E.O. Wilson-Founder of Biodiversity, Water Rhythms, Low-Cost Direct Air CO2 Capture,

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Low-cost direct air CO2 capture using O2-resistant proton-coupled electrochemistry. In climate culture: Water Rhythms, and, E.O. Wilson-founder of biodiversity.



Meet E.O. Wilson, nicknamed the “ant man” because his major field of study was ants. But that’s not why he matters to us. Wilson is considered to be “the father of biodiversity.

In 1963 his work and his conception of species equilibrium led Wilson to the theory of island biogeography, which he developed with the late Robert H. MacArthur of Princeton University. In it immigration and extinction, the determinants of biodiversity at the species level, were tied to area (distance of islands from source regions) and the basic properties of ecology and demography. The work culminated in their 1967 book The Theory of Island Biogeography. The theory greatly influenced the discipline of ecology and became a cornerstone of conservation biology.

By the late 1970s, Wilson was actively involved in global conservation, promoting biodiversity research. In 1984 he published Biophilia, which explored the evolutionary and psychological basis of humanity’s attraction to the natural environment. This work introduced the word biophilia into the language and has been influential in the shaping of the modern conservation ethic.

In 1988 Wilson edited the volume BioDiversity, based on the proceedings of the first United States national conference on the subject. This work was very influential in creating the modern field of biodiversity studies. So aside from introducing biophilia into our language and consciousness, why does EO Wilson matter to us?

His 2012 book, The Social Conquest of Earth. In it he unites the diverse strands of thought he’d developed over his 60-year career. The Social Conquest of Earth reconsiders the theory of altruism to better understand how humans became the dominant species on the planet. Wilson drew on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to show that group selection, not kin selection, is the primary driving force of human evolution. In his book.

Group selection toward human evolution matters because it means there’s hope we as a species can save ourselves. EO Wilson died December 26, 2021.

DEEPER DIVE: BioDiversity, E.O. Wilson Foundation, Consilience, Nature



Ten research teams will share $1.3 million in the eighth round of the Climate Change Solutions Fund (CCSF) awards. Aiming for impact at both the local and global level, these projects will seek to reduce the risks of climate change, hasten the transition to renewable energy, diminish the impact of existing fossil fuels on the climate, understand and prepare for the effects of climate change, and propel innovations needed to accelerate progress toward a healthier, more sustainable future.

Michael Aziz, and his team are developing a new way to remove carbon dioxide from the air through the use of electrochemistry. So-called direct air carbon dioxide (DAC) capture represents a crucial solution if the world is to limit global warming to within to 2° Celsius. But conventional DAC technologies are both energy intensive and expensive. Using electrochemistry of water-soluble organic molecules allows for a scalable, low energy cost, and safe way to capture carbon. In the current electrochemical system developed in the PI’s lab, however, atmospheric oxygen (O2) renders the system inoperable. Funding will help the researchers develop a new electrochemical cell structure, with distinct compartments for electrochemistry and carbon capture, which would make the carbon capture process resistant to oxygen or any harmful component in the inlet gas.



Water Rhythms: Listening to Climate Change are two sonic waterfall installations of compositions created from the field recordings of melting glaciers

The authors, TED Fellows Susie Ibarra (composer, percussionist, sound artist) and Michele Koppes (glaciologist, geographer, climate scientist), have collected the recordings in some of the world’s most important water towers – the Indian Himalayas, Pacific Northwest Coast Mountains, and the Greenland Ice Sheet. 

Water Rhythms: Listening to Climate Change is a story of climate change told by the ice and water, and speaks to the rapid change and depletion of our glaciers and freshwater sources worldwide. Only 2.5% of water on Earth is freshwater, and of this, 99% comes from glaciers and ice sheets. As glaciers disappear in response to climate change, water availability and water quality are being threatened for the billions who live downstream.

The installation launched simultaneously on 10.10.20 in Vancouver, Canada at the Jack Poole Plaza and Millbrook, NY at the Tyrrel Glacial Lake at Innisfree Garden. Check out the Water Rhythms page on Story Maps.

DEEPER DIVE: Story Maps, Jack Poole Plaza, Innisfree Garden