CONNECTING BIODIVERSITY COLLECTIONS IN THE PACIFIC:

DIGITIZATION THROUGH DNA BARCODING AND INFORMATICS

David E. Schindel, Consortium for the Barcode of Life, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
Beth Mantle, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Reference collections in museums, herbaria, botanical gardens, zoos and other repositories are critical infrastructure for research, education, regulation and legislation related to biodiversity. These collections provide documentation of research results as well as long-term changes in nature. Patterns of ecological, evolutionary and anthropogenic changes often go unseen and undocumented until samples from these collections material are analyzed and re-analyzed using the latest technology. In order to be accessible and effective, reference collections need to be digitized and their data and metadata made available to the research and education community, to policy-makers, and to the general public. Digitization in the most general sense is the association of an organism and its characteristics to a unique identifier that can be indexed for later searching and retrieval. It can take several forms, ranging from digital capture of label data (date and place of collection, taxonomic identification) to digital image capture and even DNA sequencing.

This full day session included a half-day symposium of contributed presentations on DNA barcoding and a half-day instructional workshop on biodiversity informatics. The DNA barcoding symposium contributed toward development of a regional strategy for Oceania for construction and use of standardized barcode libraries. These libraries could serve basic research in ecology and evolution and/or applications such as the protection of endangered species and control of invasive alien species such as agricultural pests. The biodiversity informatics workshop showcased initiatives such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), [insert NZ node/initiative] and digitization initiatives such as iDigBio and Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH). This session explored applications and network tools appropriate for the small and scattered countries and territories of Oceania. Participants learned the latest approaches to the digitization of natural history collections and explored how these could be applied to their collections. The session concluded with a round-table discussion on strategic development of, and support for, biodiversity informatics in the Oceania region.

Wednesday

14:20 - 14:40 Beth Mantle, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Digitization for Management and Use of Entomological Collections: An Australian Perspective
Video, PDF
14:40 - 15:00 Shelley James, Bishop Museum
Digitization Initiatives at the Bishop Museum: Baseline Data for Conservation in the Pacific
Video, PDF
15:00 - 15:20 Jim Croft, Australian National Botanic Gardens & Australian National Herbarium
A 'Virtual Herbarium' of repatriated data for Papua New Guinea: a model for the southwest pacific?
Video, PDF

15:20-16:00 Afternoon Tea Break

16:00 - 16:50 Gil Nelson, Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication, Florida State University
Trends in the Digitization of Biological Collections
Video, PDF
16:50 - 17:10 John LaSalle (via web), Atlas of Living Australia, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
The Atlas of Living Australia and Digitization of Biological Collections
Video, PDF
17:10 - 17:30 David Schindel, Consortium for the Barcode of Life, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
DNA Barcoding as a System of Specimen Digitization
Video, PDF

Thursday

11:00-11:20 Bevan Weir (via web), Landcare Research
Barcoding plant pathogens
Video, PDF
11:20-11:40 Mark Blacket (via web), Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, AUS
DNA-based identifications reveal multiple introductions of the vegetable leafminer Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae) into northern Australasia
Video, PDF
11:40-12:00 John Hooper (via web), Natural Environments Program, Queensland Museum & Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies, Griffith University
Pumping Indo-west Pacific sponges through the taxonomic pipeline: The Sponge Barcoding & SpongeMaps Projects
Video, PDF
12:00-12:20 Esperanza Maribel, DLSU-Manila Herbarium
DNA Barcoding of Philippine Orchids
Video, PDF