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California dragonflies over the past century: a case study of biological change, and other applications of primary biodiversity data

September 18, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

In a world of rapid environmental change, effective biodiversity conservation and management relies on our ability to detect changes in species occurrence rates. While long-term, standardized monitoring is ideal for detecting change, such monitoring is costly and rare. An alternative approach is to use historical records from natural history collections as a baseline to compare with recent observations. While use of such primary biodiversity records requires careful data curation and accounting for collection biases, the effort pays off. Cleaned data not only reveals important changes in community composition, but is also published and more easily integrated into future studies. This seminar will first outline results from a case study in biodiversity data compilation, curation and analysis to determine change in dragonfly occurrence rates over time; we will then discuss a broader review of how primary biodiversity databases have been used in published research since 2010.

About the Speaker: Joan Damerow
As an aquatic ecologist and bioinformatics specialist, Joan is interested in best practices for using historical biodiversity records to determine changes over time. Her Ph.D. work at UC Berkeley focused on a biological indicator group for freshwater ecosystem health: California dragonflies and damselflies. She has expertise in data curation and analysis of opportunistic datasets, which requires error detection and accounting for collection biases. Her postdoctoral research at the Field Museum of Natural History in part explored how others are using primary biodiversity databases in published research.





Host: Charuleka Varadharajan

NOTE: This presentation will be held on-site as well as via ZOOM:

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Building 74, Room 324
11:00am – 12:00pm

*Zoom Coordinates:
Computer: https://lbnl.zoom.us/j/206119738

Telephone: Dial US: +1 646 558 8656
Meeting ID: 206 119 738


LBNL, 74-324
1 Cyclotron Rd
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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