Media attention for Menno’s books and research

Here’s an overview of all the media attention for Darwin Comes to Town:


TRAVEL WITH RICK STEVES: Menno will be on the show in August. 500 stations nationwide in the US.

NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS: review assigned.


Newsweek: The 50 Best Books of 2018 (so far)

Financial Times: Summer Books of 2018

Paste Magazine: The 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Starred KirkusPublishers WeeklyShelf Awareness

Sunday Times “Must Read” (UK)

Read It Forward: Favorite Reads of April 2018

Paste Magazine: 10 of the Best Books of April 2018

Bookriot: 50 Must-Read Books on Nature and Science


WATCH Menno Schilthuizen on CBS THIS MORNING:





“An entertaining case for the highly unique and accelerated evolutionary environment of cities.”

Newsweek “The 50 Best Books of 2018 (so far)”


“Schilthuizen… opens our eyes to the Darwinian evolution taking place surprisingly fast in the world’s cities. Plants, insects, birds and mammals are rapidly developing forms that exploit urban environments—and this book tells their stories beautifully.”

Financial Times, Books of Summer 2018


“Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen delivers an entertaining look at how wildlife is rapidly adapting to urban habitats, offering fascinating examples from across the globe.”

—Frannie Jackson, Paste Magazine “The 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2018”
Darwin Comes to Town is a vivid portrait of a world changing to survive us.”

—Genevieve Valentine, NPR.ORG


“In this delightful account…readers who assume that pigeons, cockroaches, and rats are the only representatives of city biology will learn that it is far more complex…. An expert romp through urban natural history, which, despite the absence of glamorous megafauna, turns out to be a turbulent, hothouse ecosystem whose life is evolving before our eyes.”

Kirkus Reviews *STARRED REVIEW*


“In a conversational style as appealing as it is informative, Schilthuizen…explores myriad ways in which plants and animals have adapted to modern urban environments…. Schilthuizen is careful throughout to distinguish between true evolutionary changes and learned behaviors passed between individuals. He also does a superb job of introducing important ecological principles along the way, leaving readers with a fascinating question: ‘Can we harness the power of urban evolution to use it to make more livable cities for the future?’”

Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*


“Beautifully researched and immensely engaging… The stories captured here are not only fascinating to read; they are also evidence that evolution is happening at an extraordinarily fast pace.”

—Amy Brady, Shelf Awareness *STARRED REVIEW*


“Metal-excreting pigeons, pigeon-eating catfish, cigarette-wielding sparrows, soprano-voiced great tits: The modern city is a fantastical menagerie of the odd and unexpected. Through a series of 20 short but connected chapters that mix natural history vignettes, interviews with visionary scientists, and visits to childhood haunts, science journalist and biology professor Menno Schilthuizen introduces readers to the striking facts of ongoing urban evolution in Darwin Comes to Town.

—Arne Mooers, Science


Darwin Comes to Town is a brilliant reproach to all the biologists who believe that their true calling is to study the ‘vanishing quantity of unspoilt nature’ — the dwindling areas of forest and wilderness little touched by human activity — and who neglect the more exciting evolutionary change taking place in the towns and cities where most of them live.”

—Clive Cookson, Financial Times


“Replete with fascinating facts and written in delightfully lively prose, Schilthuizen’s work will appeal to nature lovers and popular-science fans.”

—Carl Hays, Booklist


“Whether or not the word ‘Anthropocene’ means anything to you, the emerging field of urban ecology puts global urbanization into helpful perspective: Cities aren’t going anywhere, so it’s our job to envision (and build) them as natural environments….You’ll have to finish the book to see if all of this dense urban development has a happy ending. But the science-lover’s journey between the covers, with its softly winding prose, history and humor, and commentary that calls for its own Netflix series, will make the suspense well worth it. In the end, Darwin Comes to Town is a delightfully engaging look at nature’s diplomatic dealings with the otherwise inhospitable spaces we’ve become so accustomed to.”

—Chris Delatorre, Edge Media Network


Darwin Comes to Town…is surprisingly optimistic… As our world grows increasingly urbanized, as we design ‘green’ buildings among our congested downtowns, Schilthuizen’s book makes for essential reading. But don’t expect a dry textbook: he’s written an enthralling account that stands out from the pack of environmental literature.”

—Hamilton Cain, New York Journal of Books


“In this spellbinding and remarkable book on urban ecology and natural science, you’ll be awed by the nature around us, even within our cinderblock cities.”

—Ilana Masad, Read It Forward “Favorite Books of April 2018”


“Schilthuizen tells compelling life histories in Darwin Comes to Town.”

Daily Kos


“A fascinating eye-opener.”

—Ryder Miller, Seattle Book Review


“We idly think that the countryside is “nature” and the city is something else. In reality, as Menno Schilthuizen, a Dutch evolutionary biologist, argues in this book, the city is nature as much as any woodland glade…. Schilthuizen is taking on three centuries of literature and polemic that defends the virtues of rural nature against the vices of city life…. This is a spellbinding and important book…. The message is thrilling.”

—Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times (UK)



—Matt Ridley, The Times (UK)


“Natural selection is occurring all around us, and, as Darwin Comes to Town explains, increasingly because of us. Menno Schilthuizen introduces us to such rapidly-evolving creatures as urban lizards and city-dwelling mice. The result is a lively and fascinating book.”

—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction


“Not only is evolution a real thing (something that, pathetically, one still needs to point out), and not only is it an ongoing process (rather than a phenomenon of the distant past), but some of the fastest, most interesting evolving occurs right under our noses, in our cities. In Darwin Comes to Town, Menno Schilthuizen explores the ways in which animals and plants have rapidly evolved to adapt to the opportunities and exigencies of urban niches. This is a fun, witty, thoroughly informative read.”

—Robert M. Sapolsky, New York Times bestselling author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst


“While most of us are painfully aware of the negative effects that the heavy foot of progress has had on the natural world, especially in the part we call the built environment, nature refuses to go away. In fact, human activity has created a plethora of new opportunities for wildlife to survive and thrive in our presence. Darwin Comes to Town contains a wonderfully written, highly accessible collection of extraordinary examples, illustrating the breadth and depth of the concept of the ‘plasticity of adaptation’ that wildlife has demonstrated time and again, as we continue to reshape the natural world to our own requirements. It’s a great read and a real eye-opener for those who still wonder how white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossum, and wealth of other ‘wild’ species of birds, mammals, and reptiles can carve out niches for themselves among the traffic jams and tall buildings of the modern metropolis and its suburbs.”

—Dr. Dickson Despommier, author of The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century


Darwin Comes to Town casts a radical new light on the way we should think about evolution: that it is not always a slow, lumbering process measured in millions of years, but, in fact, something that can take place at relative light speed under certain circumstances. Say, when it must adapt to the ecological pressures put on its habitat (a planet) dominated by human action, and, specifically, the frenzy of the urban landscape. Menno Schilthuizen makes an extraordinarily convincing and elegant argument that, inside the restless laboratory of the modern city, nature has already begun to adapt and engineer its own urban ecosystems. But, significantly, that it is up to us to embrace, harness, and enable these natural forces for the future.”

—Jay Kirk, author of Kingdom Under Glass


“Think our slick, hard-edged cities defy nature? In Darwin Comes to Town, the metropolis is just one more wilderness, where undeterred evolution fits ever-new forms to the cityscape, from toes to microbiomes to elaborate and beguiling new behaviors. The savage force and delicate subtlety of adaptation are engagingly unveiled in Menno Schilthuizen’s potent stories of evolution in the Anthropocene.”

—Dr. Richard Granger, Director of the Brain Engineering Lab at Dartmouth College



4/3/18               New York NY  —  LIVE from the NYPL (7pm)

*In Conversation with Isabella Rossellini


4/5/18               Atlanta GA  —  Jimmy Carter Library & Museum (7pm)

*with Emory University, Gwinnett College, and Atlanta Science Tavern


4/6/18               Atlanta GA  —  Emory University (12pm)

*Graduate Seminar & Lunch


4/9/18               Brooklyn NY  —  powerHouse Arena (7pm)


4/11/18             Philadelphia PA  —  Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (6:30pm)

*in Conversation with WHYY’s Maiken Scott; co-sponsored by WHYY




4/2/18               CBS THIS MORNING / live in-studio interview / NATIONAL



4/3/18               NPR The Takeaway / interview / NATIONAL

4/3/18               KERA Think (NPR) / live 2-3pm et / TX Statewide

4/4/18               WAMC Roundtable Morning Show / 11:10am interview / Northeast U.S.

4/5/18               KPCW Cool Science Radio (NPR) / live 9:06am mt / Park City, UT

4/8/18               WICN Inquiry / 30 min interview / Central MA

4/9/18               MIDDAY ON WNYC (NPR) / interview / New York, NY

4/9/18               URBAN WILDLIFE PODCAST / podcast interview

4/11/18             WHYY Radio Times (NPR) / interview 10:20-11am / Philadelphia, PA

4/18/18             WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO Morning Show / interview / WI Statewide

4/18/18             WRITERS VOICE / interview around Earth Day / Nationally Syndicated

4/24/18             STUFF TO BLOW YOUR MIND Podcast / book discussed at length (9” mark)

4/26/18             WYPR On the Record (NPR) / interview / Baltimore, MD

5/22/18             YOUR ONLINE COFFEE BREAK / podcast interview

7/27/28             NPR SCIENCE FRIDAY / interview / NATIONAL

8/11/18             TRAVEL WITH RICK STEVES / interview / NATIONAL

Date TBD          GPB Two-Way Street / interview / Georgia Statewide

Date TBD          PRI INNOVATION HUB / interview / NATIONAL (90 stations)




