Fujita, Marty 1954-
FUJITA, Marty 1954-
PERSONAL: Born 1954. Education: Boston University, Ph.D., 1986.
CAREER: Has worked as a research associate for the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology; National Zoo, Conservation and Research Center; Richardson Bay Audubon Nature Center and Sanctuary, director; Nature Conservancy Program of Indonesia, founding director; currently diplomacy fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
(With Gavan Daws) Archipelago: The Islands ofIndonesia: From the Nineteenth-Century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-first Century, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Marty Fujita's doctoral studies focused on the evolution, ecology, and behavior of bats. While a research associate at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology, Fujita received a fellowship grant from Bat Conservation International (BCI), which allowed her to study flying foxes. During research work in Southeast Asia, she conducted seminars and gave lectures and press conferences to help raise awareness about the need for bat conservation. In Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Emil Salim, minister for population and environment, was so impressed with Fujita's program that he recommended she visit East Java to research the bat population near Surabaya. Her subsequent trip culminated in an important bat roost receiving protection by East Java's government. Her efforts have also reached Indonesia and Malaysia, where officials there have shown interest in bat conservation projects.
Along with Gavan Daws, Fujita is the author of Archipelago: The Islands of Indonesia: From the Nineteenth-Century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-first Century, which was described by Chris Ballard in the Journal of Pacific History as "truly high tea—a sumptuous volume at the top end of the coffee table." The book follows the life of nineteenth-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who simultaneously with and independently of Charles Darwin developed the theories of evolution and natural selection.
A self-educated man, one of eight children of a failed businessman, Wallace became a teacher and land surveyor before traveling to South America in 1848. In the Amazon, he drew maps, collected and documented rare species, and pondered the question "What are the circumstances which render certain rivers and mountain ranges the limits of numerous species, while others not?" After four years, Wallace returned to England, then in 1854 headed for the Malay Archipelago, where he spent eight years exploring the islands and pondering the mystery of the origin of species. In 1858, stricken again with malaria, he began thinking about sickness and survival. In an Observer article, Robin McKie wrote, "Wallace lay shivering in his tiny tent when he realised that similar forces—that is, sickness—must be even more strongly at work among animals, selecting the strong for survival, the weak for death. This skews the nature of future generations. He had found the key to the origin of species and . . . sketched out a paper which he posted to Darwin." Darwin, working on the question himself, ultimately organized a joint reading of their papers.
Stephen F. Siebert noted in the Quarterly Review of Biology that Fujita and Daws arrange their book in the order Wallace visited the Malay islands, support their text with period maps and excellent photographs, and include excerpts from Wallace's 1869 publication, The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orangutan, and the Bird of Paradise. Siebert commented that the authors "succeed in providing an engaging, if brief, overview of a rich and multifaceted topic." Mehru Jaffer noted in a Jakarta Post review that the pristine ecology of Wallace's Malay Archipelago is today in serious jeopardy. Jaffer commented, "This book is a reminder that long before there ever was a global economy there was a global ecology, a web of life imbuing species and ecosystems with a common future. While governments take their own sweet time understanding this, the least that individuals can do in this moment of emergency is buy this book, all proceeds from which will benefit Indonesia's still magnificent national parks. This gesture may seem a drop of water by itself, but together with other efforts can go a long way toward the making of an entire ocean."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Jakarta Post, January 23, 2000, Mehru Jaffer, review of Archipelago: The Islands of Indonesia: From the Nineteenth-Century Discoveries of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Fate of Forests and Reefs in the Twenty-first Century, p. 1
Journal of Pacific History, December, 2002, Chris Ballard, review of Archipelago, p. 330.
Library Journal, January, 2000, Nancy J. Moeckel, review of Archipelago, p. 150.
Observer, January 9, 2000, Robin McKie, "How Darwin's Other Half Lived."
Quarterly Review of Biology, September, 2000, Stephen F. Siebert, review of Archipelago, p. 304.*