Ash dieback web resource launched

15th Feb 2013

The UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) has launched a new website collating the latest information on ash dieback - including research findings, funding opportunities, meetings and policy news: http://treehealth.plantsci.org.uk/.

 

Since ash dieback was first detected in the UK, some excellent research projects have been started and various organisations have begun work on policy briefing documents. However, many of the activities have been disconnected and people have found it difficult to access information about the latest developments, relevant meetings and funding opportunities. The UKPSF ash dieback website has been designed to overcome these problems.

 

Mimi Tanimoto, Executive Officer of the UKPSF says: “Speaking to scientists who wanted to do something to help combat ash dieback, I found a recurring problem that they were unsure of what else was happening. It was clear that by joining up the various projects we could better tackle the disease.”

 

The website will be updated regularly with news, and it is possible to sign up on the site to receive these updates via email. Anyone who has news that they would like added to the site can contact mimitanimoto@societyofbiology.org.

 

Fighting ash dieback will require cooperation and collaboration, and the Sainsbury Lab’s OpenAshDieback crowdsourcing site is an ideal example of a collaborative effort to discover what we can do about this potentially devastating disease. This open access data sharing site allows scientists to submit genomic data on ash dieback as soon as it is available, making it freely obtainable for instant analysis.

 

Mapping the extent of ash dieback will also require the support of members of the public recording their sightings, and the AshTag app is a great example of a community led citizen science survey that is helping scientists collect important data.

 

Mimi says: “These are two examples of valuable projects to collect and share data. We hope to encourage more initiatives such as these and ensure that we gain maximum benefit from them.”

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