Friday, December 16, 2022

David Remsen

I heard yesterday from Martin Kalfatovic (BHL) that David Remsen has died. Very sad news. It's starting to feel like iPhylo might end up being a list of obituaries of people working on biodiversity informatics (e.g., Scott Federhen).

I spent several happy visits at MBL at Woods Hole talking to Dave at the height of the uBio project, which really kickstarted large scale indexing of taxonomic names, and the use of taxonomic name finding tools to index the literature. His work on uBio with David ("Paddy") Patterson led to the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).

A number of the things I'm currently working on are things Dave started. For example, I recently uploaded a version of his dataset for Nomenclator Zoologicus[1] to ChecklistBank where I'm working on augmenting that original dataset by adding links to the taxonomic literature. My BioRSS project is essentially an attempt to revive uBioRSS[2] (see Revisiting RSS to monitor the latest taxonomic research).

I have fond memories of those visits to Woods Hole. A very sad day indeed.

Update: The David Remsen Memorial Fund has been set up on GoFundMe.

1. Remsen, D. P., Norton, C., & Patterson, D. J. (2006). Taxonomic Informatics Tools for the Electronic Nomenclator Zoologicus. The Biological Bulletin, 210(1), 18–24.

2. Patrick R. Leary, David P. Remsen, Catherine N. Norton, David J. Patterson, Indra Neil Sarkar, uBioRSS: Tracking taxonomic literature using RSS, Bioinformatics, Volume 23, Issue 11, June 2007, Pages 1434–1436,