Jim Leape, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
- The living infinite: Envisioning futures for transformed human-nature relationships on the high seas MARINE POLICY 2023; 153
- Making marine biotechnology work for people and nature. Nature ecology & evolution 2023
A forgotten element of the blue economy: marine biomimetics and inspiration from the deep sea.
2022; 1 (4): pgac196
The morphology, physiology, and behavior of marine organisms have been a valuable source of inspiration for solving conceptual and design problems. Here, we introduce this rich and rapidly expanding field of marine biomimetics, and identify it as a poorly articulated and often overlooked element of the ocean economy associated with substantial monetary benefits. We showcase innovations across seven broad categories of marine biomimetic design (adhesion, antifouling, armor, buoyancy, movement, sensory, stealth), and use this framing as context for a closer consideration of the increasingly frequent focus on deep-sea life as an inspiration for biomimetic design. We contend that marine biomimetics is not only a "forgotten" sector of the ocean economy, but has the potential to drive appreciation of nonmonetary values, conservation, and stewardship, making it well-aligned with notions of a sustainable blue economy. We note, however, that the highest ambitions for a blue economy are that it not only drives sustainability, but also greater equity and inclusivity, and conclude by articulating challenges and considerations for bringing marine biomimetics onto this trajectory.
View details for DOI 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac196
View details for PubMedID 36714844
Scientific mobilization of keystone actors for biosphere stewardship.
2022; 12 (1): 3802
The biosphere crisis requires changes to existing business practices. We ask how corporations can become sustainability leaders, when constrained by multiple barriers to collaboration for biosphere stewardship. We describe how scientists motivated, inspired and engaged with ten of the world's largest seafood companies, in a collaborative process aimed to enable science-based and systemic transformations (2015-2021). CEOs faced multiple industry crises in 2015 that incentivized novel approaches. New scientific insights, aninvitation to collaborate, and a bold vision of transformative change towards ocean stewardship, created new opportunities and direction. Co-creation of solutions resulted in new knowledge and trust, a joint agenda for action, new capacities, international recognition, formalization of an organization, increased policy influence, time-bound goals, and convergence of corporate change. Independently funded scientists helped remove barriers to cooperation, provided means for reflection, and guided corporate strategies and actions toward ocean stewardship. By 2021, multiple individuals exercised leadership and the initiative had transitioned from preliminary and uncomfortable conversations, to a dynamic, operational organization, with capacity to perform global leadership in the seafood industry. Mobilizing transformational agency through learning, collaboration, and innovation represents a cultural evolution with potential to redirect and accelerate corporate action, to the benefit of business, people and the planet.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-07023-8
View details for PubMedID 35246555
- Evolving Perspectives of Stewardship in the Seafood Industry FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE 2021; 8
- Sharing the seas: a review and analysis of ocean sector interactions ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS 2021; 16 (6)
- WTO must ban harmful fisheries subsidies. Science (New York, N.Y.) 2021; 374 (6567): 544
- An invitation for more research on transnational corporations and the biosphere. Nature ecology & evolution 2020
Transnational corporations and the challenge of biosphere stewardship.
Nature ecology & evolution
Sustainability within planetary boundaries requires concerted action by individuals, governments, civil society and private actors. For the private sector, there is concern that the power exercised by transnational corporations generates, and is even central to, global environmental change. Here, we ask under which conditions transnational corporations could either hinder or promote a global shift towards sustainability. We show that a handful of transnational corporations have become a major force shaping the global intertwined system of people and planet. Transnational corporations in agriculture, forestry, seafood, cement, minerals and fossil energy cause environmental impacts and possess the ability to influence critical functions of the biosphere. We review evidence of current practices and identify six observed features of change towards 'corporate biosphere stewardship', with significant potential for upscaling. Actions by transnational corporations, if combined with effective public policies and improved governmental regulations, could substantially accelerate sustainability efforts.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41559-019-0978-z
View details for PubMedID 31527729
- Coral reef ecology in the Anthropocene FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY 2019; 33 (6): 1014–22
- Scale-dependent spatial patterns in benthic communities around a tropical island seascape ECOGRAPHY 2019; 42 (3): 578–90
Parsing human and biophysical drivers of coral reef regimes.
