My family have patiently (and sometimes impatiently) borne the brunt of my commitment to this enterprise. I promise that I will not think (much) about another book project for at least a few weeks. My wife, Gnome Liston, deserves as much gratitude as I can ever muster, and more, not only in helping me pull together and organize material for this book, but, more importantly, in accommodating my self-imposed isolation to complete this book in its final stages. In a bid to avoid any further family strife, I also apologize to each of my children in equal measure for not spending as much time with them as I, and presumably they, would have liked in the past few months. My son Alligin deserves extra thanks for modelling dammar with such elegance.
A number of people have helped me with this book. After my wife, two people stand out. Nora Gallarotti spent many hours securing the necessary permissions for the figures and illustrations reproduced in this book. A great deal of thanks are due to her for getting on with the job when I was otherwise preoccupied with the text. Alice Hughes has been very generous with her time in drafting some of the maps used in the book. She offered her help with such willingness that it has been all too easy for me to ask her to do just one more thing. She will receive the promised beers in return, though this is scant recompense for her efforts.
Many people have offered and provided photos, and although I have not been able to use them all, I am very grateful for these generous offers of assistance. The photos I have used have come from Julia Born, Rhett Butler, Min Cao, Richard Davies, Varun Chopra, Arthur Chung, Aline Finger, Terry Henkel, Sascha Ismail, Jin Jianhua, Marina Khaytarova, Bill Laurance, Ch’ien Lee, Patrice Levang, James Margrove, Cerlin Ng, Susan Page, Tony Rodd, Marco Schmidt, Lee Su See, Uma Shankar, James Smith, Thuy Nguyen Thi, and the Centre for International Forestry Research. David Burslem, Richard Corlett, Nimal Gunatilleke, Nourou Yorou, Chris Kettle, and Chris Philipson provided additional information, unpublished data, or comments, or indeed helped shape the structure and content of the book.
Finally, this book would never have been written were it not for the long standing collaborations I have had with colleagues in Sabah, and particularly at the Sepilok Forest Research Centre. Reuben Nilus, Eyen Khoo, Chey Vun Khen, Robert Ong, and Colin Maycock have long contributed to and supported our research on dipterocarps, without which I would know nothing. (p.viii)