Recommended Readings: Joel E. Cohen Ph.D. Monday November 7 2016

Monday Lectures

Monday October 31, 2016   3:45 p.m.

Caspary Auditorium

Joel E. Cohen   Ph.D.

Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Populations

The Rockefeller University


Departments of International and Public Affairs;
Earth and Environmental Sciences; Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology; and Statistics of Columbia University

The Variation is the Theme:

Taylor’s law from Chagas Disease Vector Control to Tornado Outbreaks

Recommended Readings:

Taylor, L. R. Aggregation, variance and the mean.  Nature.  178:732-735    1961

Anderson, Sean C.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Dulvy, Nicholas K.   Ecological prophets: quantifying metapopulation portfolio effects. METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION  4(10): 971-981      OCT 2013

Meng, Xu. Taylor’s power law: Before and after 50 years of scientific scrutiny.  ArXiv.      2011

Taylor, L. R. and I. P. Woiwod  Temporal Stability as a Density-Dependent Species Characteristic.  Journal of Animal Ecology.   49(1): 209-224   February 1980

Kalyuzhny, Michael; Schreiber, Yishai; Chocron, Rachel; et al.  Temporal fluctuation scaling in populations and communities. ECOLOGY.   95(6):1701-1709   JUN 2014

The Earth Microbiome Project

The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is a proposed massively multidisciplinary effort to analyze microbial communities across the globe from many environments.  The first EMP Conference is scheduled for June 2011 in Shenzhen, China.  The goal is to understand microbes (Bacterial, Archaeal, Eukaryal and Viral) in terms of whom they are and what they do; it is the grand challenge of microbial ecology.  Read more at the Earth Microbiome Project website.

Species Loss Tied to Ecosystem Collapse and Recovery

ScienceDaily (Jan. 12, 2011) — Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse. Looking at two of the greatest mass extinctions in Earth’s history, the scientists attribute the ecosystems’ collapse to a loss in the variety of species sharing the same space. It took up to 10 million years after the mass extinctions for the ecosystem to stabilize.

The world’s oceans are under siege. Conservation biologists regularly note the precipitous decline of key species, such as cod, bluefin tuna, swordfish and sharks. Lose enough of these top-line predators (among other species), and the fear is that the oceanic web of life may collapse.

In a new paper in Geology, researchers at Brown University and the University of Washington used a group of marine creatures similar to today’s nautilus to examine the collapse of marine ecosystems that coincided with two of the greatest mass extinctions in the Earth’s history. They attribute the ecosystems’ collapse to a loss of enough species occupying the same space in the oceans, called “ecological redundancy.”

The research appears in Geology 2011   39(2):99.  Request a copy from Markus Library.

Recommended Readings: Jesse Ausubel, M.A. Nov. 15, 2010

Monday Lecture Series

The Census of Marine Life

Jesse Ausubel, M.A.

Program for the Human Environment

The Rockefeller University

Caspary Auditorium,  4:00 pm

November 15, 2010

Recommended Readings:

Pennisi, Elizabeth.  2010.  Seeing deeply into the seas’ biodiversity.   Science.   329:622

O’Dor, R; Miloslavich, P; and Yarincik, K.  2010.  Marine Biodiversity and Biogeography – Regional Comparisons of Global Issues, an Introduction.   PLoS One.  5(8): e11871  

Costello, MJ; Coll, M; Danovaro, R, et al.  2010.  A Census of Marine Biodiversity Knowledge, Resources, and Future Challenges.     PLoS One.   5(8): e12110  

Webb, TJ; Vanden Berghe, E; and O’Dor, R.  2010.  Biodiversity’s Big Wet Secret: The Global Distribution of Marine Biological Records Reveals Chronic Under-Exploration of the Deep Pelagic OceanPLoS One. 2010; 5(8): e10223.

O’Dor, RK; Fennel, K; and Berghe, RV .  2009.  A one ocean model of biodiversity.  Deep-sea research Part II: Tropical Studies in Oceanography.  56(19-20):1816-1823     Request from Markus Library.

Katsunori, Y; Fujikura, D.  2009.  OBIS: the databse of the Census of Marine Life project.  Bulletin of the Plankton Society of Japan.  56(2):155-158  Request from Markus Library.

Miloslavich, P; and Klein, E.   2009.  The world conference on marine biodiversity: Current global trends in marine biodiversity research.   Marine Biodiversity. 39(2):147-152

Yarincik, K. and O’Dr, R.  2005.  The census of marine life: goals, scope and strategyScientia Marina  69(Supple1):201-208

Creative Microbiology: New Enzyme Could Revolutionize Production Of Plastics

ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2008) — In future, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA for short) – better known as acrylic glass – could be made from natural raw materials such as sugars, alcohols or fatty acids. Compared with the previous chemical production process, this biotechnological process is far more environmentally friendly.  A new enzyme  discovered by Dr. Thore Rohwerder und Dr. Roland H. Müller, called 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase, makes it possible to turn a linear C4 carbon structure into a branched one. Compounds of this type are precursors of MMA. Parent compounds may of course include intermediate products from the petrochemical industry.  This enzyme, integrated into metabolically appropriate microorganisms, can also transform sugars and other natural compounds into the products desired.   Dr Thore Rohwerder has been nominated as one of three candidates for the European Evonik research award for his discovery.

Climate Change: Implications for Proliferation of Deadly Pathogens

A new report released by the Wildlife Conservation  Society names 12 deadly pathogens likely to spread into new geographic regions of the endangering both human and animal populations.  The “deadly dozen” includes ebola, avian flu, cholera, yellow fever, tuberculosis and other diseases that could easily spread with changing temperature and precipitation patterns,  causing challenges to health, health care systems,  national economies, and ecosystems.  Read more at the Society website.