Using ‘Big Data’ to assess wetland health

December 15, 2016

Almost two-thirds of the wetlands around the world have disappeared, degrading the ecosystem services they provide to nature and to humans. CRI researchers are using advances in ‘Big Data’ and biomonitoring techniques to assess the health of these highly productive ecosystems and predict the implications of biological loss of services in the management of floods and fisheries to name a few. This research uses large genomic datasets and supercomputing abilities to view in high definition, the full range of biological diversity that assists land and water managers in decisions to avoid ecosystem functional collapse. CRI scientists are leading in this field and are playing a leadership role in the development of an international network (WEGAN), focused on the application of the research tools to the world’s threatened wetland ecosystems with scientists from Australia, China, Europe and USA.

Dr. Donald Baird, Science Director, Canadian Rivers Institute, Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Visiting Research Professor, Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick