A groundbreaking research project which could revolutionise the study of biodiversity around the world has been launched at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.
The Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics led project, worth €5 million in funding, is seeking to provide a vital service that will improve the way scientists share, analyse and present information in the growing area of biodiversity science.
Biodiversity science is the study of plants and animals that inhabit our planet and the environments they live in. Amid growing concerns over the extinction rate of certain species as their natural habitats are increasingly destroyed, and with biodiversity becoming as important as climate change on the political agenda, this new research project could not be more timely.
Starting in September 2011, the three-year project called Biodiversity Virtual e Laboratory (BioVeL) will establish an international e-Laboratory – the first of its kind in Europe – that will allow biodiversity scientists to jointly tackle diverse research challenges.
Experts from Cardiff University along with 15 partners from institutions across Europe (photo), hope that when completed, the BioVeL e-Laboratory will for the first time, give scientists access to multiple data, analysis and computing resources for biodiversity science through a robust e-Science infrastructure.
Coordinator of the project, Alex Hardisty of Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics commented: “The outcomes from this project will improve the study of biodiversity. All scientists will benefit directly from the tools, knowledge and expertise assembled in this infrastructure, offering the promise of new opportunities to more easily research substantial biodiversity problems with societal impact.”
Ranked by the European Commission (EC) as top of its class from more than 60 proposals, BioVeL is funded under the EC’s FP7 e-Infrastructures programme to support the creation of the European Research Area.