by Steve Morton
I wrote Australian Deserts because I wanted to distil the deep but under-appreciated knowledge of scientists about the dry country. Scientists are thin on the ground, yet they have revealed much about the Outback, its plants and animals, and how through evolutionary time these occupants of the desert came to call it home. This book outlines why unpredictable rainfall and paucity of soil nutrients underpin desert ecosystems. It shows how plants use uncertain rainfall to provide for persistence. It outlines the dominant animals of the deserts and the features that help them succeed in the face of aridity and uncertainty.
The book is written as a narrative rather than as a scientific text, even though it is based in science. At intervals throughout the narrative, I reflect on the people who influenced me and the personal experiences that contributed to my growing understanding of the place. My hope is that readers from many walks of life will find interest in it.
Australian Deserts is richly illustrated with the photographs of Mike Gillam. Because Mike is a longstanding resident of Alice Springs, I believe that his images are steeped in the patience and persistence needed to do justice to the country. We both hope that the book will enhance your appreciation of the wonderful ecological complexity of arid Australia.
Note: we are currently sold out of Australian Deserts and expecting new stock in May, pre-order is available and limited stock will be available for purchase at the official launch:
You are invited to attend the official launch!
Australian Deserts will be launched by Professor Tom Griffiths (The Art of Time Travel)
Tuesday March 29 at 5pm, 8 Hele Crescent Ciccone behind Raft Artspace
Books available for purchase on the night
Non-alcoholic drinks and nibbles will be available