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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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The Man Who Invented Modern Ecology

Posted by Richard Conniff on October 9, 2016

Given four minutes, this film by Patrick Lynch at Yale says a great deal about G. Evelyn Hutchinson, who founded the science of modern ecology, largely by studying a lake just outside New Haven:

Among his many other influences, other writers made Hutchinson’s work the basis for the Gaia Theory, the popular idea of the Earth as a “single giant living system,” in which organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings to form a synergistic self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.
You can read more about Hutchinson in my book House of Lost Worlds: Dinosaurs, Dynasties, and the Story of Life on Earth (Yale, 2016).

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