Australian Microbiome Framework Data Initiative

Australia is a vast continent that comprises a varied range of terrestrial environments with rich coastal and marine regions. These ecological systems are supported by communities of microbes that, despite being invisible to the naked eye, are the hidden force behind many events impacting both the environment and living organisms.

Microbes are fundamental to human and environmental ecosystem health. They underpin the majority of processes on Earth from mediating global biogeochemical cycling to being responsible for diseases and their treatment.

The mission of the Australian Microbiome (AM) project is to develop a comprehensive, publicly-accessible database of microbial diversity across a geographically expansive and diverse range of Australian terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The AM database will deliver searchable information on the occurrence and distribution of potential microbiological resources, collated into a searchable public database that will allow researchers and other end-users to address a broad variety of questions in microbial ecology. By providing unprecedented access to environmental microbiological information across the Australian land- and sea-scape, the AM project will enable large spatial and temporal- scale examinations of ecosystem function, biogeochemistry, bio-discovery, within natural Australian habitats.

The initiative aims to develop an Australian microbial genomics resource for management, monitoring, and R&D purposes. The consortium efforts will:

  • Sustain and strengthen the Australian environmental microbial genomic resource
  • Engage a broad range of end users and improve collaboration between researchers in different research fields
  • Enhance functionality to allow translation of the resource for applied outcomes (to broad range of end-users and uses) and foster innovative research

The Australian Microbiome Initiative is an Australian wide collaboration founded on two established Bioplatforms Australia framework data initiatives: Marine Microbes and Biomes of Australian Soil Environments (BASE). The consortium involves researchers from more than 40 institutions supported by four founding partners.

This nationally-inclusive and collaborative initiative supported by core partners Bioplatforms Australia and the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), Parks Australia through the Bush Blitz program funded by the Australian Government and BHP, and the CSIRO, and led by researchers from various organisations across Australia.

Current consortium members include Atlas of Living Australia, ARDC (ANDS/NeCTAR/RDS), Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australian National University, Australian Antarctic Division, Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF), Bioplatforms Australia, Bush Blitz, Centre for Comparative Genomics Murdoch University, CSIRO and National Soils Archive (CSIRO), Curtin University, Deakin University, Department of Energy and the Environment, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Western Australia), Edith Cowan University, Sustainable Timber Australia (Forestry Tasmania), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Geoscience Australia, Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), Iron Range Research Station (an initiative of Maxim Foundation), James Cook University, Kings Park Botanical Gardens (Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority), La Trobe University, Macquarie University, Monash University, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics, UNSW, Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria, Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), Sugarcane R&D Corporation, Sydney Institute for Marine Science, Tasmanian Land Conservancy, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), The Director of National Parks, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, University of Tasmania, University of Technology Sydney, University of Western Australia, University of Western Sydney, Victorian Department of Economic Development

Decision making process:

The Steering Committee of the Initiative is assisted by various working groups in the decision-making process. New working groups will be created as the Initiative progresses.

Steering committee:

  • Prof Justin Seymour – Chair | IMOS / Universities
  • Dr Sue Fyfe | Parks Australia
  • Dr Andrew Bissett | CSIRO – science lead
  • Dr Anna Fitzgerald | Bioplatforms Australia
  • Dr Austen Ganley | University of Auckland
  • Observer: Dr Sophie Mazard | Bioplatforms Australia – Project manager

Scientific coordination working group:

  • Dr Mark Brown – Chair
  • Prof Torsten Thomas
  • Dr Martin Ostrowski
  • Assoc Prof Jeff Powell
  • Dr Martin Breed
  • Assoc Prof Belinda Ferrari
  • Assoc Prof Pauline Mele
  • Dr Nicole Webster
  • Observer: Dr Sophie Mazard | Bioplatforms Australia – Project manager

End user strategy working group:

  • being established

Data management and Analytics working group:

  • being established

Outreach and Communications working group:

  • being established

For further information please visit the Australian Microbiome initiative website https://www.australianmicrobiome.com/
Data from the initiative is publicly accessible on the Bioplatforms Australia Data Portal: https://data.bioplatforms.com/organization/about/australian-microbiome

Project contacts:

Andrew Bissett | T: +61 2 6246 4820 | andrew.bissett@csiro.au
Sophie Mazard | T: +61 2 9850 6286 | smazard@bioplatforms.com
Anna Fitzgerald | T: +61 2 9850 1174 | afitzgerald@bioplatforms.com

 

Media Articles and Publications

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