Webinar 2: Living specimens (Falko Glöckler)

The following question(s) were asked in the Collection Management Systems Webinar and will be answered here.

Falko Glöckler: Are there any use cases or ideas how to cope with living specimens in the new data model? How would a (time) series of continuous (observation) events of a living specimen be aggregated by GBIF in a way usable for research?

We do not currently have a use case that specifically covers a question related to tracking a living specimen. It would be interesting to have one that provides a challenge that we have not already been able to meet. We’d need the research question that is trying to be supported.

Here is an example of how we would track a living dwc:Organism in the Unified Model.

Let’s say there is a living plant in a botanical garden and we have been tracking phenology information (date of first appearance of flowers) about it for years. The living specimen is a dwc:Organism represented in the Unified Model as an Entity:
entityID: Plant4
entityType: dwc:Organism

The plant was originally collected in the wild, which is captured in one of the Events in the history of the plant:
eventID: event1
eventType: collection

and associated with this plant (potentially among others) in an EntityEvent:
entityID: Plant4
eventID: 1

The plant was transplanted into the botanical garden in a different Location some time later in another Event:
eventID: event2
eventType: planted

with another EntityEvent association:
entityID: Plant4
eventID: 2

Every spring thereafter, the date the first blooms appeared were recorded. These are apt for EntityAssertions about the Organism. Here are a couple of examples:
entityAssertionID: ea4
entityAssertionType: first flowering
entityID: Plant4
entityAssertionDate: 2020-03-08
entityAssertionValue: 2020-03-08


entityAssertionID: ea5
entityAssertionType: first flowering
entityID: Plant4
entityAssertionDate: 2021-03-12
entityAssertionValue: 2020-03-12

The entityAssertionDate is the date the Assertion was made, while the date of first bloom is captured in entityAssertionValue. They happen to be the same because the bloom was recorded on the day it happened and the date it happened was the thing that was being measured.

Here is a use case - https://arctos.database.museum/guid/Arctos:Entity:134

A Mexican wolf with samples collected while it was a live as well as the parts preserved upon its death.


maybe worth taking a look at the European Tracking Network ? In these cases the organisms are collected, tagged, released and then tracked using acoustic telemetry.