A scientist drills into a moss bank on Signy Island. Photo: P. Boelen
A scientist drills into a moss bank on Signy Island. Photo: P. Boelen

A Moss From King Arthur’s Court and the New Science of Resurrection Ecology

Over the past year, I’ve been writing a lot about scientists bringing back life from the distant past–including viruses, water fleas, and–theoretically–mammoths. For my “Matter” column this week in the New York Times, I report on another revival: moss that has started growing after spending 1500 years in a bank of  permafrost. As more species return from the past, some scientists think it’s time to establish a new scientific field which they call “resurrection ecology.” In my column, I consider some of the things that resurrection ecologists can learn about the past and the future. Check it out.