Linking genomics and remote sensing through AI to efficiently capture the entirety of all biodiversity

The global degradation of natural systems has led to a severe loss of biodiversity at the microbial and macro levels, which is expected to intensify. Currently, non-invasive genomic monitoring of biodiversity using environmental materials is mostly limited to narrow taxonomic groups, suffers from technical biases and depends on the completeness of genomic databases. The GEBIKI project aims to capture biodiversity at the microbial and macro level de novo in a non-invasive and efficient way. To this end, a monitoring approach is being developed that combines selective real-time sequencing approaches with conceptual and technological advances in artificial intelligence and remote sensing. This will make it possible to describe spatial and temporal gradients of anthropogenic influence. Collaboration with social science and industrial partners is planned in order to place biodiversity research in the context of human society and health and to achieve practical changes in biodiversity monitoring. In this way, GEBIKI contributes to the conservation of biodiversity and thus to the objectives of the research initiative.

In the first phase, the project pursues the in-depth development of a concept and the preparation of an application for a second phase, which focuses on the implementation of the aforementioned objectives. In addition, initial scientific work will be carried out in the project to allow an effective and rapid entry into a possible second phase.

Project lead: Dr. Lara Urban

Helmholtz Zentrum München Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)