the future a shared world, where all life will be respected and cherished. 

I have worked as a communication expert and international consultant for governments and organizations in different cultures. I have also developed teaching programs for universities and foundations.

As a writer, I have published books on communication and science, a novel and two books of poetry. I create and direct writing workshops, the latest one being "The Voices of Plants" which explores new ways of thinking about our relationship with plants and strengthening writing skills.

giorgia tresca

Giorgia Tresca studied social anthropology and recently completed a master’s in environmental anthropology at the University of Kent. Her thesis addressed Amazonian plant healing diets and how they are adopted into European natural and cultural environments. Currently she lives in Italy,  takes people on wine and forest tours and, through her writing, continues  to explore how developing a relation to plants may challenge our understanding and stimulate our experience of what it means to be human.  

Patricia Vieira

Patrícia Vieira is Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra and Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, at Georgetown University. Her fields of expertise are Latin American and Iberian Literatures and Cultures, Portuguese and Brazilian Cinema, Utopian Studies and the Environmental Humanities. Her most recent monograph is States of Grace: Utopia in Brazilian Culture (SUNY UP, 20018) and her most recent co-edited book is Portuguese Literature and the Environment (Lexington, 2019). She has published numerous articles in her fields of expertize, as well as op-eds in The New York Times, the LA Review of Books and The European, among others.  For more information visit: www.patriciavieira.net





jonathon Miller weisberger

Ethnobotanist Jonathon Miller Weisberger has spent the past thirty years studying rainforest plant medicine traditions. Since 1994 he has organized biannual “Rainforest Medicine Councils,” experiential workshops journeys, promoting “Personal, Community and Planetary Renewal”, participants immerse themselves in an intimate first-hand experience meeting and learning from indigenous elders, cultural adepts, the majesty of the wilderness, and the omnipotent plant teachers themselves. He has collaborated on historic rainforest conservation and cultural heritage revalidation initiatives in the Ecuadorian Amazon, such as the demarcation of the Waorani peoples’ ancestral homelands and the demarcation and protection of the isolated limestone massif of Napo-Galeras in the upper Amazon. His passion is plants, and to share them with others! He is the author of Rainforest Medicine ~ Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon and the steward of Ocean Forest Ecolodge in Costa Rica where he lives most of the year.

steve whalan

I am a devoted thalassophile. The ocean has always had its tentacles into me, and eventually ushered me to studying, and then researching this magical realm. I spend large chunks of my life trying to figure out parts of the puzzle that make marine communities fit, and work, together. For no particular reason I found myself working on sea sponges and then corals. Both these groups have remarkable and diverse biology’s, but it is their motile larval phases, and how they move around, chose where to live and then change into a juvenile form that intrigues me most.. As an animal ecologist it might seem wacky that I’m writing on the mindfulness of plants, but it is the connection among us all that provides fodder for the most interesting stories. Here, the life of sponges and coral are intricately linked to the coralline algae that surround them, and this is where my story in this book starts.  

jessica white

Jessica White is the author of the award-winning A Curious Intimacy (Penguin 2007) and Entitlement (Penguin 2012), and a hybrid memoir about deafness, Hearing Maud (UWA Publishing, 2019). Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared widely in Australian and international literary journals and have been shortlisted or longlisted for major prizes. Jessica is the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts and has undertaken residencies in Hobart and Rome. She is currently working on two books: an ecobiography of Western Australia’s first female scientist, 19th century botanist Georgiana Molloy, as well as a scholarly monograph on the genre of ecobiography. In 2020, Jessica will be based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, the University of Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network, and at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in the United States. 

 

catherine wright

Catherine Wright grew up on a cattle station in northern New South Wales. Her relationship with the land was heavily shaped by long, solitary walks as a child when she developed a passion for wild places. She first received a Bachelor of Economics before completing a Bachelor of Arts in Performance and then worked as an actress. Since turning to writing, her poems and creative non-fiction have won or been shortlisted for a number of awards, a Varuna residential fellowship, and been published in literary journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. She is finishing her first collection ‘The Consolation of Birds', and continues to find inspiration especially in the natural world and its power over us. After many years of travel, Catherine has returned to live in the dramatic gorge landscape close to her childhood home outside Armidale, New South Wales.