Invisible Friends - Pelagic Publishing

Invisible Friends

How Microbes Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us

  • Reveals the overwhelmingly beneficial role played by micro-organisms.
  • A clear and engaging account of the fundamental importance of microbes to all life.
  • Discover how microbes affect our decisions and behaviour.

    • Coming Soon
    • ecosystem
    • human biology
    • microbes
    • microbiology
    • microbiome


    As we continue to live through a pandemic, all eyes are on microbes: an imperceptible and pervasive threat that hangs heavy on the air and clings to surfaces. But the reality of micro-organisms is far more diverse and life-sustaining than such a notion would have us believe (hence the title of this book). Not only are they omnipresent, but we are highly attuned to their workings – both in the world at large and right here within our own bodies. Meanwhile, cutting-edge microbiome research is changing our understanding of reality, challenging fundamental concepts of free will and individuality. Threaded through everything are microbes: the very glue that holds ecosystems together.

    This topical, engaging and original book counters the prevailing narrative of microbes as the bane of society, along the way providing much-needed clarity on the overwhelmingly beneficial role they play. We discover how the microbiome is highly relevant to environmental and social equity issues, while there’s also discussion about how microbes may influence our decisions: even the way we think about how we think may need to be revisited. Invisible Friends introduces the reader to a vast, pullulating cohort of minute life – friends you never knew you had.

    DOI: 10.53061/NZYJ2969


    • Can bacteria really be our friends? Thankfully, yes! Invisible Friends provides a fantastic, whimsical, and engaging exploration of our friendship with microbes, a friendship ideally built on caring for each other.
      —Justine Dees, PhD, Founder of Joyful Microbe
    • With vivid detail, Dr. Robinson has synthesized volumes of international research on microbes – the end result is a concise, reader-friendly page-turner that will be of interest to a full spectrum of readers, from the general public to clinicians to researchers looking for the next big idea! Invisible Friends is just like the microbial world that surrounds us—a companion filled to the brim with marvelous potential!
      —Prof. Susan Prescott, author of The Secret Life of Your Microbiome
    • I enjoyed this book very much indeed. It was a fascinating romp through the microbial world and is definitely the sort of book that would make me miss my station. If you are not a microbiologist, you will be astonished at how much microbes affect, regulate and sustain your life, and Robinson's passion and enthusiasm for the world of the very tiny positively glows on every page.
      —Dr George McGavin, President of the Dorset Wildlife Trust
    • Invisible Friends is beautifully written, and packed with information about the tiny organisms that form the basis of life on Earth. From the microbes in our bodies to those on the International Space Station, Jake Robinson reveals a hidden world that we would be unwise to ignore.
      —Rebecca Nesbit, ecologist and author of Tickets for the Ark

    About the Author

    Jake M. Robinson is a microbial ecologist based in the UK. In 2021, he received a PhD from the University of Sheffield. He is passionate about researching microbes, ecosystems, social equity issues and the connections between them, and at the same time is keen to develop ways to conserve and restore nature. Invisible Friends is his first book.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 304 pages
    • BISAC SCI045000, SCI036000, SCI088000