30 August 2012

The tracking of Australian animals will be made easier thanks to a collaborative project between biologists and computer scientists at The University of Queensland (UQ).

The OzTrack project aims to build a suite of eResearch services to support the direct needs of the Australian animal tracking community.

Wilfred Brimblecombe, OzTrack Project Manager from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) said the e-Research tools would aid scientists and research managers to better interpret and manage location data derived from animal location data.

“Much of the data from animal tracking studies undertaken in Australia is stored in small, personal databases which are unavailable to the wider scientific community,” Mr Brimblecombe said.

“OzTrack will provide analysis and data curation tools which will be easy to use and which will provide more opportunity for data reuse.”

Funded by the Australian Government’s National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), OzTrack will benefit the nation’s research community by providing a platform to underpin the next generation of research into aquatic, avian, and terrestrial animal behaviours.

OzTrack will also facilitate improved quantification of species distribution patterns over time and improved understanding of the impact of environment on threatened species and the rate and extent of movement of invasive species.

Scientific advisor for the project, Dr Hamish Campbell, from UQ School of Biological Sciences, said it was only by teaming up with the eResearch lab in ITEE that it was possible to create the complex infrastructure necessary to support OzTrack.

“Once completed, OzTrack will assist researchers and resource managers by illustrating where animals go, why they go there, who they go there with, and what they do once they get there,” Dr Campbell said.

“Within the coming months the OzTrack team will be hosting a workshop for UQ staff and students to aid them in utilising the features within the OzTrack web-site.”
The University of Queensland is proud to be in partnership with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) project to create a unique opportunity to develop OzTrack eResearch Tools for the storage, analysis and visualization of animal tracking data. This project will benefit the Australian research community by providing a platform to underpin the next generation of research into marine, avian, terrestrial and agricultural animal behaviours.

Media: Madelene Flanagan, email: m.flanagan@uq.edu.au, Ph:+61 7 336 58525