27 March 2015

Collaborator of the Week: Dennis P. Gordon

Dr. Dennis P. Gordon is based at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) at Wellington, New Zealand, where he is Principal Scientist and Manager of the Marine Biodiversity and Biosecurity Group. He is a distinguished global authority on the biology, paleobiology, systematics and evolution of phylum Bryozoa. Aside from collaborative environmental projects done for commercial clients, he is one of the leading biodiversity figures in New Zealand, specializing in marine biodiversity.

Within the span of his research career, he has primarily focused on the biology, paleobiology, systematics and phylogeny of Cretaceous to Recent Bryozoa. His work in these areas covered vast applications to biosecurity, biotechnology, conservation, fishing impacts and evolution, among others. Along with dedicated colleagues, he has described 687 new taxa, including 431 recent bryozoan species, 105 new fossil species and 144 higher taxa of Bryozoa. His key role as a biodiversity scientist led him to work on the total Phanerozoic biodiversity of New Zealand and global classification of life for biodiversity management. This milestone brought forth a 1758-page trilogy encompassing New Zealand’s entire living (> 56,200 species) and fossil (>14,000 species) biodiversity. Even with the bulk of his commitments, his passion for conservation extended his contributions to assessing marine adventive species, biosecurity risk and human impacts in the marine environment.

Having 45 years of research experience, he has written an astounding number of peer reviewed publications, forged ties with important local and international scientific and conservation institutions (serving on committees of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, Catalogue of Life and World Register of Marine Species), and garnered numerous awards and recognition.

He has been a collaborator of the SeaLifeBase project since 2012 and made a noteworthy contribution for the Kermadec Island work at the same time. He provided us with references and validated bryozoan species for the Kermadec Island, which helped complete our coverage for this group of species.

We are indeed thankful and looking forward to more years of collaborating.

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