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Maria Sibylla Merian: The First Ecologist?
March 29, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$5 – $10
Kay Etheridge, PhD, Professor of Biology, Gettysburg College
In 1699 a 52 year-old artist/naturalist embarked in Amsterdam for a two-month sailing voyage to the Dutch colony of Surinam in South America. Maria Sibylla Merian then spent two years in the tropical forests of Surinam studying insects and their food plants, an undertaking which today would be considered ecological science. The book that resulted from this extraordinary undertaking, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, was the first to show New World plants and animals together in colorful images. By this time in her life Merian was a renowned naturalist, and already had published two books on European moths and butterflies, in which she pioneered the depiction of plants as hosts for specific insect species. Kay Etheridge, PhD, will provide an overview of Merian’s major contributions to the study of natural history and her considerable influence on naturalists and scientists who followed her.
Fee $5 Arboretum member, $10 nonmember
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