Small Collections Grant

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MQU Goes Online: making our herbarium data available to the world.

Karen Marais



Cost: $



Downing Herbarium, Macquarie University


MQU holds 13000 specimens, including nationally significant bryophyte collections and collections from the Subantarctic Islands. Specimen data are currently held locally and can be accessed only by the Curator. Our aim is to make MQU specimen data available to the wider scientific community by becoming a participating member of the Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) online platform. Our project objective is to review the existing data and database, ensure compliance with AVH data standards, upload existing data, and facilitate future data entry and upload of MQU collection backlogs.


We will employ a person with expertise in plant collections data to:
- Review existing MQU database data fields and map them to fields required for upload to AVH, ensuring compliance with Darwin Core
- Modify existing data fields to create a suitable template for future data entry
- Modify and clean existing data as required, in liaison with the Curator
- Create a test data export and liaise with the AVH Biodiversity Informatics Developer
- Document new MQU data standards
- Document the data upload protocol
- Train the Herbarium Curator in the data upload protocol
- Upload existing MQU vascular and cryptogam data to AVH.


The project will begin in April 2020 and be completed by November 2020.

Referee 1:

Josephine Milne

Referee 2:

Frank Hemmings

Scoring Rubric

Your name:

Collection Improvement/Maintenance


1.  Contribution to the generation of digital herbarium data (digitization: data entry, setting up database structure, purchasing equipment).

2.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (processing of backlog).

3.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (shipping endangered collection to another herbarium).

4. Contribution towards improving conservation status of specimens in herbarium (better folders, protecting covers, mounting paper, labeling, etc.).

This proposal scores:


IAPT community building


5.  Herbarium's potential for success.

6.  Perceived need, extent to which the project will benefit from IAPT funding.
7. Sharing specimens with other herbaria.

This proposal scores:


Broader Impacts

8. The project will yield durable benefits (specimens, digitized metadata, databases, websites).

9. The proposed project involves outreach/mentoring and broad dissemination.

This proposal scores:


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