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26 September 2018

We note with sadness learning of the passing of John C. Fisher on 2 May 2018 at age 98.  With Robert Pry, John Fisher developed the classic A simple substitution model of technological change JC Fisher, RH Pry – Technological Forecasting and Social Change 3, pp76-88, 1971.  Much of our work  (especially by Perrin Meyer, Jason Yung, and David Burg) has built on the Fisher-Pry model, culminating in the software package Loglet Lab 4.

The interesting account of John’s life and career by his family would have been more complete if it included discussion of the substitution model.  The General Electric Corporation research labs have made extraordinary contributions.

Posted at 09:09 am in News

26 September 2018

The fall issue of the quarterly magazine of the National Academy of Engineering, The Bridge, reports on Ocean Exploration and its Engineering Challenges Sept 2018 Vol 48(3).

The issue contains several excellent articles, including America’s Ocean Observations: A Perspective, by Paul Gaffney, our partner in the Monmouth University-Rockefeller University Marine Science and Policy Initiative.  The article helpfully discusses Mark Stoeckle’s work on eDNA.

Also especially notable are Mapping the World’s Oceans by our frequent collaborator Larry A. Mayer, and Using Noise to Image the Ocean by William A. Kuperman.

These and the other articles relate strongly to our interests in ocean exploration (e.g., the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum), The International Quiet Ocean Experiment, and more generally human progress in ocean observation.

Posted at 08:09 am in News

18 September 2018

The Monmouth University-Rockefeller University Marine Science and Policy Initiative (MURU) will be hosting the ‘National Conference on Marine and Environmental eDNA‘ to help accelerate marine environmental DNA science and applications by bringing together researchers, government agencies, and private foundations. Major themes will include Technology development, Bioinformatics, and eDNA biology.

The conference will held Thursday-Friday, November 29-30, 2018 at The Rockefeller University, New York, NY



Posted at 01:09 pm in News

3 September 2018

The USA Strategy Group for the International Quiet Ocean Experiment held its 4th annual meeting 28-30 August at the Marine Policy Center of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where Jesse Ausubel works each July-August.  We focused on opportunities to speed learning with passive acoustics in the Gulf of Mexico.   Attendees were Dave Bradley, Paul Gaffney, Cynthia Pyc, Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Kelly Oskvig, Ruth Perry, Jon White, George Frisk, Peter Tyack, Jesse Ausubel, Ed Urban, and Alan Curry, as well as Dick Pittenger (not in photo).  We enjoyed a tour of Ray Dalio’s Exploration Vessel Alucia which was docked at WHOI.

Posted at 10:09 am in News

3 September 2018

Our beloved friend and colleague Rodney Nichols passed away on 30 August 2018 in New York City.  Rod introduced Jesse Ausubel and Doris Manville, who have now worked together in the Program for the Human Environment for more than 25 years.  Numerous interests, programs, and organizations united us, including scientific cooperation between nations in conflict and The Rockefeller University itself.  Here are notices in the 2 September New York Times from Rod’s family and from The Rockefeller University.  We will miss Rod greatly.

Jesse offers a Remembrance.

Posted at 09:09 am in News

3 September 2018

Over 200 news outlets so far, including the Washington Post and New York Times published the Associated Press story that opens with reference to Mark Stoeckle’s East River eDNA work.

Telltale bits of DNA help track past and elusive wildlife


Posted at 09:09 am in News

1 September 2018

We listened again to Look to the Sea, the catchy song that Maryann Camilleri, Jerry Harrison, David Dennison, David Hardin, and others created for the Census of Marine Life in 2010.  The song, video and its creators are explained at

also at

The recording was played at the London Grand Finale of the CoML in October 2010.   The Steve Miller Band played the song several times during their 2010-2011 world tour.

Posted at 05:09 pm in News

14 June 2018

Mark Stoeckle is interviewed in an AP Television segment about searching for the Loch Ness monster using eDNA.  Mark’s interview and footage begins about 2 minutes 50 seconds into the 8-minute segment.

Posted at 08:06 am in News

28 May 2018

Jesse Ausubel had the honor in October 2015 to present the Michelson Lecture  at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.  Thanks Captain and Professor Emil Petruncio!

We now post a polished version of that lecture, “Ocean Past, Ocean Future: Reflections on the Shift from the 19th to 21st Century Ocean.”

Abstract In the 19th century humans knew little about the oceans, but other forms of life knew a lot. Our job the past 135 years has been to catch up and surpass other forms of life in knowledge of the oceans. The advance of observation through science and technology, including new carriers and processors of information, has vastly expanded the oceans knowable to humans beyond what a sailor’s five senses could directly provide. By infiltrating the ocean with informationally connected sensors, humans are becoming the top experts on the oceans in the 21st century.


Posted at 10:05 am in News

28 May 2018

Thanks to Marlowe Hood of Agence France Press (AFP) for an extensive article about Why should mitochondria define species? by Mark Stoeckle and David Thaler. Editing of Mr. Hood’s article resulted in a couple of inaccuracies.

While the opening sentence suggests that a handheld barcoding device already exists, such a convenient device remains a few years away, although the process of obtaining barcodes is now standardized, routine, and quick.

The fourth paragraph inquires about diversity increasing with time.  Diversity does increase with time.  What the paper shows is that while time matters, the population size achieved over the interval of time does not matter.

The study is grounded in and strongly supports Darwinian evolution, including the understanding all life has evolved from a common biological origin over several billion years.

The study follows mainstream views of human evolution. We do not propose there was a single “Adam” or “Eve”. We do not propose any catastrophic events.



Posted at 10:05 am in News