Witness scoops book on 'wonders of biodiversity' from Kew's Antonelli

Witness scoops book on 'wonders of biodiversity' from Kew's Antonelli

Witness Books has scooped an exploration of the science, stories and wonders of biodiversity from the director of science at Kew Gardens, Alexandre Antonelli.

Albert DePetrillo, publishing director, acquired world rights for The Hidden Universe: Adventures in Biodiversity from Gina Fullerlove, head of publishing at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Witness Books will publish in July 2022, and international rights have already sold in the US, China and Sweden.

The publisher said: "Biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth – is our planet’s ‘hidden universe’, its components far more abundant, numerous, complex and interwoven than most people realise. Combining inspirational stories and the latest scientific research, The Hidden Universe reveals the wonders of biodiversity at a genetic, species and ecosystem level, showing how it works and why it’s both the source and the salvation of our existence. It’s an elegant and urgent book that marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in popular science."

DePetrillo said: "I’m thrilled to be working with Alex and the team at RBG Kew on this remarkable book. Alex is a brilliant science communicator, and he’s written an enlightening and assured debut. Protecting and restoring biodiversity has never been more important, and I think The Hidden Universe will help drive a much-needed conversation around what can be done. It is the beginning of what I’m sure will be an exciting writing career."

Antonelli added: "I’ve lived and breathed biodiversity since my childhood days in the rainforests of my home country Brazil, and long before I knew the meaning of that word, I had already decided to dedicate my whole life to it. In this book, I take the reader on a journey into the fascinating and largely unexplored world of nature’s myriad life forms. Understanding what biodiversity is, and why it’s important, has never been more crucial. We are entering an age of extinction, with the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change threatening our very life support systems. But I’m no doomsday prophet: there’s still time to fix things, and I want to show how."