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Sharing smart approaches to biodiversity research with a joint EU-Brazil data and cloud infrastructure. The EUBrazilOpenBio Collaborative Success Story

Press Release
25/11/2013

Horizon2020, the European Commission’s next funding cycle, is a goal-line for making every researcher digital through the development and wider use of e-infrastructures across a broader spectrum of disciplines. A key objective is to take on the grand societal challenges of the 21st century, including the pressing need to address the complex challenges surrounding biodiversity loss . The focus of EUBrazilOpenBio project has been on sharing smarter approaches across national boundaries by leveraging achievements, components, and infrastructures developed in other projects.

EUBrazilOpenBio analysis of cloud computing and biodiversity initiatives in Brazil and Europe highlights the many opportunities that exist for continued co-operation between the 2 Regions. These opportunities range from new multi-disciplinary approaches to biodiversity, including internationally recognised post-graduate qualifications and joint facilities, to small and medium-sized businesses creating value-add services around open data. The EUBrazilOpenBio Joint Action Plan is an initial step towards demonstrating that new and creative approaches to scientific discovery will be possible by mastering the main technical and data challenges that lie ahead. Brazil and Europe have much to contribute to the creation of better services for researchers at all the different levels. By embracing the diversity of talent that exists in all fields of research and informatics, future international co-operation can help make collaborative research better, more open, and multidisciplinary.

A biodiversity Virtual Research Environment.

EUBrazilOpenBio developed an innovative, web-based working environment conceived to serve the needs of biodiversity science, aggregating biodiversity data and service providers (Catalogue of Life, GBIF, speciesLink, List of Species of the Brazilian Flora, EGI) together with a rich array of existing technologies (such as gCube, COMPSs, VENUS-C, openModeller, U.STORE, EasyGrid AMS). The final objective is to serve biodiversity scenarios by reducing the time and costs needed to set up dedicated working environments and workflows.

Find the differences.

EUBrazilOpenBio developed a new version of the Catalogue of Life cross-mapping tool developed in the i4Life project .
By using the EUBrazilOpenBio Crossmapper service, taxonomists and data curators can find relationships between their own regional lists of species and species within selected higher taxa in different species information systems within the same virtual research environment. The service allows the comparison of any pair of checklists. It has been used on the list of species of Brazilian Flora, containing over 43,000 species plus around 30,000 synonyms, and the global Species2000/ITIS Catalogue of Life (CoL), indexing about 250,000 plant species and 300,000 synonyms. The tool returns the “difference” between them, e.g. a list of species present in one checklist, but absent in the other.

"The Crossmapper itself is a great tool, and an ideal way to identify errors and updates, differences in taxonomic opinion between datasets. The results reflect a significant taxonomic intelligence and impressive pragmatism in the tool creators. It is a really impressive, and well-thought-out approach". Assessment of usability for regional GSD comparisons. Dr Christina Flann, Species 2000 and Global Compositae Checklist Editor

ENM-as-a-Service.

Furthermore, the Ecological Niche Modelling service provides researchers with an integrated working environment enabling the definition and execution of computing-intensive modelling tasks by retrieving high-resolution environmental data and species occurrence points collected from different biodiversity data networks, such as GBIF and speciesLink. This makes the process easier and allows biodiversity practitioners to create models and project them under different conditions in a quicker and less dispersive way.
EUBrazilOpenBio also collaborated with BioVeL, deploying the Ecological Niche Modelling tool as a robust service through the openModeller extended web service .

The ultimate goal is to demonstrate that new and creative approaches to scientific discovery are possible by mastering the main technical and data-related challenges that lie ahead. Brazil and Europe have much to contribute to the creation of better services for researchers at all levels.

Source: EUBrazilOpenBio
www.eubrazilopenbio.org
- contact@eubrazilopenbio.eumailto:contact@eubrazilopenbio.eu

Looking to the future
EUBrazilCloudConnect, a new project related closely to biodiversity, will leverage several key outcomes of EUBrazilOpenBio, i.e. the EUBrazilOpenBio cloud-based ENM service.

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