Walter R. TschinkelFeb 2, 2022
The Wonder, Beauty, and Science of Underground Nests
Princeton University Press 2021
Walter Tschinkel has spent much of his career investigating the hidden subterranean realm of ant nests. This wonderfully illustrated book takes you inside an unseen world where thousands of ants build intricate homes in the soil beneath our feet.
Tschinkel describes the ingenious methods he has devised to study ant nests, showing how he fills a nest with plaster, molten metal, or wax and painstakingly excavates the cast. He guides you through living ant nests chamber by chamber, revealing how nests are created and how colonies function. How does nest architecture vary across species? Do ants have “architectural plans”? How do nests affect our environment? As he delves into these and other questions, Tschinkel provides a one-of-a-kind natural history of the planet’s most successful creatures and a compelling firsthand account of a life of scientific discovery.
Offering a unique look at how simple methods can lead to pioneering science, Ant Architecture: The Wonder, Beauty, and Science of Underground Nests (Princeton UP, 2021) addresses the unsolved mysteries of underground ant nests while charting new directions for tomorrow’s research, and reflects on the role of beauty in nature and the joys of shoestring science.
Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.