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Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics (EG-ABI)

Biodiversity informatics is the application of informatics techniques to biodiversity information for improved management, presentation, discovery, exploration and analysis outcomes. It is generally focused on computationally-intensive aspects of biodiversity science and information processing, including architectures and systems, analysis and modelling methods, and human-computer interfaces. There is clearly a close relationship between informatics, data management, and biodiversity science, and so the EG-ABI group collaborates closely with a range of other groups and initiatives, including:

EG-ABI was created during the SCAR Life Sciences Standing Scientific Group meeting at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Portland Oregon, in July 2012. Its purpose is to foster the application and development of biodiversity informatics in the SCAR community, and it does this by coordinating and participating in a range of projects across the SCAR biodiversity science portfolio.

Terms of Reference

EG-ABI aims to optimize ongoing developments in biodiversity informatics for the SCAR community. It does this by:

  • coordinating biodiversity informatics activities across SCAR for research, management, conservation and monitoring purposes;
  • promoting free and open access to primary Antarctic biodiversity data, source code, and relevant resources;
  • promoting community-driven biodiversity data projects;
  • providing advice to SCAR groups which require access to biodiversity data and advise on strategies to embrace future data streams;
  • advising SCAR groups on best practices in biodiversity data management, standardization, interoperability and biodiversity information networks designs;
  • advising on the involvement of SCAR with bodies such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) or the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (IODE-OBIS) on matters relevant to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean;
  • contributing to the establishment of a dynamic, data-driven benchmark of the state of Antarctic ecosystems.