Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MARINE BIOLOGY meets INFORMATION TECHNOLGY – and a new era in marine biology has begun

29.06.2006
Marine biologists and information technologists launch new inter-disciplinary research area called "ocean biodiversity informatics"
The publication of a special Theme Section of 9 papers in the prestigious international marine science journal Marine Ecology Progress Series marks the official recognition of a new inter-disciplinary area of research. Marine biologists are using the latest online information technologies to share, map, analyse and model data from many different sources to reveal global patterns in marine species. Papers in the special publication provide examples of how ocean biodiversity informatics benefits research on whales, seals, sea birds, sea turtles, fisheries, anemone fish and their host anemones, and deep-sea life.

Thinking big

‘Ocean Biodiversity Informatics’ (OBI) heralds a new era in biological research and management that is revolutionising the way we approach marine biodiversity research. OBI uses computer technologies to manage marine biodiversity information; capturing, storing, searching for, retrieving, visualising, mapping, modelling, analyses and publishing data allowing more users greater access to more data and information faster than ever before. The global nature of phenomena such as climate change, over-fishing, and other changes in ecosystems, would not have been recognised had it not been for informatics-aided analyses.

The thought alone of data mining and exploration on a global scale is enough to set the hearts of marine scientists fluttering across the world, as marine biology embraces the computer age. Access to global data through OBI will allow for worldwide gap analysis resulting in new perspectives on current research, the promotion of collaborations between research groups and real data sets for teaching purposes, to mention just a few of the potential benefits. “OBI is an initiative of the 21st century and will make conventional marine biodiversity research more dynamic and comprehensive, with a range of constantly evolving online tools” say Mark J. Costello and Edward Van Berghe in a paper to be published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Culture change

Data on marine species and their environment (be it regional or on a global scale) is the ‘fuel’ on which OBI operates and therefore compliments the traditional disciplines of taxonomy, ecology and biogeography. However, many scientists are ignoring pleas from international scientific organisations, including the International Council for Science, to make their data public. The irony is that most data collections are paid for, directly or indirectly, by public funds. Taxonomists have led the way with regard to public accessibility of data where the expected practice is to lodge type specimens in museums for the common good. It is suggested that there should be a protocol for scientists where ecological data would be made available in a similar way. OBI will make more data available to more people more quickly than ever before, including repatriation of data and information collected in Developing Countries.

According to Mark Costello of the University of Auckland (New Zealand), for OBI to succeed a change in biological science culture to one of open-access to primary data is essential. Also, a greater recognition of the value of such data publications by the scientific community, including publishers, funding agencies and employers is vital commented Edward Vanden Berghe of the Flanders Marine Institute (Belgium). This change in culture is currently underway.

Fit for purpose

One of the most challenging aspects of any informatics system is the quality assurance. This is particularly important when you consider all the possible uses to which data can be put, and the number of steps from the original point of data collection to the end use. However a data or information system is designed, its continuity and development depend on support from the scientific community. This community includes contributors, evaluators of funding applications, users and science policy makers.

The flagship OBI programme is the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (www.iobis.org), already publishing almost 10 million location records for 61,000 marine species from a global network of over 100 databases. OBIS is the data system for the Census of Marine Life, the largest ever global marine biology discovery programme (www.coml.org).

Mark Costello | alfa
Further information:
http://www.auckland.ac.nz
http://www.iobis.org
http://www.coml.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>