The world’s 3 billion biodiversity specimens (insects on pins, fish in jars, fossils in drawers, plants on sheets) at museums, universities, and field stations are the fundamental source of information for reconstructing life’s historical baseline of what was where when. Biodiversity informatics is the key that scientists, natural resource managers, policymakers, and others use to unlock the potential of those specimens for addressing climate change, food scarcity, the extinction crisis, and dangers to human health. Biodiversity informatics is the creation, management, integration, analysis, and visualization of digital information related to the world’s 8 million+ species, especially as they are represented by specimens. Research topics include such things as crowdsourcing, anomaly detection, and species distribution modeling.
Dr. Austin Mast