A world-first collaborative commons for analysing and modelling ecological and environmental challenges.
Laura smetsers
Who will benefit
Earth and environmental researchers, students, infrastructure providers, government (state and commonwealth)

The Challenge

Our planet is facing massive biodiversity loss due to overexploitation of species, invasive species, pollution, climate change and the degradation, fragmentation and destruction of habitats.

Decision makers concerned with biodiversity need powerful computing and analytical capabilities to help navigate this challenge and develop solutions.

The Response

We’re working with partners to create EcoCommons, a platform providing enhanced computing and analytical capabilities for earth and environmental researchers. It will be a common place for multiple disciplines across the environmental science domains, such as:

  • biodiversity
  • biosecurity
  • hydrology
  • agriculture.

EcoCommons will contain highly sought-after data, community-driven methods and computational resources, while enabling better collaborations beyond discipline, institutional and jurisdictional boundaries.

The platform will be a springboard for collaboration between researchers and decision makers concerned with biodiversity including ecosystem services, biosecurity, natural resource management and climate-related impacts and responses.

Its service-based framework will enable the deploying, orchestrating and re-using of science-centric services such as species distribution models and climate change projections.

EcoCommons will work with researchers to implement transformational scientific analytical workflows using those services.

“EcoCommons is building a research platform to bring all the fantastic data that already exists into one place, connect it with published methods, tools and analytical workflows, and back this all up with high-performance computation and cloud storage. And by doing this in one connected platform, running scientific workflows becomes much more rapid, transparent, reproducible and streamlined”

Dr Elisa Bayraktarov – Program Manager at EcoCommons

Who Will Benefit

EcoCommons will provide an enhanced computing and analytical capability for earth and environmental researchers. It will also benefit research organisations, students, infrastructure providers and state and federal governments.

The Partners

  • Griffith University
  • QCIF
  • Atlas of Living Australia
  • TERN
  • CSIRO Land and Water
  • Macquarie University
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Melbourne Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis

Target Outcomes

One of the objectives of this project is to re-engineer existing ecoinformatics solutions, such as those available through the 5-year old BCCVL application, allowing their broader reuse and adoption alongside workflows for new communities such as environmental science, biosecurity, agriculture, and hydrology.

Outcomes will include:

  • Curated Microservice Toolbox, an ‘app store’ for ecological and environmental data and analytical workflows through independent and self‐contained microservices.
  • Workflow and Result Management Service, for visualisation, interrogating and comparing results from within the EcoCommons platform.
  • Scientific and Data Workflows, specifically a curated library of transformational workflows including species distribution models, climate change projections, biodiversity analyses and model ensemble analyses, biosecurity risk mapping and community modelling.
  • Integrated Data Explorer, to provide FAIR data for analysis through a curated national spatial data collection close to compute, a window to hundreds of open data providers (through Knowledge Network) with advanced code snippets for access, machine-to-machine connections to key external services from providers such as ALA, TERN, GBIF,OBIS, IMOS, and secure facilities for user-uploaded data.
  • Analysis Sandbox Environment, providing access to JupyterLabs with R or Python images and virtual desktop (CoESRA) and allow users to explore new fields of inquiry.

Contact the ARDC

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