Sep 08

[video]

[video]

[video]

[video]

[video]

Aug 12

E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth iBooks Textbook and iTunes U Course

E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is an innovative new iBooks Textbook for high school biology students created by the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. Available for free on the iBooks Store, Life on Earth is accompanied by an iTunes U course called Biology: Life on Earth. The iTunes U course brings together content from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) and other institutions with content emphasizing important themes like citizen science, evolution, climate change, and the protection of biodiversity.

Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) content and resource are available in the first section of the course: Unity and Diversity of Life on Earth. Activities include an audio interview with E.O. Wilson, creating virtual collections of species and accessing the biodiversity resources available through EOL’s iTunes U collections.

Download the Life on Earth iBook and iTunes U Course

Read more about EOL and iTunes U

quote from Charles Darwin

quote from Charles Darwin

Feb 20

Marine Biodiversity Data- let’s get organized!

The past several hundred years of marine research have left us with a real embarrassment of riches. A vast amount of information has been discovered and recorded about the world’s oceans. When we started recording it, we probably never imagined how much knowledge we would eventually have at our disposal, and how difficult it could be to wade through it all. Research groups supported by the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) have been combing through the literature and other knowledge stores in their fields and extracting datasets of species attributes of sea birds, copepods, macro algae and other groups, and are preparing this information for dissemination online. These data will be shared via the EMODnet data portal as well as familiar venues like the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and EOL Traitbank.

25 scientists from EMODnet, WoRMS, EOL, and several pioneering research groups which have been unearthing the first of these datasets met last week at the headquarters of Ifremer in France to discuss how best to continue this data hunt, which attributes to prioritize, and how best to format and disseminate them so they’ll be available and useful to researchers, policymakers, students, and ecosystem modelers.

There’s some marine trait data available on EOL already, so if you want to know which diatoms are the biggest, which worms are predatory, or which whales have the longest pregnancies, we can help you. Soon, though, a much wider array of information will be available. What kinds of marine wildlife attributes do you want to be able to look up?

Feb 13

EOL/BHL Research Sprint at NESCent - Update 3
Reports are still rolling out from last week’s Research Sprint.
The NoPlaceLikeHome team used ENVIRONMENTS to annotate North and South America Bird (Aves) information such as ecology, habitat, migration descriptions etc.  They used the SEQenv R package to visualize the results as above. Species are on the X axis and the Environment Ontology (EnvO) habitat term associations on the Y axis, with the redness (or size in the inset Wordle) based on simple term counts. This kind of visualization was originally designed for characterising the sequences of microbial samples with the environments in which they are found. It also appears to be valuable for assessing rare/frequent habitats, species habitat breadth, and researchers are beginning to answer questions about how do environments differ among species of the same genus.
The NoPlaceLikeHome team included Evangelos Pafilis (Hellenic Center for Marine Research), Rob Stevenson (U Mass Boston), and Carl Nordman (NatureServe),
For more information, see this full list of Research Sprint projects and participants.

EOL/BHL Research Sprint at NESCent - Update 3

Reports are still rolling out from last week’s Research Sprint.

The NoPlaceLikeHome team used ENVIRONMENTS to annotate North and South America Bird (Aves) information such as ecology, habitat, migration descriptions etc.  They used the SEQenv R package to visualize the results as above. Species are on the X axis and the Environment Ontology (EnvO) habitat term associations on the Y axis, with the redness (or size in the inset Wordle) based on simple term counts. This kind of visualization was originally designed for characterising the sequences of microbial samples with the environments in which they are found. It also appears to be valuable for assessing rare/frequent habitats, species habitat breadth, and researchers are beginning to answer questions about how do environments differ among species of the same genus.

The NoPlaceLikeHome team included Evangelos Pafilis (Hellenic Center for Marine Research), Rob Stevenson (U Mass Boston), and Carl Nordman (NatureServe),

For more information, see this full list of Research Sprint projects and participants.

Feb 07

Breaking results from the NESCent-EOL-BHL Research Sprint
Some parts of the bird family Corvidae (crows, jays, magpies and their allies) have more available data than others.  Colors represent a score from 1 to 5 based on how many of the following exist:
A rich EOL page
EOL TraitBank trait information
Georeferenced occurence records from Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
Non-georeferenced GBIF records
GenBank sequence records
Phylogenetic tree from Jetz et al. 2012.
Analyses like this can guide investment into new data collection where it is most needed or allow researchers to quickly select parts of the tree of life where they can answer their research questions.  The team plans to scale this analysis to vertebrates and build a pipeline to make it easy to visualize the progress of scientific knowledge.
The research sprint team team included Jessica Oswald, Karen Cranston, Gordon Burleigh, and Cyndy Parr.  
For more information, see this full list of Research Sprint projects and participants.

Breaking results from the NESCent-EOL-BHL Research Sprint

Some parts of the bird family Corvidae (crows, jays, magpies and their allies) have more available data than others.  Colors represent a score from 1 to 5 based on how many of the following exist:

  1. A rich EOL page
  2. EOL TraitBank trait information
  3. Georeferenced occurence records from Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
  4. Non-georeferenced GBIF records
  5. GenBank sequence records

Phylogenetic tree from Jetz et al. 2012.

Analyses like this can guide investment into new data collection where it is most needed or allow researchers to quickly select parts of the tree of life where they can answer their research questions.  The team plans to scale this analysis to vertebrates and build a pipeline to make it easy to visualize the progress of scientific knowledge.

The research sprint team team included Jessica Oswald, Karen Cranston, Gordon Burleigh, and Cyndy Parr.  

For more information, see this full list of Research Sprint projects and participants.