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 was still alive today, he would have made an excellent ambassador for modern marine biodiversity research. 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, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in collaboration with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - School of Biology and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) features 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).

Check the links below: