Who we are
As a thematic node of the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), a group of investigators, led by Andrew Read and Patrick Halpin of Duke University, started building Ocean Biogeographic Information System Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations (OBIS-SEAMAP), a spatially, temporally interactive online database for marine mammal, sea turtle, seabird and ray & shark data back in 2002. This service is made possible by data sharing from contributors all over the world.
A notable difference from typical online databases of this kind is that OBIS-SEAMAP provides custom-tailored applications such as the Density Mapper for habitat-based density models for marine mammals, the PhotoID matching workflow, the mapping tool for sea turtle nesting sites and more.
OBIS was one of the projects of Census of Marine Life and now is a project under IOC-UNESCO's International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE).
OBIS-SEAMAP data are regularly uploaded to OBIS as well as GBIF.
Visit Patrick Halpin's Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab web site
Visit Andy Read's Marine Conservation Ecology Lab web site
OBIS-SEAMAP is aimed at augmenting our understanding of the distribution and the ecology of marine
mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and rays & sharks by the following approaches:
- Quantify the global patterns of marine species distribution
- Design and implement standard databases and innovative sampling techniques
- Emphasize time series / comparative studies
- Facilitate study of status and impacts on threatened species
- Enhance ability to test hypotheses about biogeographic and biodiversity
- Support modeling of shifting species distributions in response to
Funding for the OBIS-SEAMAP project has been
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- National Science Foundation
- National Oceanographic Partnership Program
- Naval Postgraduate School
OBIS-SEAMAP Observation Data
The observation data held by OBIS-SEAMAP are collected from contributors worldwide. They are registered into the OBIS-SEAMAP database and presented on the web site upon data contributors' permission. The ownership of the data belongs to the contributors.
Along with the spatial database, OBIS-SEAMAP provides feature-rich mapping tools to explore species occurrences across the globe. You can download the data for more in-depth work.
To learn more, visit the following pages.
- Fujioka, E., Halpin, P.N., 2014. Spatio-temporal Assessments of Biodiversity in the Open Ocean: an Introduction to Novel Online Tools in OBIS-SEAMAP, a global biogeographic database. Endangered Species Research, Vol. 24: 181-190.
- Fujioka, E, Soldevilla, M.S., Read, A.J., and Halpin, P.N., 2014. Integration of Passive Acoustic Monitoring Data into OBIS-SEAMAP, a Global Biogeographic Database, to Advance Spatially-explicit Ecological Assessments. Ecological Informatics, Vol. 21: 59-73.
- Fujioka, E., Kot, C.Y., Wallace, B.P., Best, B.D., Moxley, J., Cleary, J., Donnelly, B., Halpin, P.N., 2014. Data Integration for Conservation: Leveraging Multiple Data Types to Advance Ecological Assessments and Habitat Modeling for Marine Megavertebrates using OBIS-SEAMAP. Ecological Informatics, Vol. 20: 13-26.
- Kot, C.Y., Fujioka, E, Hazen, L.J., Best, B.D., Read, A.J., et al., 2010. Spatio-Temporal Gap Analysis of OBIS-SEAMAP Project Data: Assessment and Way Forward. PLOS ONE 5(9): e12990.
- Halpin, P.N., A.J. Read, E. Fujioka, B.D. Best, B. Donnelly, L.J. Hazen, C. Kot, K. Urian, E. LaBrecque, A. Dimatteo, J. Cleary, C. Good, L.B. Crowder, and K.D. Hyrenbach. 2009. OBIS-SEAMAP: The world data center for marine mammal, sea bird and sea turtle distributions. Oceanography 22(2):104-115.
- Best, B.D., P.N. Halpin, E. Fujioka, A.J. Read, S.S. Qian, L.J. Hazen, and R.S. Schick. 2007. Geospatial web services within a scientific workflow: Forecasting marine mammal habitat in a dynamic environment. Ecological Informatics 2:210-223.
- Halpin P. N., A. J. Read, B. D. Best, K. D. Hyrenbach, E. Fujioka, M. S. Coyne, L. B. Crowder, S. A. Freeman, C. Spoerri. 2006. OBIS-SEAMAP: developing a biogeographic research data commons for the ecological studies of marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles. Marine Ecological Progress Series. 316:239-246.