49 episodes

LifeWatch ERIC is a research infrastructure facilitating research into biodiversity and ecosystems, supporting society in addressing key planetary challenges. Our main series is 'A Window on Science', where we outline the progress made in the last two years, developing cutting edge e-services for biodiversity and ecosystem researchers. Learn more at www.lifewatch.eu.

LifeWatch ERIC LifeWatch ERIC

    • Science

LifeWatch ERIC is a research infrastructure facilitating research into biodiversity and ecosystems, supporting society in addressing key planetary challenges. Our main series is 'A Window on Science', where we outline the progress made in the last two years, developing cutting edge e-services for biodiversity and ecosystem researchers. Learn more at www.lifewatch.eu.

    Environmental Research Infrastructures: LifeWatch ERIC.

    Environmental Research Infrastructures: LifeWatch ERIC.

    A Research Infrastructure is a facility that provides FAIR data, reproducible analytics and communities to its users. Not in order to make research, but in order to help those who are doing research by providing them with the right tools, to help them develop and extend their own projects by bringing together not just new assets, but broader communities too.
    Christos Arvanitidis, LifeWatch ERIC Chief Executive Officer is the first interview in this fourth Season of 'A Window on Science' podcasts, which focuses on European Environmental Research Infrastructures, whose data are open and free to use for anyone involved in interdisciplinary environmental research. Dr Arvanitidis reflects on the nature of Research Infrastructures and their contribution to major European Union objectives like the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, but also gives a forthright account of what LifeWatch ERIC has achieved in its first six years and the challenges that lie ahead in the next implementation period, 2022 -2026.
    His messages are of hope, because the environmental Research Infrastructures are, of necessity, complementary and collaborative. Data and services are continuously updated and upgraded so when the funding runs out at the end of smaller project, that work can kept 'alive' and operational, as in an incubation chamber. When the current prototype, with its datasets, web services, workflows and Virtual Research Environments reaches full maturity, the plan is to industrialise the infrastructure, "to make it fully operational, and to make it attractive, not only for the scientists, and the students and academics, but also for the private sector and industry".

    • 14 min
    The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory.

    The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory.

    The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and Water Column Observatory is the European Research Infrastructure Consortium that specialises in monitoring and reporting the state of the ocean. That ocean that covers about 70% of the planet's surface, is essential for life on Earth, in regulating the climate and supplying food, but about which we know very little. 
    EMSO ERIC, as it's usually referred to, is a network of 14 different multi-sensor platforms -some in deep sea water, others in shallow water sites, some cabled and others free-standing - that keep an eye on marine ecosystems, monitoring ocean acidification, marine resources exploitation and water quality, and distilling enormous amounts of data into Essential Ocean Variables, EOVs, that are crucial measures in delivering ocean forecasts, early warnings, climate projections and assessments of the ocean's health to industry, to policy-makers and to a broad range of stakeholders.  

    Gabriella Quaranta, the EMSO ERIC Project Management Officer, talks in this 'A Window on Science' podcast about the importance of making this data FAIR - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable - and EMSO's close cooperation with other European Research Infrastructures, especially within the Environmental Research Infrastructures network (ENVRI), and EOSC, the European Open Science Cloud. This multidisciplinary approach provides a “whole earth approach”, combining information to understand the complex interaction between the hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and atmosphere, so as to give advance warning of geohazards, algal blooms, ocean warming, oil spills, and helping to mitigate climate change. In this way, EMSO ERIC contributes actively to the European Blue Growth Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

    • 24 min
    The Integrated Carbon Observation System

    The Integrated Carbon Observation System

    The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) produces standardised, high-precision and long-term observations and facilitates research to understand the carbon cycle – which is how carbon atoms circulate through Earth’s land, air and ocean. In particular, ICOS reports on fluxes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) itself is located in Finland, while the three thematic centres - atmospheric, ocean and ecosystem - have separate centres throughout Europe.   
    Dario Papale, Professor at Tuscia University, is Director of the Ecosystem Thematic Centre in Viterbo, Italy. In this third episode in Season Four of the 'A Window on Science' podcast, he explains how ICOS is different from other Research Infrastructures in that there is only one data centre for all the components. Even though the thematic centres are more cross-disciplinary than other Research Infrastructures, there is only have one data centre and that is at the Carbon Portal, in the ERIC at the University of Lund.
     And the quality of that data is the maximum priority. The raw data, collected from extensive networks of sensors on land and on the seas is processed in strict compliance with FAIR principles and made available on request in near real-time on the Carbon Portal, meaning that information on pollution and greenhouse gases is easily findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Collaboration with other Research Infrastructures, including LifeWatch ERIC, ensures that different levels of products, from statistical analysis to maps, are downloadable after 24 hours: you can get today the data of the day before. Now that's Open Science!

