Abstract Detail

Conference Wide


Using Digitized Herbarium Data in Research:  Applications for Ecology, Phylogenetics, and Biogeography.

Emerging cyberinfrastructure and new data sources provide unparalleled opportunities for mobilizing and integrating massive amounts of information from organismal biology, ecology, genetics, climatology, and other disciplines.  Key among these data sources is the rapidly growing volume of digitized specimen records from natural history collections.  With over 100 million specimen records available online, these data provide excellent information on species distributions, changes in distributions over time, phenology, morphology, and more.  Particularly powerful is the integration of phylogenies with specimen data, enabling analyses of phylogenetic diversity in a spatio-temporal context, the evolution of niche space, and more.  Beyond testing a priori hypotheses, such data-driven synthetic analyses may generate unexpected patterns, yielding new hypotheses for further study.  Ongoing efforts to link and analyze diverse data are yielding new platforms for comparative analyses of biodiversity data.  However, the inundation of data and methods can be overwhelming.   
In this full-day workshop, we will provide hands-on instruction for novices and advanced users alike.  In addition to learning how to use various software packages, we will also discuss the assumptions of the analyses and the interpretations of the results.  We will divide into groups based on participants’ experience, so novices and advanced users are all welcome.   For beginners, we will cover ways to access and download digitized herbarium data (from GBIF, iDigBio, and other aggregators) and prepare data sets for analysis.  We will then offer a series of modules on using georeferencing software (GEOLocate) and applying Maxent software to construct ecological niche models and do paleoclimatic modeling.  These modules will follow the successful training program we have used at past Botany meetings   For advanced users, we will provide new, innovative modules for linking specimen data to phylogenetic trees, computing phylogenetic diversity measures, conducting biogeographic analyses, and more. We will cover strategies to extract information from niche models, such as species occupancy in ecological space and niche breadth, and link them to phylogenetic trees to test hypotheses about niche evolution, such as ancestral niche reconstruction. Participants will use new integrative software tools developed by the BiotaPhy Project (www.biotaphy.org) in collaboration with the Lifemapper Project that link occurrence data (through iDigBio), niche models, and ecological statistics calculated from the models, applying these to large trees in a desktop geospatial environment using the QGIS GIS application.
Prepared datasets will be provided, but attendees may bring their own data. Participants will need a laptop (Mac or Windows).
Sponsored by iDigBio.

Related Links:
iDigBio homepage

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herbarium specimens
ecological niche modeling
phylogenetic diversity

Presentation Type: Workshop
Abstract ID:55
Candidate for Awards:None

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