Jesse Ausubel to receive 2022 Nierenberg Prize

Jesse Ausubel will be honored with the 2022 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest. This award is presented annually by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the Nierenberg Family to honor the memory of William A. Nierenberg, an esteemed physicist and national science leader who served Scripps Oceanography as director for two decades. Previous awardees include atmospheric scientist Warren Washington, biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna, filmmaker Sir David Attenborough, and primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, among others.

eDNA degradation; 2nd National Workshop

PHE’s guest investigator David Thaler offers some stimulating ideas in a memo about ways of understanding and learning from degradation of aquatic eDNA. The title: How long has each particular species’ eDNA been outside the organism from which it came? Some thoughts on the possibility to obtain more information from eDNA analysis of water samples

Meanwhile, Jesse Ausubel and Mark Stoeckle are involved in the program for the 2nd US National Workshop on eDNA, 12-15 September in Southern California. PHE hosted the 1st US national meeting in 2018.

PHE eDNA student project a finalist in 2022 Genius Olympiad

Samara Davis’s salamander eDNA project is a finalist in 2022 Genius Olympiad.  Genius Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues founded and organized by Terra Science and Education and hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Olympiad will host projects in five general disciplines with an environmental focus.  

Call for Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds

A paper by the Working Group on Acoustic Measurement of Ocean Biodiversity Hotspots of the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE) published “Sounding the Call for a Global Library of Biological Underwater Sounds” in the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.”   Congratulations to Miles Parsons, Aran Mooney, Lucia di Iorio and company on a landmark contribution, which should become a major acoustic goal of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Terry Collins’ press release contains a superb description of the paper as well as snippets of sound from a toadfish, piranha, gurnard fish, sea urchin, crab, and whale and information about 14 sound libraries.

The Guardian, United Kingdom Fish love songs and fighting talk: underwater sound library to reveal language of the deep

El Mundo, Madrid, La ‘biblioteca’ de los sonidos submarinos: los científicos graban el coro natural de los habitantes del océano

Popular Science, Why ocean researchers want to create a global library of undersea sounds

Journal of Marine Science publishes our latest on eDNA protocols

Current laboratory protocols for detecting fish species with environmental DNA optimize sensitivity and reproducibility, especially for more abundant populations by Mark Y Stoeckle, Jason Adolf, Jesse H Ausubel, Zach Charlop-Powers, Keith J Dunton, Greg Hinks appears in ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsab273, 11 January 2022.

We test modifications to lab components of an eDNA metabarcoding protocol for marine finfish. Higher-read (more abundant) species were amplified more reproducibly and with less variation in read number than were lower-read (less abundant) species. Our results support the unofficial standard collection volume of one liter for eDNA assessment of commonly encountered marine fish species. We conclude that eDNA rarity poses the main challenge to current methods.

The paper is a sequel to our December 2020 entry: Fish abundance survey by eDNA published

Thanks to our partners at Monmouth University, the New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Video of Wrap-up of Clean Ocean webinar

For a global overview of marine pollution in 90 minutes, watch the lively Wrap-up session of the 17-19 November UN Ocean Decade “Clean Ocean” webinar Jesse co-moderated.  Co-moderator begins the program and Jesse joins after about 4 minutes 30 seconds.

The Clean Ocean Manifesto and Press Release are here.  The “Clean Ocean” initiative is one of the 7 components of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Photos below show the Berlin production studio for the webinar.