Towards a Hierarchical Classification of All Life
Speaker: Tony Rees, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia
Title: Towards a Hierarchical Classification of All Life - the IRMNG (Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera) data assembly project.
About the talk:
Currently there is no single system which encompasses an overview of biological diversity in all groups, extant and fossil, to any level lower than family, in a coherent, hierarchical classification (and the available compilations for families are in print form, and between 19 and 29 years out of date). The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG) data assembly project was commenced in 2006 to address this gap, at least to the level of genus (and species in many cases), with the additional purpose of incorporating attribute flags to support discrimination of extant from fossil, and marine from nonmarine taxa. This talk will look at the informatics domain within which IRMNG operates, the principles behind its construction (what data fields are held and why), its mechanism of population to date, and give some examples of content as generatable via live web searches (including detection of homonyms, and fuzzy matching of genus and species names). Finally a set of questions regarding future maintenance and deployment of IRMNG will be introduced, also including its potential overlap and/or integration with emerging taxonomic initiatives in the "Global Names" space.
About the speaker:
Tony Rees has been a hands-on data / informatics manager at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia since 1996, and previously worked in a variety of taxonomy-related areas including freshwater and marine phytoplankton and marine micropaleontology, in Australia and the UK. His interest in biodiversity informatics systems commenced in 1999 with taking on developer responsibility for the "CAAB" database of marine species in Australian waters maintained at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research since the late 1970s. Since that time he has been an associate database designer for OBIS, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (2003-present) and the IRMNG data system which commenced in 2006, initially as a service to OBIS but now a standalone system in its own right. He is also the developer of c-squares, a data spatial indexing and mapping system as used in OBIS and AquaMaps, and the TAXAMATCH fuzzy matching system for taxonomic names which is in use in IRMNG, WoRMS (the World Register of Marine Species), PESI (the Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure), the U.S. iPlant project and its Taxonomic Name Resolution Service (TNRS), and the Atlas of Living Australia. He is visiting MBL as a guest of David (Paddy) Patterson to progress potential collaborative efforts between CSIRO and the developers of components of the Global Names Architecture (GNA).