7/24/16             THE NEW YORK TIMES / OpEd / NATIONAL

2/15/18             KIRKUS / *STARRED REVIEW* / NATIONAL (trade)

3/27/18             ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION / event listing / Atlanta, GA

3/28/18             TIME OUT NEW YORK / “Talks on the Town” listing / New York, NY

Date TBD          BOOKLIST / review / NATIONAL (trade)

Date TBD          LIBRARY JOURNAL / review / NATIONAL (trade)


4/1/18               NEW YORK POST / review by Ron Hogan / New York, NY

4/9/18               GRID MAGAZINE / interview & event listing / Philadelphia, PA

4/13/18             SCIENCE / review by Arne Mooers / NATIONAL

4/14/18             THE WALL STREET JOURNAL / review by Jennie Erin Smith / NATIONAL

5/25/18             NEWSWEEK (6/1 iss.) / Summer Reading Package / NATIONAL

June 2018         THE ANIMAL MIND / Ch. 17 excerpted in special issue mag / NATIONAL

9/1/18               THE URBAN AUDUBON (Fall iss) / review in newsletter / NATIONAL




11/13/17           LIBRARYJOURNAL.COM / Prepub Alert

1/31/18             PASTEMAGAZINE.COM / The 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2018


3/8/18               EDGE MEDIA NETWORK / review by Chris Delatorre

3/28/18             CHICAGO REVIEW OF BOOKS / Q&A

3/30/18             LITHUB / excerpt chapter 5 “City Slickers” and NYPL event plug

4/2/18               THEREVELATOR.ORG / roundup by John R. Platt

4/2/18               THETIMES.CO.UK / great piece by Matt Ridley

4/2/18               SHELF AWARENESS PRO / Media Heat for CBS interview

4/3/18               BALLET BOOKWORM / blog review

4/5/18               YALE ENVIRONMENT 360 / interview


4/6/18               SCIENTIFICINQUIRER.COM / Q&A

4/6/18               NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS / review by Hamilton Cain

4/6/18               WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS / post-event write-up for NYPL

4/7/18               ECOWATCH.COM / roundup by John R. Platt

4/8/18               NYMAG.COM / “Intelligencer” piece by Chris Bonanos

4/8/18               NPR.ORG / review by Genevieve Valentine

4/9/18               CHEDDAR TV / streaming video interview 4:40pm

4/9/18               PUBLISHERS LUNCH DELUXE / Books in the News

4/9/18               GRIDPHILLY.COM / interview and event promo

4/10/18             PUBLISHERS LUNCH DELUXE / Books in the News (again)

4/17/18             BILLYPENN.COM / post-event write-up

4/17/18             BARNESANDNOBLE.COM / excerpt

4/18/18             AEON / excerpt chapter 15

4/23/18             PASTE MAGAZINE / 10 of the Best Books of April 2018

4/23/18             READITFORWARD.COM / Favorite Reads of April 2018

4/23/18             HUMANPROGRESS.ORG / Matt Ridley Times UK piece

4/24/18             SHELF AWARENESS FOR READERS / *STARRED REVIEW by Amy Brady

4/24/18             DAILY KOS / review

4/26/18             THE DAILY BEAST / quoted in Chipotle Rat piece by Tanya Basu

5/2/18               BOOKRIOT.COM / 50 Must-Read Books on Nature and Science

5/5/18               NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC.COM / Book Talk interview

5/7/18               DAILY MAIL / piece about Nat Geo interview

5/21/18             B&N REVIEW / review by Tess Taylor

6/21/18             SEATTLE BOOK REVIEW / good review by Ryder Miller

6/29/18             FINANCIAL TIMES / Roundup

7/23/18             THEGUARDIAN.COM / piece by Menno

7/26/18             SCIENCEFRIDAY.COM / excerpt pp 97-100

General interest websites:


Radio and podcasts:

National Newspapers

Popular Science press:

Trade Media:

Local Newspapers:

Science and nature blogs:


  • Website to accompany Freek Vonk’s DWDD Lecture on evolution
  • MARE (Leiden University): “Evolutie tussen de benen
  • Bionieuws (Dutch biologists’ newletter): “Evolutie aan de hand van edele delen”:
  • Entomologische Berichten (monthly journal of Netherlands Entomological Society): “If you’ve ever wondered, while dissecting genitalia, what all this sexual diversity means, this book is for you”.
  • The Max Planck Gesellschaft reviewed the German edition in their newsletter.
  • Book review in the scientific journal Evolutionary Psychology
  • review
  • Author Maarten ‘t Hart reviews Darwins Peepshow on YouTube:

The glossies:

From the May issue of Penthouse magazine (author photo: Jan Schilthuizen)

From the May issue of Penthouse magazine (author photo: Jan Schilthuizen)

Reviews of The Loom of Life (and the Dutch translation Waarom Zijn Er Zoveel Soorten?):

Reviews and media attention for Frogs, Flies & Dandelions (and the Dutch translation Het Mysterie der Mysteriën):

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