PERSONAL: Male. Education: A. Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, M.S., 1992; University of Connecticut, Ph.D., 2000.
CAREER: Zoologist, researcher, educator, and writer. Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge, MA, research associate and director of the museum's Invertebrate Diversity Initiative of Conservation International.
(And photographer) The Smaller Majority: The Hidden World of the Animals That Dominate the Tropics, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: "I find a butterfly ten times more fascinating than a bird of paradise or an elephant," zoologist Piotr Naskrecki told Ken Gewertz in an article in the Harvard University Gazette. "Their biology is far more interesting." Naskrecki's interest in the "smaller" animals and the growing loss of their various habitats led him to write The Smaller Majority: The Hidden World of the Animals That Dominate the Tropics. For years, the author has been studying small creatures in such places as Latin America, Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific. In his book, he discusses many of the rarest animals on earth, including highly unusual animals that have remained largely unclassified and unphotographed until the author focused his lens on them. The book includes many color photos taken by the author on his various research expeditions. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote, "Crisp, enjoyable prose, clearly explains complex biological processes." A Science News reviewer noted that many of the animals that the author discusses are "smaller than a human finger" and that the author "brings these creatures into sharp focus" with his photographs. As for the future of many of these creatures, Naskrecki told Gewertz: "It's my job to be optimistic, but it's a scary prospect. It's difficult enough to convince people to save an elephant or a gorilla. It's much harder to get them to care about a tiny tree frog."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, October 31, 2005, review of The Smaller Majority: The Hidden World of the Animals That Dominate the Tropics, p. 48.
Science News, October 29, 2005, review of The Smaller Majority, p. 287.
Harvard University Gazette Web site, http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/ (April 24, 2006), Ken Gewertz, "Zoologist Says in Animal Kingdom Less Is More."
Smaller Majority Web site, http://www.smallermajority.org (April 24, 2006).