Aristotle's marine scientific contributions still relevant to current research
Added on 2016-12-16
Although many people are not aware of this, Aristotle has made many contributions to the field of marine biology. Within the frame of the UNESCO Year of Aristotle 2016 we are featuring 5 stories linking Aristotle's scientific contributions to taxonomy, ecology and species distributions to current day initiatives.
Photo: Eleni Voultsiadou (left) and Ophelia/Wiki Commons (right).
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 project (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).