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Synopsis

First published in 1989, Eric L. Mills’s comprehensive history of biological oceanography has been praised as ‘superb’ (BioScience) and ‘proof that history need not be dull’ (The Northern Mariner). This first history of the field, which chronicles the scientific work and creativity of its chief contributors, tells a riveting story that is far from narrowly scientific and thoroughly accessible to general readers.

Mills shows how the work and ideas of the main actors are inseparable from some seemingly unrelated factors, including Prussian imperialism, agricultural chemistry, microbiology, and the problems of German universities. Mills also illustrates the significant roles played in the field’s development by the failures of commercial fisheries, the development of analytical chemistry, the establishment of international scientific organizations, and sheer scientific curiosity.

This new edition of Biological Oceanography includes a fresh introduction by the author, as well as an original foreword by noted oceanographer John Cullen. It makes an excellent companion to Mills’s recent history of mathematical and physical oceanography, the multi-award-winning and widely acclaimed The Fluid Envelope of Our Planet.

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