[Exhibition] Sky islands (Les îles du ciel)

What if darwin had been a mountaineer ?

Having resisted numerous ecological crises, flowering plants have colonised a great variety of communities, from oceanic islands to high elevation habitats. High Alpine summits appear as harsh environments to the development of life and yet a number of plant species have colonised them, adapting to living conditions among the most extreme on the planet. On these “sky islands”, water is scarce, the wind is chilling and solar radiation is crushing. How did such tiny flowers manage to reach the bare summits and survive ?

An exhibition and a documentary to explore high altitude Alpine plants, to discover at the Museum of Grenoble from 6 October 2017 to 26 August 2018 and carried out in partnership with the Department of Isère, the Laboratory of Alpine Ecology (LECA / OSUG - CNRS / UGA / USMB), the Ecrins National Park, Nomade Production and the Joseph Fourier Alpine Station (SAJF / OSUG - CNRS / UGA).


Secluded in altitudes inaccessible to scholars until then, high summits began to be explored in the 18th c., which lead to their sampling and to their scientific study. Then started a true scientific adventure… You will discover it through surprising plants in the exhibition and the documentary both entitled “Sky Islands. What if Darwin had been a mountaineer ?” During the 1990s, the study of the plants living at high elevations, including the ones from the Alps and the Andes, enjoyed a new boom with the development of research projects based upon the most recent technologies, specifically in genetics. The exhibit and the documentary “Sky islands” invite all the curious audiences, whether kids or parents, laymen or experts, to discover the current explorations of the high summits by scientists and to understand how their work allows a better grasp of the evolution of plants throughout the world.
Practical information

- From October 6, 2017 to August 26, 2018
- Museum of Grenoble : 1 Rue Dolomieu, Grenoble
- 04 76 44 05 35

English press release