    • 16 min
    Danubius Research Infrastructure

    Danubius Research Infrastructure

    The International Centre for Advanced Science on River-Sea Systems is known as the "Danubius Research Infrastructure".  In reality, it's not about the Danube River, although the scientific idea started in the Danube Delta-Black Sea system, as a Romanian initiative. Then it quickly became an international, pan-European initiative to develop a distributed RI, comprising 13 countries, that seeks sustainable solutions for complex river-sea systems. The waters coming from a river have a strong impact on the sea that receives them, so proper management at a basin-scale needs to look at the way in which the waters, including snow melt, tributaries and groundwater, and the activities of humans upstream, impact the coastal waters.
    Adrian Stanica, Director of the Romanian National Institute for Marine Geology and Geoecology in Budapest, summarises the main problems as water sufficiency, sediments and ecosystem health. The cumulative effects of industrialisation and agriculture, both of which consume water and produce run-off, are being exacerbated by climate change. Energy generation in the form of hydroelectric dams is restricting water flows and blocking essential fish migrations, while heavy shipping adds pollutants and Non-indigenous and Invasive Species. There’s pressure from expanding urbanisation, fisheries that demand ever-increasing yields and – with greater leisure time – more and more tourism. Less water and increased sedimentation threaten natural habitats, with loss of biodiversity – which weaken the ecosystem services and functions. Probably 99 percent of all humans live in hydrographic basins, because water is essential, but we are exhausting the systems that give us life. Listen to this "Danubius Research Infrastructure" podcast to understand some of the complex dilemmas that we all collectively need to find solutions to.

    • 25 min
    The Global Biodiversity Information Facility

    The Global Biodiversity Information Facility

    The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world's governments that works closely with data-holding institutions, natural history museums, universities, government agencies, researchers and citizen scientists. As an intergovernmental organisation focused on biodiversity, it gathers data on species occurrences and makes the information available online. GBIF manages a network of nodes in 64 countries worldwide with over 80,000 different datasets and nearly 2.3 billion records.

    Executive Secretary Joe Miller, the guest of this episode, emphasises the importance of standardising machine-driven data that might come from camera traps or the enormous quantity of environmental data available through DNA sequencing of soils. New data comes every day, and the development of tools and products to meet users' needs never stops. 

    On their website, visitors can select a species on the occurrences page and look around or use the 'literature' feature to explore all the users of GBIF data, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Moreover, GBIF hosts hundreds of papers about climate change, agricultural biodiversity, ecology, or evolution, crediting data collectors thanks to the Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). Have a look!

    • 15 min
    DiSSCo: the Distributed System of Scientific Collections

    DiSSCo: the Distributed System of Scientific Collections

     Natural Science Collections have been at the heart of addressing fundamental questions in science, innovation and discovery for centuries. They are the foundational layer of information and expertise for taxonomy, for biodiversity and ecosystem research and, increasingly, for climate change data. More recently, natural science collections made important contributions to accelerate and sustain multidisciplinary research in developing vaccines for the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing on objects in the microorganisms and viruses collections. 
    Niels Raes from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in The Netherlands represents the Dutch node of DiSSCo, the Distributed System of Scientific Collections, which is taking the integration of those data to new levels, working with more than 170 Natural History Museums, botanical gardens, universities and other natural history institutions across all of Europe, to create a business model that uses the same processes and protocols. The ultimate goal is to build one big, single European distributed natural history system that unifies all the scientific data that is hosted by those individual institutions. That collection, when finalised, will be digital and FAIR - meaning that the data will be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable - so that access digital data and metadata on 1.5 billion physical objects will be as easy as logging in to your computer, through the newly developed specification for open Digital Specimens (openDS), an open source digital twin of the physical specimens. Naturally, this information is available all over the world.

    • 18 min

Top Podcasts In Science

Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
Something You Should Know
Mike Carruthers | OmniCast Media | Cumulus Podcast Network
Radiolab
WNYC Studios
Ologies with Alie Ward
Alie Ward
Reinvent Yourself with Dr. Tara
Dr. Tara Swart Bieber
StarTalk Radio
Neil deGrasse Tyson