Andrew Sugden

Andrew Sugden is an editor at Science magazine.

Hairy, Spiny or Naked: Leaves

Andrew Sugden, 7 February 2013

The botany student’s textbook leaf, in anatomical cross-section, is a sandwich with two thick fillings packaged between thin outer envelopes. The outer layers – upper and lower epidermis – are each usually a single layer of cells, coated with a waxy hydrophobic cuticle. The fillings – the mesophyll – have an upper rank of vertically-oriented palisade cells,...


Jesus Bug

24 May 2007

W.G. Runciman’s backbench source for the image of Blair as a water spider is a couple of consonants and a whole zoological phylum adrift (LRB, 24 May). Water spiders don’t run about on the surface: they live underwater, where they spin a bell-shaped web among submerged vegetation. They stock it with bubbles of air carefully collected from the surface, enabling them to bide their time in wait for...

A new wave of forest clearance is now spreading across eastern Amazonia, driven partly by the European preference for non-GM soya. Siberian forests, meanwhile, are being released from Russian state control into private ownership, raising the prospect of unregulated clear-felling for timber. Forests in the American west, Australia and Mediterranean Europe have burned extensively in summer...

Turf Wars: grass

Andrew Sugden, 14 November 2002

The Prince of Wales would love The Forgiveness of Nature. The underlying vision is of England on a Saturday afternoon in late summer, the village green bathed in golden light, the groundsman leaning on his roller and puffing on his pipe, milkmaids and strapping young farmers snogging in the grass, Hereford cattle grazing calmly in nearby fields, confident that their softly marbled beef is...

‘We shot a new pigeon’

Andrew Sugden, 23 August 2001

In October 2000, the last wild Spix’s macaw, a solitary male, disappeared from its patch of forest in Brazil. The species is not, technically, extinct: a few dozen individual birds survive in zoos and in the aviaries of private collectors, but it is now in the realm of the undead, where it will remain until either the last individual dies or – less likely – the species is...

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