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A Field Guide to Bacteria (Comstock Book) Paperback – April 3, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"This isn't a book on how to avoid E. coli and other nefarious bacteria that invade our food and homes, but an amateur naturalist's guide to all sorts of bacteria that can be seen (and smelled) without a microscope, from their habitats (hot springs, marine mud flats, even urban areas), to how to recognize and identify them in all their remarkable diversity. After all, the author reminds us, bacteria are 'the most predominant organisms on Earth,' and she even recommends taking a 'bacteriocentric' point of view in order to understand them. All the major groupings are covered, along with information on how to culture bacteria, use a microscope, and practice good safety precautions. More than 100 color illustrations will assist the happy bacteria hunter as well."―Publishers Weekly, 2003
"A wonderful addition to any amateur naturalist's library. It is a witty and comprehensive look at a neglected subject by someone who is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the material. . . . I can recommend this book without hesitation to amateur naturalists, educators, and parents as a key to unlocking the door to better understanding the world around them."―Jerry W. Kram, Society of Amateur Scientists E-Bulletin, July 25 2003
"In writing this Field Guide, Dyer (Wheaton College) has done such an excellent job that even an amateur naturalist will find it interesting and adaptable. . . . It is potentially a wonderful resource for those who are interested in studying bacterial ecology―amateur naturalists, biology teachers, or even professional microbiologists, and should find a lasting home in the collections of all of them. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels."―A.M. Dhople, Florida Institute of Technology, Choice, 41:4, Dec. 2003
"This is an interesting book that aims to introduce bacteria in the field to serious amateur naturalists, biology teachers at all levels, and even some professional biologists who may appreciate the accessibility it afford to these otherwise obscure organisms."―Ecology 84:11, November 2003
"Since bacteria themselves are generally not able to be seen without the aid of a strong microscope, the aim of this book is to help identify the presence of certain bacteria by macroscopic field marks―characteristics that can be seen, smelled, touched, or heard. The guide is written for amateur naturalists who may or may not have access to a microscope and covers all the major taxonomic groups of bacteria in an accessible manner."―E-Streams 6:12, December 2003
"Bacteria are a driving force in global ecology, human physiology, earth history, evolution, and environmental issues. A Field Guide to Bacteria brings current thought about bacteria into everyday concepts of life."―Douglas Zook, Boston University"Bacteria are very important in human lives and in natural and engineered environments where they mediate extremely important processes from disease to nutrient cycling. The challenge is that bacteria are so small that they are not readily observed except with a very powerful microscope. Betsey Dexter Dyer's focus on 'field marks' provides a practical way to observe bacteria on a macroscopic scale or to see the manifestations of their activities."―James Staley, University of Washington
Top Customer Reviews
The huge bacterial flora is well covered and the author's grasp of the multitudinous habitats where bacteria live and thrive, sometimes under the most extreme conditions, is impressive. Everything from sulfur bacteria, halophytes and causes of desert varnish to internal symbionts and more are covered in fascinating detail. Dyer has opened up a whole new way of looking at the world that give us a more accurate view of the pervasiveness of the tiny. Not all bacteria are out to get us by any means and this book provides a much needed balance to the "killer bacteria" usually featured in popular literature.
A necessary book for amateur and even professional microbiologists, it will also, I think, provide a good read for anyone interested in the natural world as it really is.
Of course, Dyer's book is a lighter, more amusing read than Balows', and chock full of the sort of anecdote that is fun to slip into a lecture -- such as the explanation of Charles Dickens' cryptic reference to a "bad lobster in a dark cellar" in _The Christmas Carol_, and the fact that the oddly named cyanobacterium _Nostoc_ was named by the alchemist Paracelsus!
In addition, I was pleasantly surprised that despite identifying herself on the very first page as a former student of Lynn Margulis, Dyer doesn't try to defend her mentor's continued rejection of the discoveries of molecular phylogeny, but even goes so far as to praise Woese and Sogin by name! It is refreshing to finally see a work of popular science that acknowledges how the pioneers of molecular phylogeny have changed microbiology over the last couple decades.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific book. Also highly recommend her audio lecture series UNSEEN DIVERSITY, which is really wonderful. Dyer is the best intro to this subject for non-microbiologists. Read morePublished 2 months ago by PT
I finished this book in one day, it was that engrossing. Usually when I read a book, if it is too "wordy" or "short" on info, I end up bored, but Betsey Dyer did a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rachel
This isn't just a field guide, but a complete survey of bacteriology. Great for scientists and hobbyists alike because it is highly organized yet avoids confusing jargon.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a really fun book. It had me looking around everywhere for evidence of bacterial activity - next to the sidewalk on my way to work, next to the rails at the train station,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Aunty Matilda
Interesting for a curious person, I didn't hold my attention that much. Perhaps because Im not in the field, so I could not quickly connect the dots, but it is worth reading.Published 15 months ago by Mum of two
Just what the class required and sold at a reasonable price.Published 19 months ago by Phillip Amos