Griffith data projects receive welcome boost

New Delhi: Griffith University’s unique FishID software project has been given a boost with the announcement of $211,000 in funding from the Australian Research Data Commons.

Professor Rod Connolly, Director of the Global Wetlands Project at the Australian Rivers Institute
Led by Professor Rod Connolly, Director of the Global Wetlands Project at the Australian Rivers Institute, the FishID software is helping to transform environmental monitoring of aquatic ecosystems in Australia through automated detection and identification of animals in underwater imagery.

“The FishID platform overcomes the cost associated with manually processing and extracting data from underwater cameras by creating user-friendly, public-facing facing artificial intelligence for detection and automated identification of animals,’’ Professor Connolly said.

“FishID will deliver a robust and intuitive system for our researchers to annotate imagery, train and evaluate deep learning models to accurately detect, identify and count species of interest across aquatic ecosystems.”

The project will enable a step-change in monitoring efficiency improving outcomes for marine environmental monitoring, river health monitoring, aquatic habitat restoration, education (e.g. Moreton Bay Live streaming cameras for QLD Environmental Education Centre) and enhancement of tourist experiences.

Griffith University is also a major partner in the University of Melbourne-led project Biosecurity Commons – Intelligently Managing our Pests and Diseases.

“The Biosecurity Commons project will operate the world’s first Biosecurity Virtual Lab for use in research and decision-making,” said Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

Professor Brendan Mackey, smiling to camera, Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program
Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon, Griffith Climate Change Response Program, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.
“This project arose from a working group convened under the auspices of the National Biosecurity Committee (each state/territory biosecurity agency and the federal government) who were tasked with identifying priority cross-sectoral innovations for the biosecurity system.

In a protected environment provided by the Biosecurity Virtual Lab, researchers will be able to investigate a wide range of questions related to biosecurity risk and response such as species/host distribution, impact estimates, transmission methods, pathways, efficacy of control, effort scenarios, optimal surveillance and proof of freedom.

The Biosecurity Commons project team will be hosted at Griffith University alongside the current EcoCommons program team and use existing EcoCommons architecture, which offers a suite of approaches to building analytical modelling outputs, and pull together a vast array of geospatial information including climatic, environment, and ecological data.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Mario Pinto said for the first time, researchers across organisations will be able to securely share and reuse biosecurity data, models and analytics in a virtual laboratory/modelling platform.

“This is immensely important for nationally cost-shared programs to ensure transparency. Building trust and confidence in models and model outputs will significantly accelerate research.”

The Australian Research Data Commons promotes nationally significant, leading edge data intensive e-Infrastructure, platforms, skills and collections of high-quality data that radically changes the way research is conducted in Australia and/or dramatically increased the speed of research.

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