Jean's Reviews > Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology

Life in the Treetops by Margaret Lowman
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bookshelves: autobiography, memoir, environmental-ecology

Margaret Lowman climbs trees for a living. She has been studying the canopy (the highest level of trees) for her working career as a biologist. Life in the Treetops is her first book that recounts her work up to 1999.

Her interest in the natural world began in her early childhood - she collected all kinds of animals and plants. The book begins in 1978/1979 when she moved to Australia for graduate work. She says a "natural progression of ideas" led her to study trees, and particularly their tops -"the canopy." In this book, she recounts her experiences in Australia, where she met her husband, had two children, and juggled family and career.

She left Australia - and her husband - taking her two children with her back to the U.S., where she taught for several years, continuing to do fieldwork. The rest of the book is about the places she traveled to work in the canopy.

Dr. Lowman intermixes information about her personal life with descriptions of plants and of the construction of methods to get into the canopy. The most interesting expedition she took was to Cameroon, where she studied the canopy from a dirigible and a raft.

The chapters sounded like articles, and she repeated herself several times telling about her failed marriage and the life of women in Australia, but otherwise, I found the book fascinating. Lowman has written another book called "It's a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops," - I plan to read it and will let you know what I think.

Read more about women like Margaret Lowman at my new series on Women Adventurers
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