Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future



ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Danielle Clode, a zoologist, biologist, natural history author, and animal expert, discusses her new book “KOALA: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future,” an amazing journey into the hidden life of the koala, revealing what life is really like up in the trees. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.

Despite their iconic status and celebrity, koalas remain a mystery. Often affectionate in captivity, they seek out humans when in need of water or care yet can also be fierce and belligerent. They are beloved worldwide but are also plagued by sexually transmitted diseases and maligned for a lack of intelligence. Their diet consists solely of leaves that are full of toxins. In some states they are threatened with extinction, while in others they are dying from overpopulation.

Fueled by her background in biology, Danielle Clode delves into the world of koalas to discover what’s behind the sweet face on thousands of postcards. From their megafaunal ancestors to the disastrous effects of colonization, from remarkable conservation success in the 1920s to the devastating bushfires of 2019–2020, Clode tells the story of koalas and their complex relationship with humans. Sharing the latest scientific insights and myth-busting facts, Koala takes readers up into the trees to reveal the truth about these extraordinary animals and what must be done to ensure their survival.

Danielle Clode is a biologist and natural history author based at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Danielle grew up in the fishing town of Port Lincoln in South Australia before sailing around the coast with her parents on a boat known as ‘the pirate ship’. After finishing school in far north Queensland, she moved to Adelaide to study politics and psychology. Danielle worked as a zookeeper before completing her doctorate in zoology at Oxford University, studying seabirds and feral mink in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  Her books include “Killers in Eden,” which was made into an award-winning Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV documentary; “Voyage to the South Seas,” winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction; and “The Wasp and the Orchid,” which was shortlisted for the National Biography Award. Her most recent book is “In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World.” More at https://danielleclode.com.au/

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Danielle Clode is a biologist and natural history author based at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

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