Pamela S. Soltis, Director from the University of Florida’s Biodiversity Institute, shares a compelling insight into the digitization of biodiversity data.
“The University of Florida (UF) Biodiversity Institute was introduced in the August issue of Open Access Government. Launched in 2016 to bring together scientists, social scientists, and policy experts to address critical societal issues of the 21st century related to biodiversity, the interdisciplinary UF Biodiversity Institute is accelerating synthetic research on biological diversity to serve stakeholders in Florida (a biodiversity hotspot) and globally through efforts to understand and manage biodiversity data, develop relevant conservation, educational, and outreach programmes, and shape policy to protect and enhance environmental capital.
The UF Biodiversity Institute is exploring the world’s past and present biodiversity at all levels of organisation, from molecules to ecosystems, and the relationship of biodiversity to climate change and to healthy and sustainable natural and human environments. Institute scientists conduct synthetic research using data from all relevant sources to address fundamental problems in biodiversity science and solve pressing societal problems. Newly synthesised knowledge from the Institute is available to individuals and organisations seeking validated biodiversity information.
The UF Biodiversity Institute benefits from strong ties to iDigBio, the U.S. national coordinating centre for digitisation of biodiversity collections – that is, the integrated database that shares biodiversity data for the nation’s natural history specimens. In this issue, we introduce iDigBio, describe the data that it serves, address how these data are being used in biodiversity science, and explain how this U.S.-sponsored resource engages with biodiversity resources worldwide.” Click here for the full article or go to: https://biodiversity.institute.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/OAG16-Uni-of-Florida-PRO-002.pdf.