Working Groups

Data Working Group

The OBON Data Working Group focuses on enhancing the global availability, (re)usability, and interoperability of biomolecular biodiversity data.

Working closely with OBON projects and partners, the group aims to a) develop a common data and information strategy that promotes digital collaboration, b) facilitate implementation of seamlessly interoperating solutions across the network, and c) ensure compatibility with core Ocean Decade digital capacites through the Ocean Data 2030 Programme.

Data Management resources

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These measures will link OBON partner (meta)data with those across the broader ocean datascape, improve their visibility, promote the alignment of standards and conventions, and ensure alignment with the digital strategy of the Decade.

Ultimately, the group’s work will contribute to the development of a robust, distributed, and interconnected data system that enables all OBON partners to share trustworthy biomolecular knowledge in support of both science and sustainable ocean management.

Technology Development Working Group

The Technology Development Working Group (TDWG) aims to advance the use of eDNA technology for global marine biodiversity observations. The WG focuses on surveying the landscape of semi-autonomous to autonomous omics-based sampling instruments and deployment platforms and identifying challenges of scaling these types of instruments. The TWG has identified that 1) a diverse class of instrumentation needs to be developed for sampling different oceanic zones and regions; 2) these instruments will require utilisation of a wide range of deployable platforms (e.g., moorings, ASV, AUV), and 3) defining specific use cases (e.g., marine protected areas, offshore energy) will provide a path forward to scaling biodiversity observations. 

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Recent updates:

The TDWG raised funds for, and held an international Marine Omics’ Technology and Instrumentation (MOTI) workshop in October 2023 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). The objective was to convene technology innovators (developers, engineers and industry) to catalyze discussions regarding the challenges and obstacles associated with semi-autonomous to autonomous, deployable instrumentation developed for eDNA sample collection, processing, and in-situ analysis. Funding was provided by the Office of Naval Research, OceanKind and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), with in-kind contributions from the MBARI. The workshop brought together 55 participants from 7 different countries (United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain and Germany), representing a broad group of technology and platform developers, engineers, scientists, resource managers, private companies, industry representatives, philanthropic organizations and government. Read more about the MOTI workshop in the Nov 2023 OBON Newsletter.

Following the inaugural MOTI workshop, the TDWG has been actively disseminating knowledge and fostering collaboration among technology innovators, developers, scientists, and industry experts. Two manuscripts are in preparation: one delineating the landscape of autonomous eDNA sampling technology, and the other presenting a prospectus on the future of autonomous eDNA sampling for global marine biodiversity observation. This event has catalyzed the formation of new partnerships and collaborations, fostering coordination and resource-sharing within the marine eDNA science and technology community, aimed at expediting innovation and deployment of eDNA technology for marine biodiversity observation. Notably, an instrument/technology validation study, resulting from the workshop, is underway to benchmark commercially available or high-readiness-level instruments, to begin in the end of 2024. Building on these achievements, the TDWG intends to convene a follow-on meeting in 2025, affording stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on progress and strategize for sustained collaboration and innovation. Further details regarding the 2025 meeting will be communicated in due course, as the TWG remains steadfast in its commitment to facilitating dialogue and collective action to advance eDNA technology for global marine biodiversity observation.

Capacity Development Working Group

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Observations Working Group

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