Mark Young Stoeckle

Senior Research Associate
Program for the Human Environment
The Rockefeller University

Mark Stoeckle is Senior Research Associate in the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Stoeckle’s interests include environmental genomics, DNA barcoding, and visual representation of information. Shortly after joining the Program in January 2003, Dr. Stoeckle helped organize the early meetings that laid the foundation for the DNA barcoding initiative, including Taxonomy, DNA, and the Barcode of Life conference held at Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York in September 2003, the inaugural meeting of Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL), held at Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, in May 2004, and the inaugural workshop for All Birds Barcoding Initiative (ABBI), “Barcoding Life Takes Flight”, held at Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, September 2005. DNA barcoding was proposed by Dr. Paul Hebert in 2003 as a practical method for rapid identification of the estimated 10 million species of life on Earth. Dr. Stoeckle wrote the first assessment of the rationale and prospects for a large-scale effort, published in BioScience, and was co-author and illustrator of a widely-circulated document “ Barcoding Life: Top Ten Reasons” outlining the benefits of this approach.  His work with high school students has attracted wide attention including front-page articles in New York Times (“Sushi-gate” ) and Washington Post (“DNAHouse“).

Since 2015 he has been researching environmental DNA (eDNA) as a tool for monitoring marine animal populations in New York Bight. He published the first time-series eDNA study of the lower Hudson River estuary in 2017, helped organize the First National Conference on Marine Environmental DNA in 2018, and demonstrated eDNA detection of range shifts of subtropical marine fish into coastal New Jersey that were overlooked by traditional surveys (link). In collaboration with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Stoeckle recently led the first large-scale survey comparing eDNA to bottom trawl technology for assessing marine fish abundance (link). His current work focuses on developing eDNA as a quantitative method for monitoring marine fish populations. This approach opens the door to quantifying fish abundance among species, by habitat and season, and monitoring restoration efforts.

Dr. Stoeckle is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Medical School and completed his medical training in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Medical College in New York City. During 1984-1989 he was a Research Associate at The Rockefeller University under Dr. Purnell Choppin in the Laboratory of Virology and Dr. Hidesaburo Hanafusa in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology. From 1992-1996, he co-authored the annual review of infectious diseases for the Contempo issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In addition to his scientific and research interests, Dr. Stoeckle is an accomplished graphic artist and award-winning nature photographer.

For a list of publications, click here.