BIODIVERSITY in the SILICON AGE

The Symposium focus areas will include:

  • Datamining

  • Biodiversity Patterns

  • Massive Data Algorithmics

  • Ecoinformatics

  • Macroecology

  • Ecological Computing

  • Spatio-temporal databases

  • Biogeographical modelling

  • Bioinformatics

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Background

A paradigm shift is taking place in biodiversity research. This paradigm shift is a consequence of exponentially increasing availability of massive high-quality data and increasing ability to efficiently process such massive datasets.

Through international collaboration there has been an explosive growth in the access, availability, and quantity of biological data. For instance, gene sequences are stored and distributed through Genbank and data about the geospatial distribution of biological organisms are distributed through Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) –which has its main office in Copenhagen.

One important issue is data-mining that makes data available that is generated by others than those analyzing them.

Increasing computing power benefits the analysis of the massive data that is becoming available. The challenge lies more in the actual data handling. The Danish National Research Foundation center, Center for Massive Data Algorithmics (MADALGO), directed by Professor Lars Arge has as its high-level objective to “Significantly advance the fundamental algorithms knowledge in the area of efficient processing of massive datasets”.

Within biodiversity research in Denmark especially two groups do advanced biodiversity research with a bioinformatics approach taking advantage of the availability of massive data. It is The Danish National Research Foundation center Center for Makroecologi at Copenhagen University (lead by Professor Carsten Rahbek) and the research group Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity at Aarhus University (lead by Professor Jens-Christian Svenning)

Motivation

Science magazine, in 2005 suggested that one of the most important questions for the coming 25 year periode will be: “How will Big Pictures Emerge from a Sea of Biological Data.” This symposium attempts to contribute to answering that question.

 

Biodiversity in the Silicon Age - Symposium May 2011 of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters