Discovering biodiversity data signals from natural history collections

Title: Discovering biodiversity data signals from natural history collections

Nico Franz

Nico Franz

Abstract: This presentation will illustrate how digitized, networked biodiversity data from natural history collections can be discovered and visualized to foster an understanding of data availability and suitability of data-driven analysis and decision making. The focus is on Arizona and on data and services produced by Arizona State University's Natural History Collections. The presentation will demonstrate how ASU's biocollections are currently discoverable through a series of public portals sustained by the Symbiota software platform - a popular, open source, ASU-developed information management system that offers a broad range of biodiversity data research and learning opportunities (https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1114). The examples will hopefully stimulate discussions about integrating collections-based data with the overall workshop theme and its different components.

Bio: Nico Franz studies the systematics and evolutionary history of weevils - a lineage of plant feeding beetles estimated to include some 220,000 species worldwide. At ASU, he is the curator of the Hasbrouck Insect Collection, lead coordinator of the Natural History Collections, director of the Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC), and principal investigator of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Biorepository. He tweets @taxonbytes.

Data stewardship in a multilateral world

Beckett Sterner

Beckett Sterner

Title: Data stewardship in a multilateral world

Abstract: What are the limits to a centralized approach for biodiversity data? I review some important costs to assuming a single, authoritative database or ontology can adequately support data discovery, integration, and scientific advances simultaneously. I then describe important future challenges to proving the value of a decentralized approach to data stewardship.

Biography: Beckett Sterner studies how mathematics is transforming biology, including biodiversity data aggregation, evolution of biological individuality, evolutionary tempo and mode, and methodology in systematic biology. He came to ASU in 2016 as an assistant professor in the Biology and Society Program and affiliated faculty in philosophy.

He started his career working in a computational biology lab studying protein function during college at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then switched to doing history and philosophy of science for his doctorate at the University of Chicago. He was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the Field Museum in Chicago (2012-2014) and a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Michigan Society of Fellows (2014-2016).

Biodiversity data needs for conservation decision support

Title: Biodiversity data needs for conservation decision support

Brief notes: Conservation decision support, particularly relevant for biodiversity data brainstorming. For decision support, good data on conservation costs and benefits (i.e., biodiversity responses) are necessary and more often than not, this type of data is usually difficult to acquire.

Gwen Iacona

Gwen Iacona

Bio: Dr. Gwen Iacona is an applied conservation scientist who uses quantitative and empirical approaches to understand how biodiversity outcomes can be improved by better decision making. Her current work aims to improve endangered species recovery by better understanding the risks and costs associated with recovery planning. Gwen specializes in using theoretical tools to study how the costs of conservation interventions influence the choice of actions and the resulting outcomes for conservation agencies. Past projects include predicting invasive plant cover, modelling protected area effectiveness, and prioritizing conservation action. Gwen currently is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Biodiversity Outcomes at Arizona State University where she is working with Professor Leah Gerber. She has a PhD from the University of Tennessee, where she studied with Professor Paul Armsworth, and an MS from the University of Florida.