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Antarctic Biodiversity Informatics (EG-ABI)

EG-ABI supports the Antarctic and Southern Ocean biodiversity science community to come together, share resources and expertise, and ask questions on topics of data access, integration, analysis, and synthesis.

EG-ABI is primarily focused on computational aspects of biodiversity science, with particular value placed on transparent, reproducible science using open software and data. We promote and contribute to the development of software tools, analytical and collaborative platforms, and resources such as user guides, example workflows, tutorials, and other educational material to support end users (scientists, policy makers, and others) in biodiversity data access, integration, analysis, and synthesis.

EG-ABI does this by:

  • encouraging collaboration and disseminating information regarding biodiversity informatics activities across the SCAR and broader Antarctic science communities,
  • hosting workshops, online discussion fora, and other channels for community engagement and capacity building,
  • working with other groups in SCAR and elsewhere to develop integrated or synthesized data products of value to the community,
  • providing advice to SCAR groups that are engaging in these areas,
  • engaging in biodiversity science projects.

There is clearly a close relationship between these activities and other areas of science, and so the EGABI group collaborates closely with a range of other groups and initiatives, including:

It is important to note that EG-ABI is not primarily about:

  • data publication or data management, which are the focus of other SCAR groups including SCADM,, and SCAGI. EG-ABI’s primary interest is in accessing and using such data, and improving community tools for doing so. However, as noted above, EG-ABI will collaborate in generating data synthesis products, particularly where these aid in downstream data usage by the community.
  • domain-specific science under our own auspices. EG-ABI does not instigate its own biological science projects, for example, but we will partner with domain-specific groups on the computational aspects of such projects

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.