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5 February 2015

Back in 2003, PHE’s Mark Stoeckle and Jesse Ausubel organized a pair of meetings at the Banbury Center  with Paul Hebert, Norton Zinder and others on Taxonomy, DNA, and the Barcode of Life supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Mark led the writing of a December 2003 meeting report that envisioned “a world in which any  person anywhere anytime can identify any species at little or not cost.  That world is technologically upon us. This report addresses the formative stages of an initiative to bring this to society sooner rather than later.”  In a breakthrough application of DNA barcoding, reported 3 February in the NY Times, “New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers.”

New York’s lead owes much to the work of George Amato at the American Museum of Natural History, Damon Little at the New York Botanical Garden, and Mark here at Rockefeller.  Mark, Damon, and Selena Ahmed together with three terrific NY high school students pioneered use of barcoding for analysis of botanical products in their paper:

MY Stoeckle, CC Gamble, R Kirpekar, G Young, S Ahmed & Damon P. Little. Commercial Teas Highlight Plant DNA Barcode Identification Successes and Obstacles. Nature Scientific Reports 1:42 2011


Posted at 10:02 am in News

5 February 2015

Co-authors of the new widely reported PNAS paper “Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution’s null hypothesis” include our close Chilean collaborators, Victor Gallardo and Carola Espinoza, via their work in the International Census of Marine Microbes of the Census of Marine Life.  Bravo to all for a great discovery about evolutionary stasis.

Posted at 09:02 am in News

19 January 2015

Jesse Ausubel’s 55-minute talk (plus 30 minutes of Q&A), Nature Rebounds, to the Long Now Foundation on 13 January 2015 at the San Francisco Jazz Center is on-line.  Thanks to Stewart Brand and Co. for the opportunity to meet with the Bay Area community.

Posted at 06:01 pm in News

6 January 2015

The executive summary of the new UNEP report on methane hydrates, Frozen Heat, is now available.   The report includes superb visualizations.

PHE alumna Nadejda Victor and Jesse Ausubel contributed to Chapter one of Volume 2:  Beaudoin, Y. C., Dallimore, S. R., and Boswell, R. (eds), 2014. Frozen Heat: UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates. Volume 2. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal.

The earlier part of the report is: Beaudoin, Y. C., Waite, W., Boswell, R. and Dallimore, S. R. (eds), 2014. Frozen Heat: UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates. Volume 1. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal.

For both volumes: ISBN: 978-92-807-3319-8

Volumes 1 & 2 should be available online soon.

Posted at 11:01 am in News

2 January 2015

Oceanography magazine published its Supplement covering the 2013 field season of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus in the Caribbean.  Jesse Ausubel participated in the field season and is a co-author of the report on the Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on the Seafloor Around Montserrat, West Indies, pp 36-37 of the issue 27(1), March 2014.

Posted at 12:01 pm in News

1 January 2015

We admire everything that Vaclav Smil writes, for both his insights and lively style.   This essay, How Green Is Europe?, exemplifies the bracing cold shower one receives from reading Vaclav’s work.

Posted at 06:01 pm in News

15 December 2014

Deep carbon science is rising.  A Press release highlights publication of the Deep Carbon Observatory’s midterm scientific report and participation at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, 15-19 December 2014 in San Francisco, USA.   Jesse Ausubel continues to advise the program and marvel at the abundance of methane and hydrogen.

Posted at 04:12 pm in News

21 November 2014

For the 3rd year in a row, Jesse Ausubel, Mande Holford and Rod Nichols will offer early career scientists at The Rockefeller University a short course on Science & Diplomacy.  2014 course participants Rupa Ram and Dominic Olinares wrote a generous account of last year’s field trip to Washington DC  in the University’s Incubator blog.  Jesse’s viewpoint on science & diplomacy is captured in a couple of short essays, “Scientists, War, Diplomacy, Europe” and “The history of studies of scientists’ roles in international conflict resolution” posted serially at .


Posted at 09:11 am in News

6 November 2014

On November 5 Iddo Wernick and Jesse Ausubel participated together with colleagues from the Breakthrough Institute in the seminar at Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington DC titled Making Nature Useless? Global Resource Trends, Innovation, and Implications for Conservation. Iddo presented work on century-long trends in USA resource use, Making Nature Useless: Relative Dematerialization & Absolute Peaks. 

We also post Jesse’s brief (3-page) prepared remarks, On Useless Nature.

Some coverage at

Posted at 12:11 pm in Talks

2 November 2014

The Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML) & SCAR-Marine Biodiversity Information Network
BIOGEOGRAPHIC ATLAS OF THE SOUTHERN OCEAN was released in late August 2014.  See three news stories below.
The book is the work of 147 scientists from 91 institutions across 22 countries.  A colorful 4-page flyer describes the book, which will be available for purchase through in November 2014. The Atlas will cost 99 euro plus shipping.  You can download the first 24 pages, including the Table of Contents and Introductory chapters at  Jesse Ausubel wrote the Preface, p. 6 of the prior link.

New Antarctic atlas offers index of marine life
BBC News – ‎‎
More than 9,000 species, from single-cell organisms to penguins and whales, are chronicled in the first Antarctic atlas since 1969. The book will be launched by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research at its Open Science Conference in Auckland, New …

First ‘comprehensive’ atlas of Southern Ocean marine life unveiled
ABC Online – ‎‎
The 3.5-kilogram book, published by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, was being launched in Auckland today as part of the Open Science conference. The atlas details more than 9,000 species, looking at their evolution, physical environment …

biologists unlock the secrets of Antarctica
The Independent-11 hours ago
Dr Katrin Linse, an expert in Antarctic molluscs at the British Antartic … Huw Griffiths, author and editor of the British Antarctic Survey, said: “The ..

Congratulations to editors Claude de Broyer and Philippe Koubbi on this extraordinary achievement, and to Michael Stoddard, Victoria Wadley, Huw Griffiths, and other leaders of CAML.

Posted at 12:11 pm in News