New NSF Project Aims to Help Scientists Navigate the Tree of Life

Release Date: 
Friday, June 19, 2015


A new University of Florida and Duke University collaboration aims to do for the tree of life what Google Earth did for navigation.

Photo courtesy of Reed Beaman.

A National Science Foundation grant of nearly $1 million will fund a three-year project to develop software that will make the context of every named and unnamed organism accessible online to scientists and nonscientists.
The new software will allow computers to translate the tree of life and put scientific names in context by more clearly linking those names to evolutionary concepts and associated data, including DNA sequences and morphological characteristics. The project will have immediate and broad practical applications for communicating, integrating and querying biological data across the tree of life, said Nico Cellinese, associate curator of the Herbarium and informatics at the Florida Museum on the UF campus.

Read the full press release from the Florida Museum of Natural History.