What is the GECCO Biorepository?
The Guam EPSCoR-Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium for Corals and Oceans (GECCO) Biorepository serves as a world-class physical and cyber warehouse of Micronesian marine biodiversity enhancing local research capacity and facilitating collaborative research through global access to geographically-linked specimen records and images. Biological specimens curated as part of the Biorepository include those in historical University of Guam Marine Laboratory collections as well as specimens collected as part of on-going University of Guam EPSCoR-funded research projects. The Biorepository also serves as a digital library of regional research products, including historical and recent publications, and datasets collected as part of Guam EPSCoR research.
Why is the GECCO Biorepository important?
The GECCO Biorepository serves to curate and store biological specimens of various taxa important to science, discovery and preservation of biodiversity within the region. Collections include whole specimens, tissues, genomes, and proteomes. Data are digitized following the latest protocols used by iDigBio and are cross-referenced dynamically within a virtual library of high-resolution digital images, specimen collection metadata, biometric data, habitat characterization data, and other relevant information. Together, the long-term physical storage of biological material and access to specimen records and relevant ecological and environmental information serve to enhance local research capacity and facilitate collaborative research that can inform biodiversity conservation efforts and those designed to promote the sustainable use of marine resources in Micronesia.
Current status of the GECCO Biorepository
The GECCO Biorepository is currently in development, but end-users can already access records for more than 1,800 specimens in the University of Guam Marine Laboratory Fish Collection, images for hundreds of those specimens, and records and in situ images for more than 200 specimens in the University of Guam Marine Laboratory Coral Collection. Additional coral specimen records and images, including those of voucher specimens collected as part of Guam EPSCoR research projects, as well as fish specimen are currently being collected and will be added to the Biorepository in 2019. Also planned for 2019-2020 are the addition of the Marine Laboratory’s Dickinson Memorial Mollusk Collection, a digital reference library, and the integration of available oceanographic and genetic data. Visit this page or follow Guam EPSCoR on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for the latest GEC Biorepository developments and other Guam EPSCoR news.