Welcome to all of the newly NSF-funded TCN and PEN projects. This year we have two new Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) and four Partners to Existing Networks (PENs) joining the community.
- Bringing Asia to digital life: mobilizing underrepresented Asian herbarium collections in the US to propel biodiversity discovery
The All Asia Thematic Collections Network (TCN) will mobilize online 15 million specimens of Asian plants currently housed in the US and around the world. The project will especially focus on digitizing specimens from the unique and critically endangered biodiversity hotspots of Southeast Asia and the Himalaya-Hengduan region. These mobilized digital data will accelerate research to conserve endangered plant species and understand the interacting effects of evolution and global environmental change on plant species diversity. The project will apply state-of-the-art informatics tools and high-throughput digitization methods to efficiently and affordably digitize an unprecedented number of herbarium collections. This effort will connect and build long-lasting relationships among 25 large and small consortium institutions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
- Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee)
Over the course of three years, Big-Bee plans to create over one million high-resolution 2D and 3D images of bee specimens representing over 5,000 worldwide bee species, Adequate data to understand the behavioral and anatomical traits that may make bees either vulnerable or resilient to human-induced environmental changes, such as habitat loss and climate change is lacking. Fortunately, a wealth of associated attributes can be extracted from the specimens deposited in natural history collections for over 100 years. including most of the major pollinating species. Big-Bee will develop tools to measure bee traits from images and generate comprehensive bee trait and image datasets to measure changes through time. The Big-Bee network of participating institutions includes 13 US institutions and partnerships with US government agencies.
and the 2021 PENS:
Welcome to the iDigBio community, and we are looking forward to working with you!
- Adding unique molluscan live-dead data from the Paleontological Research Institution to the Eastern Seaboard TCN
The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) will join the Eastern Seaboard Thematic Collection Network (ESB TCN) as a Partner to an Existing Network (PEN). The PRI’s collection houses hundreds of bulk samples of mollusks from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States that are highly relevant to the TCN’s goal of linking reliable live-dead trait data to molluscan specimen records.
- Small and Hungry: Enhancing LepNet TCN with microlepidoptera and 50 years of host plant data from the Essig Museum
The Lepidoptera of North America Network (LepNet) TCN is addressing this paucity of data by digitizing occurrence records of butterflies and moths from over 28 institutions across the United States, along with high resolution images of over 95,000 species. The Essig Museum is contributing to this effort by adding over 100 years of specimen records and ecological data from western North America
- BatPEN!—A Partnership to Facilitate Scientific Inquiry into the Vast Functional Trait Diversity of Phyllostomid Bats
In partnership with the oVert TCN, the BatPEN! project will mobilize high-resolution phenotypic functional-trait data from the Neotropical bat family Phyllostomidae. The aim of BatPEN! is to increase the abundance of available functional trait data, create scientific infrastructure, and facilitate scientific inquiry into the most diverse family-level clade of mammals.
- Adding a world-class flea collection to the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker network
The primary goal of this project is to extract this data from a world-class collection of fleas and associated parasites at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH). As part of the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker Thematic Collections Network (TPT TCN), high-quality specimen images and host/locality data will be captured, digitized, and shared via public data portals.