A call for an international network of genomic observatories (GOs)

Gigascience. 2012 Jul 12;1(1):5. doi: 10.1186/2047-217X-1-5.


We are entering a new era in genomics-that of large-scale, place-based, highly contextualized genomic research. Here we review this emerging paradigm shift and suggest that sites of utmost scientific importance be expanded into 'Genomic Observatories' (GOs). Investment in GOs should focus on the digital characterization of whole ecosystems, from all-taxa biotic inventories to time-series 'omics studies. The foundational layer of biodiversity-genetic variation-would thus be mainstreamed into Earth Observation systems enabling predictive modelling of biodiversity dynamics and resultant impacts on ecosystem services.