2 Feb 2011

Hawaii University gets funding for online access to Pacific plant specimens

4:27 pm on 2 February 2011

The University of Hawai'i's botany department has received 1-point-4 million US dollars from the National Science Foundation to develop a Consortium of Pacific Herbaria.

The grant will help collate details on more than one million plant specimens from around the region, located at universities, museums and libraries.

The university's herbarium collections manager, Dr Michael Thomas, says offering digital online access to such a vast collection will open up more opportunities for information sharing.

"It's been problematic for researchers, and also students, to often gain access to these natural history collections. And so because of the improved internet capabilities in the Pacific region there's new opportunities for collaboration and new opportunities for partnership with groups that have not had an opportunity to work together in the past."

Dr Michael Thomas says the project will run for three years.