Skip to main content

Spring GBADs Informatics Herd Round-Up

· 5 min read
Grace Patterson

Header Image

GBADs Informatics has brought on many new experts in 2022 who have a wide range of talents and interests. Together, the “herd” of 7 student developers, 2 graduate researchers, and 4 post-docs and research associates are advancing our goals in GBADs and exploring new avenues to improve GBADs and increase the utility of the program in creative ways. Check out our current team in the About section of the website and read more about our team’s work over the spring semester below!

Nuts and Bolts of the Knowledge Engine

Kassy has been building a graph database to improve the findability of data and analyze the interoperability of the data sources that GBADs collects. She has also been busy supporting students in their work, liaising with other themes to maintain progress, and spreading the word about GBADs and FAIR data as a Datasphere Initiative Fellow – check out some of her recent presentations on our Highlights page or our Presentations and Publications.

Amardeep developed a modular approach to dashboard creation and produced tutorials for anyone to learn how to produce a basic dashboard in the GBADs style. You can access his tutorials in the docs section of this site.

Nitin has been working away at the permissions and access restrictions infrastructure needed to ensure GBADs data is secure, and that we can apply access restrictions for different users seeking to access the data portal of the knowledge engine. This infrastructure will be critical for maintaining private data security.

Rehan has become our expert for livestock data scraped from the Central Statistics Agency of Ethiopia’s pdf reports. He has, for the first time, made those data available in a database and is working to develop reports to compare trends on regional and national levels, and identify data discrepancies. He has also been working to compare those data to global data. Reports coming soon, check out how to access details via our API!

Polishing our Products

Matthew has put a lot of work into developing and launching this site for documentation of GBADs resources, tutorials, documentation, and presentations. The site is constantly evolving and more material being added, so check back frequently!

Kurtis began working with us to improve the design of our dashboards and visualizations and to develop a cohesive visual standard to use across GBADs. His style guides have been shared across other themes and with external partners like First Analytics.


(GIF courtesy of Kurtis Sobkowich)

Cross-Theme Collaboration

Grace worked with the Human Health theme to develop an approach to link livestock health changes to human dietary health impacts. She also wrote a blog on the challenges in quantifying the health impacts of animal-sourced food consumption.

William rapidly adapted a python module for expert elicitation (Anduryl) to function in R. He shared this with the team working on the Ethiopian case study, who deployed it in their recent workshops. Find his tutorial on the software here.

Le quickly caught up to speed on progress on the graph database and ontology and has been collaborating with the Ontology and Attribution theme to develop ways to improve the interoperability of data from different major data sources. They are also working to map ontologies to databases.

Kassy and Deb worked with Yin from the Populations and Production Systems theme to structure their biomass calculations and code for use with different data sources and for incorporation in the knowledge engine.

Exploring New Frontiers

Cassandre has been mining NCBI for genomic data on livestock species that might be used to help classify production systems. You can view her seminar on her work here. She is also exploring other databases that could be mined for similar info on breed characteristics such as size and health traits.

Neila is working on the future of animal welfare in GBADs. She has been collaborating with colleagues from Liverpool to develop a proposal to incorporate this topic in future iterations of GBADs, building networks with animal welfare experts around the world, and exploring the existing animal welfare data ecosystem. Read her intro to animal welfare legislation in her recent blog.

Last but certainly not least, Deb and Theresa continued to contribute to GBADs planning and steered the herd to success! They are critical for problem-solving, connecting with partners, and developing our roadmap for the future of GBADs Informatics.

Summer Preview

Keep an eye out for an update on our summer activities, which includes the roll out of numerous dashboards, thanks to the approach Amardeep developed:

  • Sky is producing updated dashboards for population and multiple biomass statistics
  • Matthew and William are working on a dashboard to display calculations of the Total Economic Value of global livestock done by the PPS theme
  • Ethiopia data story dashboard from Rehan, Sky, and Grace

Also, welcome to our newest herd member Faraz, who is working on data “healing” of OIE population data. Welcome also to Emily, who has joined the herd for summer fun!

Catch Up with the Herd

If you want to see GBADs Informatics in action, there are two upcoming opportunities. Check out the GBADs session at SciDataCon on June 22, where Deb, Kassy, and Le will be presenting alongside Ontology and Attribution colleague Stephen Kwok. The Informatics Theme will participate in a special session dedicated to GBADs and will also be presenting 3 talks and 4 posters at ISVEE from August 7-12. We will be covering a range of topics, including meta-ontology frameworks, animal welfare, food systems models, interdisciplinary work in the context of OneHealth, implications of data discrepancies, graph databases, and a survey of major data aggregation initiatives. We hope to see you there!