|Assistant Director for Informatics
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Durham, North Carolina, USA
Presentation Date and Time:
Friday, February 28 - 9:00 am
Semantics of and for the Diversity of Life: Opportunities and Perils of Trying to Reason on the Frontier
Click here for presentation slides
The stunning diversity of life has long been a target of research, resulting in billions of specimens and hundreds of millions of pages of text in the world’s natural history museum collections and libraries. A wealth of literature documents in meticulous the detail the features shared between contemporary and extinct species, their evolutionary history and their ecological properties. Enabling the full power of computation for this constantly growing, yet woefully incomplete body of knowledge faces enormous challenges, but also offers huge opportunities. These include discovery, such as candidate gene hypothesis generation, knowledge integration, such as using the tree of life as a map, and prediction, such as forecasting the effects of environmental change on biodiversity patterns and human health. I will present examples of both obstacles and opportunities for semantics-based technologies to enable computing on our knowledge of the diversity and evolution of life on earth.