Environmental disasters offer the unique opportunity for landscape-scale ecological and evolutionary studies that are not possible in the laboratory or small experimental plots. The nuclear accident that occurred in Chernobyl in 1986 allows for rigorous analyses of radiation effects on individuals and populations at an ecosystem scale. In his new review article titled "The Biology of Tchernobyl", Dr. Tim Mousseau presents the current state of knowledge related to populations within the Chernobyl region of Ukraine and Belarus following the largest civil nuclear accident in history. He further discusses contrasting and occasionally conflicting views of the state of animals and how they are affected by this mutagenic stressor. A fascinating read!