Book Attracts International Praise

Cassowary crop

Tim Low’s most recent book, Where Song Began continues to attract strong interest. An international edition was published by Yale University Press in late 2016.

In February it received strong praise from Tim Flannery, in a very long review in the The New York Review of Books, which ends with this:

"Where Song Began provides a novel interpretation of Australia's avifauna that will enrich the understanding of anyone interested in birds. As a professional biologist familiar with much of its matter I found myself astonished again and again." 

In the March 2017 issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, William E. Davis wrote that 'Low is to be congratulated for producing this very idea-rich ecological tapestry. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and found it very thought provoking."

In December 2016 it was reviewed in Britain's Literary Review, which described it as an Illuminating and engaging study.

In a review in BBC Wildlife magazine, leading bird author Jonathan Elphick was very approving: "I discovered revelations in each of these 12 chapters. The book is written by a biologist with a gift for translating complex scientific research into riveting prose.”

In a November review in America's Bird Watcher's Digest it earned this praise: 

“Books about ecology and evolutionary biology are rarely so entertaining and engrossing, but Low is a story-teller, and nearly every page offers a compelling, often shocking, story.”  

In October it received a recommendation from the editors of Scientific American

In September the Open Letters Monthly declared it "one of the best works of natural history to appear all year."

Other reviews have appeared in Canada and Costa Rica.

Yale obtained strong endorsements for the book from experts in the US and Britain, including the following:

“Tim Low masterfully tells a story not told before. He provides an elegant synthesis of the scientific literature and a panoramic view of how Australia's songbirds originated; the ecological and behavioral forces leading to their uniqueness; and ultimately their far-reaching impacts across the globe.”—Scott Edwards, Harvard University

“On visiting Australia years ago, I struggled to understand bird behaviour I observed. This is the book I needed then, an erudite but accessible insight into why Australia’s birds are ‘different.’”—Robert Prys-Jones, Head of Bird Group, Natural History Museum (London)

The book continues to sell strongly in Australia.

At the Australian Book Industry Awards dinner in Sydney in 2015, it won the prize for best non-fiction of the year.  

The ABIA summed up Tim's win in these words:

"Biologist and prize-winning writer Tim Low took out General Non Fiction Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards on Thursday 21 May 2015 for his intriguing book Where Song Began. Up against the likes of Don Watson, Annabel Crabb and Helen Garner, Tim’s win marks the first time a nature book has won this competitive category."

This is the second major prize for the book. By a margin of hundreds of votes it won the People's Choice Award at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards earlier that year. The following day the book was shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards, run by Australia's independent booksellers.

Since the book appeared Tim has received invitations to speak at bird festivals and other events all over Australia.

Further details about the book and its reception can be found here.    

Where Song Began Sydney Airport







Orang-Utan-2017Tim led a Naturetrek group on a tour of Borneo in September, which proved a great success, with an unprecedented number of mammals were seen, including a tarsier, slow lorises, elephants, flying lemurs, yellow-throated martin, binturong and of course orangutans, gibbons, proboscis monkeys, leaf monkeys and macaques. The birds included bristleheads, a blue-headed pitta, black and crimson pitta and nine species of hornbill. Tim will lead another tour in 2018. 

Tim will speak about birds in Horsham, Victoria, on 21 March and in Adelaide, to Birds South Australia, on 27 April. In July he will be a keynote speaker at the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference in Sydney.

He continues to write his fortnightly blog for Australian Geographic.

An article by Tim about myrtle rust, the disease threatening rainforest plants with extinction, appeared in November in the Saturday Paper.  

A chapter about Australian species living abroad is featured in a new book, Australia Gone Wild, published by Australian Geographic. The chapter originally appeared as a feature article in Australian Geographic magazine. Earlier in the year Rous County Council and Big Scrub Landcare recently published a book, The Big Scrub Rainforest: A Journey Through Time, in which Tim has a chapter about seed dispersal.

Tim has become a judge of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. He will help decide the winner of the 2018 Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction, worth $40 000.

Four hundred people came to hear Tim speak at Springwood in the Blue Mountains in July, a record attencance for a Science at the Local event. In May Tim appeared at the Northern Territory Writer's Festival in Alice Springs, then travelled in the desert to research his next book. In November he spoke at Deakin University.

Tim Low's prize-winning book The New Nature, has been republished by Penguin. Tim wrote a new preface to bring the book up to date. An extract was published in the colour magazine of the Weekend Australian on 21-22 January. Tim was interviewed about the book on ABC TV News Breakfast and by the ABC's Richard Fidler. That interview can be heard or downloaded here.

He recently wrote a contribution for a book, Eat the Problem, to be published in 2018 by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). He wrote the foreword for A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia published recently by the CSIRO.

In 2017 he traveled in every mainland state undertaking research for his next book and worked on the first three chapters.


Tim Low and Victorian Premier

Tim Low with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (Photo: Matt Deller)



Tim Low is cited in a new publication, Managing Australia’s biodiversity in a changing climate, the final report of the inquiry into Australia’s biodiversity in a changing climate, produced by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and the Arts. His submission to the inquiry was the only one by an environmental consultant to be cited, for his comments about the relative benefits of refugia and corridors.

Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}