Proceedings. Biological sciences
2019; 286 (1896): 20182544
Coral reefs worldwide face unprecedented cumulative anthropogenic effects of interacting local human pressures, global climate change and distal social processes. Reefs are also bound by the natural biophysical environment within which they exist. In this context, a key challenge for effective management is understanding how anthropogenic and biophysical conditions interact to drive distinct coral reef configurations. Here, we use machine learning to conduct explanatory predictions on reef ecosystems defined by both fish and benthic communities. Drawing on the most spatially extensive dataset available across the Hawaiian archipelago-20 anthropogenic and biophysical predictors over 620 survey sites-we model the occurrence of four distinct reef regimes and provide a novel approach to quantify the relative influence of human and environmental variables in shaping reef ecosystems. Our findings highlight the nuances of what underpins different coral reef regimes, the overwhelming importance of biophysical predictors and how a reef's natural setting may either expand or narrow the opportunity space for management interventions. The methods developed through this study can help inform reef practitioners and hold promises for replication across a broad range of ecosystems.
View details for PubMedID 30963937
- Parsing human and biophysical drivers of coral reef regimes PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2019; 286 (1896)
Combining fish and benthic communities into multiple regimes reveals complex reef dynamics.
2018; 8 (1): 16943
Coral reefs worldwide face an uncertain future with many reefs reported to transition from being dominated by corals to macroalgae. However, given the complexity and diversity of the ecosystem, research on how regimes vary spatially and temporally is needed. Reef regimes are most often characterised by their benthic components; however, complex dynamics are associated with losses and gains in both fish and benthic assemblages. To capture this complexity, we synthesised 3,345 surveys from Hawai'i to define reef regimes in terms of both fish and benthic assemblages. Model-based clustering revealed five distinct regimes that varied ecologically, and were spatially heterogeneous by island, depth and exposure. We identified a regime characteristic of a degraded state with low coral cover and fish biomass, one that had low coral but high fish biomass, as well as three other regimes that varied significantly in their ecology but were previously considered a single coral dominated regime. Analyses of time series data reflected complex system dynamics, with multiple transitions among regimes that were a function of both local and global stressors. Coupling fish and benthic communities into reef regimes to capture complex dynamics holds promise for monitoring reef change and guiding ecosystem-based management of coral reefs.
View details for PubMedID 30446687
- Combining fish and benthic communities into multiple regimes reveals complex reef dynamics SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2018; 8
Advancing the integration of spatial data to map human and natural drivers on coral reefs
2018; 13 (3): e0189792
A major challenge for coral reef conservation and management is understanding how a wide range of interacting human and natural drivers cumulatively impact and shape these ecosystems. Despite the importance of understanding these interactions, a methodological framework to synthesize spatially explicit data of such drivers is lacking. To fill this gap, we established a transferable data synthesis methodology to integrate spatial data on environmental and anthropogenic drivers of coral reefs, and applied this methodology to a case study location-the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI). Environmental drivers were derived from time series (2002-2013) of climatological ranges and anomalies of remotely sensed sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a, irradiance, and wave power. Anthropogenic drivers were characterized using empirically derived and modeled datasets of spatial fisheries catch, sedimentation, nutrient input, new development, habitat modification, and invasive species. Within our case study system, resulting driver maps showed high spatial heterogeneity across the MHI, with anthropogenic drivers generally greatest and most widespread on O'ahu, where 70% of the state's population resides, while sedimentation and nutrients were dominant in less populated islands. Together, the spatial integration of environmental and anthropogenic driver data described here provides a first-ever synthetic approach to visualize how the drivers of coral reef state vary in space and demonstrates a methodological framework for implementation of this approach in other regions of the world. By quantifying and synthesizing spatial drivers of change on coral reefs, we provide an avenue for further research to understand how drivers determine reef diversity and resilience, which can ultimately inform policies to protect coral reefs.
View details for PubMedID 29494613
- Identifying multiple coral reef regimes and their drivers across the Hawaiian archipelago PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 2015; 370 (1659)