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FSU leads botanical research into 21st century: Deep South Plant Specimen Imaging Project

researchers everywhere to search, view and manage multiple collections of Deep South images from many Biological Research Collections (BRCs) at the same time, Mast said. Currently, users might wait a month or more for physical plant specimens to arrive at their institution from just one BRC; to look at specimens from 10 such collections, they must make 10 separate requests and then wait. However, once the images land in MorphBank, researchers will be able to take out virtual loans of 10,000 or more East Gulf Coastal Plain specimens from five or more institutions concurrently -- all with a few mouse clicks.

With our leadership of the Deep South Plant Specimen Imaging Project and contributions to other major Web initiatives such as MorphBank, FSU has become a recognized player in what I call biodiversity informatics, a way of better producing, organizing, analyzing and presenting information to reveal patterns of diversity in organisms across time and space, Mast said.

Along the way, students of all ages will play a key role. DSPSIP will engage as many as eight students in specimen-based research, and will develop and implement a lesson package to introduce those at the middle- and high-school levels to the distinctiveness of East Gulf Coastal Plain plant life and the process and value of scientific specimen collecting.


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Contact: Austin Mast
amast@bio.fsu.edu
850-645-1500
Florida State University
9-Apr-2007


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