The importance of new ‘omics’ techniques and bioinformatics in the assessment, understanding, monitoring and preservation of biodiversity is continuously growing. DNA and eDNA metabarcoding and metagenomics are being employed more and more often providing big data for efficient biomonitoring, however, there is a certain difficulty in establishing good procedures for the analysis of metagenomics datasets. Therefore, it is important to bring together experts in this area in order to discuss the topic and find solutions for this challenge.
To move forward on this idea, we have joined forces with LifeWatch ERIC, the European Research Infrastructure Consortium in Biodiversity organisation and Ecosystem functions. The consortium has seven member countries, the national nodes: Belgium, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. For Portugal, CIBIO-InBIO, through PORBIOTA, is represented by Pedro Beja, the ERA Chair Coordinator. The COST Action DNAqua-Net is also a partner in the organization of this event.
This workshop is a first brainstorming between the key research groups that in the national LifeWatch ERIC nodes are active on genomic approaches to biodiversity assessment, understanding, monitoring and preservation. Overall, the meeting aims to explore how LifeWatch ERIC can integrate online bioinformatics pipelines in its Virtual Research Environment, which can then be used by the wider scientific community for research and applications in the fields of biodiversity survey and environmental biomonitoring.
The event took place from February 26-28 at CIBIO-InBIO facilities in Vairão. It was attended by invitation only. A brief description of the outcomes and next steps can be found on LifeWatch Eric website.
Day 1 (Feb 26th afternoon)
- Presentation of Life Watch Virtual Research Environments concept and examples
Day 2 (Feb 27th)
- Short presentations from participants
- Why do we need online bioinformatic platforms in LifeWatch?
- What should be the characteristics of online bioinformatic platforms in LifeWatch?
- How to integrate online bioinformatic platforms in LifeWatch virtual labs?
Day 3 (Feb 28th morning):
- Who should implement online bioinformatic platforms and when?
- Wrap-up and Next steps