Today, Madagascar is home to some 200,000 animal species – of which around 150,000 are unique to the island. And according to experts, there are many more waiting to be discovered. Moreover, while some of the species are instantly recognizable, others appear so weird and wonderful that they might as well have come from an alien planet.
With so much diversity, it comes as no surprise that scientists from all over the world dedicate their careers to studying the plants and animals that thrive on Madagascar. Among them is Hannah Wood, a biologist with the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Growing up in the rural community of Sky Forest, California, Wood had an interest in animals and the great outdoors. And after studying English Literature at the University of California, she went on to gain a PhD from the college’s Environmental Science, Policy and Management department.