This talk will show how the emergence of world biodiversity databases has led to new insights into how many species exist on Earth and spatial patterns of species richness and endemicity with latitude and ocean depth. Confusion has arisen over species synonyms and concepts, and not realising that taxonomic effort had been increasing. Consideration of biogeographic and environmental variation (betadiversity), across terrestrial, coastal and deep-sea environments, helps explain why there are likely about 2 million species on Earth.
Mark Costello is a professor at the University of Auckland. His research interests include marine biodiversity and biogeography, study of Marine Protected Area networks using biogeographic and environmental data, and ecology, biogeography and risk assessment of marine invasive species.