NSF has recently funded a Research Coordination Network for researchers who are interested in searching and comparing phenotypes across species and in developing the tools and methods needed in making this possible (http://phenotypercn.org). The representation of morphology, behavior and other phenotypic features using computational methods such as ontologies and controlled vocabularies is in its infancy. Integrating phenotypes with data across all levels of the biological hierarchy, however, is possible if standards are co-developed and coordinated.
This RCN envisions building a broad base of community knowledge and resources so as to maximize the research potential of web-based data. Funding for participation in meetings, presentations and laboratory exchanges for students, postdocs and faculty from ontology and taxonomic domains (initially plants, arthropods, and vertebrates) is available through the RCN (see http://phenotypercn.org/opportunities/.
We are eager to have you join us! Please sign up for our participant and mailing lists for further information (http://phenotypercn.org/participants/add/) and feel free to contact one of the PIs (Paula Mabee, firstname.lastname@example.org; Andy Deans, email@example.com; Eva Huala, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Suzanna Lewis, email@example.com).