Aristotle and marine biodiversity
Many people are unaware that the great Greek philosopher Aristotle can also be regarded as “the father of marine biodiversity”. Indeed, this “Linnaeus avant la lettre” spent a considerable part of his life studying marine species. In fact, more than 40% of the animals he studied in his zoological works had a marine origin. If Aristotle were still alive today, he would have made an excellent ambassador for modern marine biodiversity research. To highlight his very early contributions to the study of marine biodiversity, we are featuring a series of five stories that cover different aspects of his life and research, linking his work to current initiatives and projects, and demonstrating that at least part of his work is still relevant and very much alive today…
In recognition of Aristotle’s important contribution to philosophy and science, UNESCO declared 2016 (the year of his 2400th birth anniversary) as the “Aristotle Anniversary Year”. To celebrate his specific contributions to marine sciences, we are featuring 5 stories, linking Aristotle’s scientific contributions to taxonomy, ecology and species distributions to current-day initiatives such as the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), the European LifeWatch (featuring the Belgian and Greek contributions), the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) and the European node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (EurOBIS).
Aristotle, the ‘marine Linnaeus’ avant la lettre
Aristotle and his remarkable achievements in the field of marine taxonomy
Aristotle and his work on marine species traits
Aristotle on species distributions and migration patterns
Aristotle and how he contributed to marine animal nomenclature