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19 May 2014

Mark Stoeckle is interviewed by Jenny Marder for PBS News Hour on DNA barcoding and taxonomy’s future

Posted at 04:05 pm in News

28 April 2014

Together with long-time colleague Nebosja Nakicenovic, Jesse Ausubel will give the William and Myrtle Harris Distinguished lectures in Science and Civilization on “Cars and Civilization” at the California Institute of Technology on 30 April 2014.



Posted at 10:04 am in News

2 April 2014

Di Renzo has now published Jesse Ausubel’s short autobiography.

The book spans Jesse’s roots, childhood, and education, and then the major chapters of his career: climate change, industrial ecology, Census of Marine Life, DNA barcoding, Encyclopedia of Life, and Deep Carbon Observatory.  Some college humor and an operatic spy story fill out the picture.

For a little more information, please see the 26 February 2014 post.

Including tax and shipping to the USA, the cost on a Mastercard or Visa is EUR 26.48



Posted at 11:04 am in News

2 April 2014

The Breakthrough Institute has announced that on 22 June in California it will award Jesse Ausubel the Breakthrough Paradigm Prize for 2014.  “This annual Prize honors those whose work has made a major contribution to realizing a future where all the world’s inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, prosperous, and fulfilling lives on an ecologically vibrant planet.”  Jesse was chosen “in recognition of your scholarship describing how to save nature through the use of technology. Your research and writings on population, technology, energy, materials, agriculture, and pollution have inspired a generation of scholars and analysts focused on reducing humankind’s negative impacts on the nonhuman world. “  Thanks to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, co-founders of the Breakthrough Institute.


Posted at 10:04 am in News

26 February 2014

The Roman publisher Di Renzo commissioned Jesse Ausubel to write for its series of short autobiographies, I Dialoghi. Jesse’s 112-page autobiography, La liberazione dell’ambiente (The Liberation of the Environment), will be published in April 2014.  Jesse is pleased to be listed after Noam Chomsky and Desmond Morris but before one of his heroes, Giordano Bruno (whose volume is an imaginary interview).  Jesse’s story spans his youth and career. Thanks to the outstanding editor and translator at Di Renzo, Maria Pia Felici.

Posted at 07:02 pm in News

21 February 2014

William Garrison (University of California, Berkeley) and David Levinson (University of Minnesota) have published a second edition of their masterly book, The Transportation Experience: Policy, Planning, and Deployment.

Among other good works, the U MN group maintains a useful page about the Kepler of transportation science, the late Yacov Zahavi:

Zahavi had a tremendous, lasting influence on the thinking of Jesse Ausubel and several close associates (Cesare Marchetti, Arnulf Gruebler) and protégés (David Victor, Andreas Schafer) who have regularly cited his work, as for example in:

JH Ausubel, C Marchetti. The evolution of transport. The Industrial Physicist 7(2): 20-24, 2001.

JH Ausubel, C Marchetti, PS Meyer. Toward green mobility: The evolution of transport. European Review  6(2): 143-162, 1998.

Posted at 05:02 pm in News

28 January 2014

We celebrate recent achievements in biodiversity informatics.

 Enjoy exploring the new GBIF interface for the global mapping of occurrence records. Try zooming and using the time slider: .   Congratulations to Donald Hobern and company.

The “TraitBank” of the Encyclopedia of Life now operates, developed with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  For example, insert “sharks” in the taxon box and click on “total life span” in the menu of traits, and you will receive a list of the life spans of 100+ sharks.

 Tony Rees, one of the builders of the Ocean Biographical Information System, has created the wonderful Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera, especially notable for information on phyla, classes, orders, families, and genera:

 OBIS itself continues to grow and now has more than 37 million records on more than 120,000 species from more than 1300 data sets to Ward Appeltans and company.

 PHE researchers Mark Stoeckle and Cameron Coffran developed software, TreeParser, that helps generate Klee diagram “heat maps” of genetic biodiversity (freely available on the PHE website ).  TreeParser uses data from GenBank and from the Barcode of Life public data portal (, , which now has over 1.7 m public records. Congratulations to Sujeevan Ratnasingam and Company.

 The progress in biodiversity informatics during the past decade is wonderful.  None of these things existed a decade ago.


Posted at 08:01 am in News

28 January 2014

Numerous valuable papers continued to emerge from the Census of Marine Life during the past year. Here are some:

            Victor Gallardo’s paper on the huge  biomass of the filamentous bacteria off Chile & Peru: Extrapolations of Standing-Stocks of Big Bacteria in Humboldt Eastern Boundary Current Ecosystem

The late Prof. Liu’s paper on the biodiversity of China Seas: Status of Marine Biodiversity of the China Seas

The synthesis on European seas by Bhavani Narayanaswamy et al: Synthesis of Knowledge on Marine Biodiversity in European Seas: From Census to Sustainable Management

The MARECO paper by Monty Priede, Odd Aksel Bergstad and colleagues on the biological role of the Mid-Ocean Ridge: Does Presence of a Mid-Ocean Ridge Enhance Biomass and Biodiversity?

The paper by Boris Worm et al. on shark exploitation: Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding … – Boris Worm

The PLoS Biology paper by Camilo Mora, Chih-Lin Wei and many others on: Biotic and Human Vulnerability to Projected Changes in Ocean Biogeochemistry over the 21st Century

The POST paper by Troy Nelson and Co. on sturgeon: Research Tools to Investigate Movements, Migrations, and Life History of Sturgeons (Acipenseridae), with an Emphasis on Marine-Oriented Populations

Posted at 08:01 am in News

13 January 2014

John Steele, great marine ecologist and former director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, passed away on 5 November 2013. On 11 January 2014, WHOI celebrated his career, described at this website

John and Jesse Ausubel co-authored the 1993 paper Flat Organizations for Earth Sciences.

John’s insights were crucial to the early definition of the Census of Marine Life research program.  Some of these were articulated in the National Research Council (Ocean Studies Board) report, Assessing the Global Distribution and Abundance of Marine Organisms, Workshop, Monterey, California, January 1998.



Posted at 02:01 pm in News

9 January 2014

A preprint is now available of  Living in a Material World, an essay written by PHE researcher Iddo Wernick that will appear in the Winter 2014 issue of Issues in Science and Technology.

Posted at 09:01 am in News