Just got this in email:
Mark Costello will be giving a seminar on Friday, December 7th, at 3:10pm in Storer Hall room 2342. His talk will focus on several of his recent papers on “Can we discover Earth’s species before they go extinct?” If you have any questions, please contact Eliot Crafton (recrafton).
Mark is an Associate Professor as the University of Auckland Leigh Marine Laboratory. His work focuses on biodiversity, ecology, biogeography, and ectoparasites with an interest in conservation. He has done extensive work looking at biogeography of marine species, including invasive species, and examining the biodiversity of the world’s oceans. This work has relied on both taxonomic records and statistical modeling of these systems. In addition, Mark has been an active participant in developing and proliferating access to biodiversity data, including positions as the founding chair of the World Register of Marine Species (www.marinespecies.org), President of the International Association for Biological Oceanography (www.iabo.org), and Vice-Chair of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Science Committee (www.gbif.org), among several other positions. More information regarding Mark’s activities can be found on his university webpage, http://www.marine.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/about/our-people/dr-mark-costello/
Seminar Topic: ‘Can we discover Earth’s species before they go extinct?’
Mark will be presenting findings from several of his 2012 papers. Poor estimates of how many species exist on Earth and extinction rates, coupled with a perception of declining taxonomic expertise, have led to concerns that many or most species may be extinct before they are discovered. In contrast to widespread beliefs, we find that hyper-estimates of species richness cannot be supported, that there have never been so many taxonomists, and that extinction rates are not yet out of control. Thus most species are likely to be described within this century, especially if taxonomic productivity increases.
Predicting Total Global Species Richness Using Rates of Species Description and Estimates of Taxonomic Effort
Mark J Costello, Simon Wilson, and Brett Houlding
The Magnitude of Global Marine Species Diversity
Appeltans et al.