Michael Welland

I love trying to write the stories our planet tells us in language accessible - and, I hope, intriguing - to all readers.

I'm a geologist with a deep interest in how science works and the issues surrounding our awareness and understanding of our planet. Sand: A Journey through Science and the imagination has been published in the UK by Oxford University Press and in the US by the University of California Press. This celebration of an apparently humble material and its role in the workings of our planet and in our lives won the John Burroughs Medal in 2010.

The Desert: Lands of Lost Borders was published in February 2015. 

Arid environments cover a quarter of our planet’s land area and are home to some half a billion people. They are lands of extremes and contrasts, constant change, metaphors and myths, landscapes of the mind as well as physical reality. ‘The desert’ as an idea has long captured the Western imagination, but in ways that too often fail to capture the true scope and diversity of the reality or of the viewpoint of peoples for whom the desert is home.  This book attempts to bridge the gaps, both scientific and cultural, between perception and reality, while celebrating the fascination, the excitement, the contrasts and the importance of arid lands and their inhabitants. 


Make personal appearances, Give talks and readings to adults, Give seminars/workshops, Give talks and readings in schools, Write for magazines/newspapers, Write reviews, Give workshops
Environment, Travel, Geology, Science - not medical, Environment, Travel, Geology, Science - not medical