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Abstract Detail

Revolutionizing systematics: Herbaria in the Genomics Age

Zapata, Felipe [1].

Dynamic monographs: gateways to herbarium data for the future.

Herbaria are the nucleus of plant systematics research. The essence of a herbarium is that, like other museum collections, it provides the physical vouchers of living organisms, a knowledge of which is essential for our understanding, conservation, and use of plant diversity. Herbaria hold the raw data underpinning our knowledge of what kinds of plants exist, what their diagnostic features are, what range of variation exists within each, where they occur, and how they have diversified. The fundamental question is: how we (systematists) and consumers of our work (other biologists, general public, funding agencies) can access this critical information? Historically, monographs have been the main outlets of such information, yet many monographs are inaccessible to most of our peers and consumers, are difficult to navigate, get out of date quickly, and, for the most part, are impossible to query. In this talk, I will present my work on dynamic monographs, a framework to unlock herbarium data in a reproducible automated way using continuous integration. Under this framework monographs become the interface to a queryable specimen-based database of phenotypic, geographic, and molecular data linked to herbarium specimens and other repositories. These monographs are perpetually current because whenever there is an update in the database (e.g., new specimens or updates to the metadata), automated analyses and a build process are triggered, and the monograph is sent to remote servers so that users worldwide can access it. Dynamic monographs thus help increase the accessibility of data that underlie taxonomic decisions, and foster transparency, consistency, and reproducibility in taxonomy. Monographs are the most important output of systematics research, although other biologists and the general public might have gained the impression that phylogenetic trees based on molecular data are the main goal and product.

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1 - University Of California, Los Angeles, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 621 Charles E Young Dr S, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, United States

biodiversity informatics

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C10, Revolutionizing Systematics: Herbaria in the Genomics Age
Location: 103/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: C10003
Abstract ID:872
Candidate for Awards:None

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