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CRESIS: Coral REef Semantic Eco-Informatic System

The effect of climate change on coral reef ecosystems poses a significant and pressing challenge for scientific understanding. Investigations into these marine ecosystems, in particular the Great Barrier Reef, are generally undertaken by independent researchers and organisations resulting in a collection of isolated, disparate data sets. By integrating data sets into one unified data store, researchers can efficiently draw information from more diverse sources and extract synergistic information for the broader ecosystem across temporal and spatial scales. This capacity to query integrated datasets and conduct analyses across spatially and temporally disparate data is critical to understanding the overarching interactions between entities and processes, such as climate change impact on the reef ecosystem. Information obtained in this manner will prove indispensable to both researchers and managers attempting to secure the future of such an ecologically, socially and economically vital resource such as the Great Barrier Reef.

With this need in mind the question arises of how can the use of current data store technologies, data visualisation and analysis platforms and computing power expedite and enhance the current research in coral reef ecology, in particular the Capricorn Bunker region of the southern Great Barrier Reef?

This project proposes that by consolidating traditionally disparate data sources via a non-static, extensible schema which retains the specialised domain knowledge of the researchers, combined with the ability to query, visualise and analyse these data via a single interface will provide researchers with a rich and intuitive interface to the data. The creation of such a tool which takes these technologies and wires them together into one framework to deliver access to a unified data store for ecological observation data is a development in the field of coral reef eco-informatics and will provide the research community with a significantly innovative tool for knowledge integration, discovery and analysis.

This project is a collaboration between ITEE eResearch and the Centre for Marine Studies.

Further information is available in this presentation.

Contact: Campbell Allen