Research Data JCU

A fundamental portal for the creation of library catalog entries for research data

Research Data JCU helps researchers from James Cook University describe and share information about data collections. Through providing useful metadata, Research Data JCU allows research data to be more discoverable and reusable, leading to increased citations for the data.  As is becoming evident, data is just as important as other published research outputs.

Research Data JCU has been designed to enable researchers to meet their obligations under the the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and connect data  to Research Data Australia, the national research data discovery system. The platform provides a range of features:

  • Easy-to-use workflow and data entry forms
  • Creation of a variety of metadata formats
  • An OAI-PMH service for feeding collection metadata to various aggregators
  • Integration with systems such as institutional repositories
  • Data storage facilities, including direct storage and links to large-scale data warehouses & cloud storage

Research Data Australia

Catalogue of all Australian research data

The Australian Research Data Commons is a combination of the set of shareable Australian research collections, the descriptions of those collections including the information required to support their re-use, the relationships between the various elements involved (the data, the researchers who produced it, the instruments that collected it and the institutions where they work), and the infrastructure needed to enable, populate and support the commons. Australian National Data Service (ANDS) does not hold the actual data, but points to the location where the data can be accessed.

One way to access the contents of the Australian Research Data Commons is through Research Data Australia. Research Data Australia is a set of interlinked, user-friendly web pages that displays this rich descriptive information. Research Data Australia is designed to promote the visibility of research data collections through internet search engines.

Dugong Aerial Survey Database

Multi-decade database of dugong aerial survey studies

This dugong aerial survey database has been compiled  as part of a project funded by the Australian Marine Mammal Centre (AMMC). It is MySQL-based and currently contains data from 54 aerial surveys for dugongs in nine regions along the Australian coast since 1984 including: Shark Bay (WA), Exmouth (WA), Pilbara (WA), Gulf of Carpentaria (NT/QLD), Torres Strait, northern Great Barrier Reef (QLD), southern Great Barrier Reef (QLD), Hervey Bay (QLD), and Moreton Bay (QLD).

The data from each survey area were analysed to determine estimates of relative dugong abundance and consists of a range of data spanning more than 30 years of collection.  Access requires contacting the custodian of the data.


Vector-Borne Disease Network

VecNet provides a simplified interface to model the impacts of interventions on malaria transmission for control and eradication. The Vector Ecology and Control Network (VECNet) is a collaboration between a number of partners who are combining their expertise to build tools to analyze malaria transmission and its reduction by one or more vector control interventions.  VECNet will achieve these aims by applying eREsearch tools, high performance computing and a digital library of malaria specific data. The partners in VECNet are:

Wallace Initiative

Climate change impact on animal and plant species world-wide

Smart conservation need to take into account changes species population dynamics and interactions. In view of that, it is critical to act under a coordinated conservation framework that allows both the flux of information between stakeholders and the adequate preservation of biodiversity; the Wallace Initiative was created to fill this gap. Five major areas comprise the Wallace Initiative:

  1. Assessment of impacts of climate change on species distributions for (a) refugia determination and (b) improving knowledge on extinction risks
  2. Mapping of potential corridors for species
  3. Design of REDD mechanisms based on carbon distribution and potential refugia
  4. Drive protected area design in the 21st century
  5. Provide critical conclusions to aid the development of adaptation plans

This website seeks to map areas where species currently are, and where models project they will still be in 50 years time. Occurrence data for approximately 50 000 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) data portal were used in this project.


A suite of tools for assessing the impact of climate change on Australian Terrestrial Vertebrates

CliMAS provides interactive maps and regional reports to examine the future of species distributions and biodiversity across Australia.

Currently there is a general lack of engagement and knowledge transfer between professional researchers and the end-users of research (general public, conservation managers, decision-makers, etc.). This is reflected in a general lack of acceptance and acknowledgement by the public and stakeholders of the potential impacts of climate change, particularly on biodiversity.

Recently, researchers have begun to endeavour to make the results of their research public, however there is a scarcity of online tools that display species distribution data.  CliMAS provides a tool that exposes data available with Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Tropical Data Hub in a visual and interactive way, to allow a broad range of end-users to explore the potential impacts of climate change on terrestrial vertebrate species in their region.

CliMAS summarises mapped biodiversity of almost all Australian mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and freshwater fish and crayfish within suitable climate space projected by 18 different Global Climate Models (GCMs) and 2 potential emissions scenarios (RCPs) from 2015 to 2085. Detailed lists of climate space losses and gains for each species are given.


Tool for assessing the impact of climate change on Australian Bird species

Edgar was a dynamic web app where visitors could explore the future impact of climate change on Australian birds.  Birdwatchers and other experts improved the accuracy of Edgar's projections by classifying observations.  By showing locations where a bird species was been observed, the app used this information to calculate and display how well the climate across Australia suits that species.  Edgar could also animate how the most suitable climate for a species may change into the future.

This project was supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative, as well as through the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF).

The software is fully open source: code can be obtained from the project's GitHub repository and documentation can be found at project's website.  Edgar's code is licensed under a BSD 3-Clause Software Licence.


Cross-institution, online atlas of Australia's Tropical land and seas

The eAtlas is a website and mapping system for presenting environmental research data in an accessible form that promotes greater use of this information. It is also a data management system for preserving and encouraging reuse of this data.

Decades of research have generated a large amount of data and information on the Great Barrier Reef and the terrestrial tropical ecosystems. Until now this information has generally been under-used. The eAtlas aims to promote collaboration and support the work of management agencies, researchers, reef-based industries and community groups.

The eAtlas is the primary data and knowledge repository for the National Environmental Science Programme Tropical Water Quality Hub and historically for the 38 NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub projects, 6 Reef Rescue Marine Monitoring Program projects and the Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility. This research covers a wide range of topics some of which include: seagrass, coral reefs, turtles, dugongs, seabirds, bathymetry, fish abundance, Crown Of Thorns Starfish, rainforest revegetation, wet tropics species distributions and more.


Community outreach project investigating and developing scientific apps and environnments

ScienceMob is an open-source collaboration creating a shared environment for the research and development of mobile, sensing and digital communication technologies, as well as developing standards for such applications. The ScienceMob approach is to engage students, interested professionals and the public to directly engage and innovate in science and technology using the abundant low-cost and open-source tools that now exist.

Smart Environment Monitoring & Analysis Technologies (SEMAT)

Developing new, commercially-focused technologies in wireless sensor networks for extreme environments

The Smart Environment Monitoring and Analysis Technologies (SEMAT) project is largely driven by the need to create a low cost intelligent sensor network system for monitoring aquatic and coastal environments, and importantly the analysis of that data into information which can be used for management and planning.  The specific goals for SEMAT are the development of underwater wireless communications and short-range wireless and power transmission, providing intelligent sensors and near real-time analysis tools.  The project's key goal is the creation of Plug and Play deployments with minimal expertise needed.

SEMAT was funded in part by the Queensland Government National and International Research Alliance Program (NIRAP) and was a collaboration between James Cook University, the University of Queensland and Torino Wireless.