SIRLS Director Heidorn Expanding Biodiversity Research in School

On Jan 1, 2001 Bryan Heidorn, director of the School of Information Resources and Libraray Science, became President of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation! This is Heidorn's fifth year working with JRS. The Foundation’s mission is to enhance knowledge and promote the understanding of biological diversity for the benefit and sustainability of life on earth. The scope includes interdisciplinary activities primarily carried out via collaborations in developing countries and economies in transition.  The Foundation Board of Trustees has expressed a particular interest in focusing its grant-making in Africa. Within those bounds, a considered course has been chosen to advance projects, or parts of biodiversity projects, that focus on: (1) collecting data, (2) aggregating, synthesizing, publishing data, and making it more widely available to potential end users, and (3) interpreting and gaining insight from data to inform policy-makers.

Bryan Heidorn will be a keynote speaker at Scripting Life: the science behind ViBRANT ( on Jan 20, 2011 in Paris, France. Data are one of the primary outputs of biodiversity research. ViBRANT’s goal is to provide a more integrated and effective framework for managing this data on the Web via i) a virtual research environment (Scratchpads) where users can safely store, share and manage their research information; ii) analytical services for users to build identification keys and phylogenetic trees; iii) a publication platform for users to automatically compile biodiversity science manuscripts from their research database; iv) a portal for users to centrally access publicly accessible biodiversity research information and literature; v) training, helping research communities to use these tools and services; and vi) a standards compliant
technical architecture that can be sustained by the biodiversity research community. For more information, visit the ViBRANT website ( where scientists can get involved by starting a Scratchpad, getting training, access data, or helping us to develop the software.