In the ARISE project, Naturalis, together with the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and the universities of Amsterdam and Twente, is building an infrastructure that knows and recognizes all (multicellular) Dutch species. Every species, every sample, every way, quickly - and with all data connected.
This is an enormous ambition, and it makes Arise one of the biggest and most important projects in the 200+ year history of Naturalis.
Once Arise is functioning (2030, we hope, but a pilot site will launch by the end of 2022), biodiversity information will be just a few clicks away. Environmental DNA in soils or water samples, observations by citizen scientists during inventarisations, automatic recognition of species on smartphone pictures and the images taken by automated systems such as Diopsis autonomous insect cameras, digital birdhouses or drones that map vegetation. All of it available, connected, and accessible in one spot.
To realize all of that, Arise (Authorative and Rapid Identification System for Essential biodiversity information) consist of five teams. One team collects voucher specimens as the standard for all identification. Team Sequencing is there to help identify all species based on DNA samples. There is a team that works on identification of photos, sounds, radar images etc through artificial intelligence. One team is testing the latest monitoring techniques in the field, and one team is knitting all this data in all its different forms together, and making it accessible - thus building the actual infrastructure. Together, they are building different pieces of the project and services that make species recognition and biodiversity monitoring available to anyone: quick, affordable, insightful and user-friendly.
Who's workingon Arise?
Arise is a mutual project of Naturalis, the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam, the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and the University of Twente. It is funded in part by the National Roadmap for Scientific Infrastructures of NWO. Because this program is so important to Naturalis, we have quite a few hands on deck:
More information can be found on the Arise website. The latest news can be found on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
There has been some attention for this program in the Dutch media:
Unieke megaklus - wetenschappers gaan alle planten, dieren, schimmels en algen in Nederland identificeren. Joop Bouma, Trouw, 2020.
'We maken de onzichtbare biodiversiteit zichtbaar'. Irene Faas, New Scientist, 2020.
Deze vogelradar in Artis doet de inzet van vogelaars verbleken. Mark Kruyswijk, Parool, 2021.