Adam, Paul 1951-

views updated

ADAM, Paul 1951-

PERSONAL: Born August 11, 1951; son of Andrew Thomas (an engineer) and Phyllis Ada (Cockle) Adam. Education: Emmanuel College, Cambridge, B.A., 1972, M.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1976. Hobbies and other interests: Sailing.

ADDRESSES: Home— 3 Benvenue St., Kingsford, New South Wales 2033, Australia. Office— School of Biological Science, Room 412, Bio Science Building, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER: Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, research fellow at Emmanuel College, 1975-78; University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, lecturer, 1978-83, senior lecturer, 1983-90, associate professor of biology, 1991—; director, J. T. Waterhouse Herbarium. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Advisory Council, member for New South Wales, 1987-94.

MEMBER: Ecological Society of Australia (secretary, 1983-84 and 1994—); Coast and Wetlands Society, Inc. (president).


Coastal Wetlands of New South Wales, Australian Department of Environment and Planning, 1985.

New South Wales Rainforests: The Nomination for the World Heritage List, Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (Sydney, Australia), 1987.

Saltmarsh Ecology, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Australian Rainforests, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1992.


Associate editor, Journal of Ecology; member of editorial board, Cambridge Studies in Ecology.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on salt marsh ecology and on the pollination ecology of rainforests.

SIDELIGHTS: Paul Adam has demonstrated his knowledge of the Australian ecology in books such as Australian Rainforests, Coastal Wetlands of New South Wales, and Saltmarsh Ecology. Although three-quarters of the Australian population lives in urban areas, the wilderness or bush country is a major part of the national identity. Kangaroos, koalas, and other exotic animals are unique treasures of Australia, and issues related to the wildlife and land tend to become very politically charged.

Despite the political and biological importance of the Australian rainforest, it has been studied very little in comparison to the other rainforests of the world. In his book Australian Rainforests, Adam "provides a major review and illustrates the gaps in knowledge of this paleotropical ecosystem," reported Margaret D. Lowman in a Bio Science review of the book. In this book, Adam discusses Australia's isolation from other land masses and the ways that its placement led to the evolution of unusual life forms. He compares the traits of Australia's rainforests to those of the rest of the world, and discusses the unique classification system for forests in Australia. He notes the relatively small size of the Australian rainforest and the consequences of its patchy distribution across the continent. Political history relating to these wild areas is also covered, and Lowman advised that "a section highlighting the influences of humans on Australian rainforests provides an excellent summary of the political events of the past few decades that have led to national controversies on conservation issues."



American Scientist, September-October, 1994, David J. Yates, review of Australian Rainforests, p. 486.

Bio Science, January, 1994, Margaret D. Lowman, review of Australian Rainforests, p. 40.*