Though Harvell pulls no punches in describing how our oceans have suffered from these outbreaks, and why humans are largely to blame for the increasing die-offs, her story contains a glimmer of hope as well: With widespread cooperation and new technology, Harvell believes we can protect these marine environments. The future of the planet just might depend on it.
Despite the daunting challenge that marine diseases present, Harvell’s book manages to inspire both pragmatism and optimism, which likely stems from the immense number of people working alongside Harvell to better understand these issues.
After the United Nations’ ominous warning on May 6 that a million of Earth’s species are threatened with extinction, Drew Harvell’s new book, “Ocean Outbreak,” offers insight into the dynamics of infectious disasters by examining four sentinel animals that live under the sea. Harvell, professor of marine biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, shows how these creatures – and humans – are under microbial and environmental siege.