Unifying European Biodiversity Informatics (BioUnify)

Koureas, Dimitrios; Hardisty, Alex; Vos, Rutger Aldo; Agosti, Donat; Arvanitidis, Christos; Bogatencov, Peter; Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; de Jong, Yde; Horvath, Ferenc; Gkoutos, Georgios; Groom, Quentin John; Kliment, Tomas; Kõljalg, Urmas; Manakos, Ioannis; Marcer, Arnald; Marhold, Karol; Morse, David; Mergen, Patricia; Penev, Lyubomir; Pettersson, Lars B.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; van de Putte, Anton and Smith, Vincent Stuart (2016). Unifying European Biodiversity Informatics (BioUnify). Research Ideas and Outcomes, 2

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.2.e7787

Abstract

In order to preserve the variety of life on Earth, we must understand it better. Biodiversity research is at a pivotal point with research projects generating data at an ever increasing rate. Structuring, aggregating, linking and processing these data in a meaningful way is a major challenge. The systematic application of information management and engineering technologies in the study of biodiversity (biodiversity informatics) help transform data to knowledge. However, concerted action is required to be taken by existing e-infrastructures to develop and adopt common standards, provisions for interoperability and avoid overlapping in functionality. This would result in the unification of the currently fragmented landscape that restricts European biodiversity research from reaching its full potential.

The overarching goal of this COST Action is to coordinate existing research and capacity building efforts, through a bottom-up trans-disciplinary approach, by unifying biodiversity informatics communities across Europe in order to support the long-term vision of modelling biodiversity on earth.

BioUnify will:

1. specify technical requirements, evaluate and improve models for efficient data and workflow storage, sharing and re-use, within and between different biodiversity communities;

2. mobilise taxonomic, ecological, genomic and biomonitoring data generated and curated by natural history collections, research networks and remote sensing sources in Europe;

3. leverage results of ongoing biodiversity informatics projects by identifying and developing functional synergies on individual, group and project level;

4. raise technical awareness and transfer skills between biodiversity researchers and information technologists;

5. formulate a viable roadmap for achieving the long-term goals for European biodiversity informatics, which ensures alignment with global activities and translates into efficient biodiversity policy.

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