Landscapes and Labscapes Exploring the Lab-Field Border in Biology
by Robert E. Kohler
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-226-45009-4 | Paper: 978-0-226-45010-0 | Electronic: 978-0-226-45011-7
ABOUT THIS BOOKAUTHOR BIOGRAPHYTABLE OF CONTENTS

ABOUT THIS BOOK

What is it like to do field biology in a world that exalts experiments and laboratories? How have field biologists assimilated laboratory values and practices, and crafted an exact, quantitative science without losing their naturalist souls?

In Landscapes and Labscapes, Robert E. Kohler explores the people, places, and practices of field biology in the United States from the 1890s to the 1950s. He takes readers into the fields and forests where field biologists learned to count and measure nature and to read the imperfect records of "nature's experiments." He shows how field researchers use nature's particularities to develop "practices of place" that achieve in nature what laboratory researchers can only do with simplified experiments. Using historical frontiers as models, Kohler shows how biologists created vigorous new border sciences of ecology and evolutionary biology.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Robert E. Kohler is a professor of the history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life, published by the University of Chicago Press.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Illustrations

Preface

Chapter 1: Borders and History

Field and Lab in Biology

Lab and Field as Place

Borders and Frontiers

An Overview, with Caveats

Chapter 2: A New Natural History

The New Natural History

New Naturalists and Educational Reform

Labscapes: Marine Stations and Biological Farms

Labscapes: Vivaria and Field Stations

Conclusion

Chapter 3: Border Crossings

The Rise and Decline of Biometry

Ecology: Physiology or Natural History?

Up “Brush Creek” and Back Again

Guardians of the Faith: Genetics and Physiology

Conclusion

Chapter 4: Taking Nature’s Measure

Trust in Numbers: Quadrats

Taking Nature’s Measure: Instruments

Plant-Machine: Atmometers and Phytometers

Instrumental Eye: The Camera

Making the Place Right: Forrest Shreve

Conclusion

Chapter 5: Experiments in Nature

Experimental Evolution

Shifting Ground: Field and Lab

Experiments in Nature: Ecology

Experimental Taxonomy: Harvey M. Hall and Jens Clausen

Conclusion

Chapter 6: Troubled Lives

Midlife Crises: Ecology

Ends and Means: Experimental Evolution

Identity

Genetics, True and False

Physiologists and the Field

Conclusion

Chapter 7: Nature’s Experiments

Nature’s Experiments

Places in Process

Reading Places

Physiographic Ecology

Panoramas

Evolution

Conclusion

Chapter 8: Border Practices

Geographical Speciation: Ernst Mayr

Hybrid Introgression: Edgar Anderson

Ecosystem Ecology: Raymond Lindeman

Gradients and Continua: Robert Whittaker

Conclusion

Chapter 9: Border Biology: A Transect

The Border Zone: A Bird’s-Eye View

Conclusion

Abbreviations

Bibliography

Index