OSC receives NSF funding to digitize lichens and bryophytes

This project, led by Dr. Jessica Budke, director of the UT Herbarium (TENN) together with co-Principal Investigator Dr. Jessie Uehling and colleagues from 25 institutions will image over 1 million lichens and bryophytes. At Oregon State University, the project will engage countless undergraduate researchers in the OSC herbarium, and will focus on offering opportunities to aid the establishment of underrepresented students in STEM!

The project, Building a Global Consortium of Bryophytes and Lichens Keystones of Cryptobiotic Communities (GLOBAL), will enable researchers from around the world to access specimen metadata and photos of the plants.

This grant will include several novel technologies, including using a Object-to-Image-to-Data approach to read and decipher information from images of specimen labels, and Artificial Intelligence to flag mis-identified specimens. Researchers will then leverage a Crowd Sourced approach via Symbiota to aid in label transcription, providing many opportunities to engage in biodiversity research from home.

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