• KiLi Central Project 2:
  Central database, communication platform and data synthesis of the research unit   KiLi

From 03/2010 to 07/2016

Project leader:  Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Andreas Hemp, Markus Fischer, Thomas Nauß, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Victor Kakengi
Postdoc:  Marcell Peters
Data manager:  Jie Zhang

For the success and synergistic value of collaborative projects data documentation and storage in a central database, continuous information exchange, scientific coordination and interdisciplinary data synthesis are essential components. During the first phase of the research unit the central project Z2 implemented a central database and established a webbased communication platform. The basic structure of the existing database system and communication platforms BExIS was adapted and extended to fit the requirements the research unit KiLi. In accordance with current DFG regulations, data and metadata are stored in a XML-based format specifically designed for this project. The data format is compatible with the Ecological Metadata Language (EML), thereby ensuring long-term public accessibility of results. Z2 coordinated the scientific implementation of the general study design and joint experiments, and actively fostered the integrative analysis of data to reach the overall goals of the Research Unit. Further, training of German and Tanzanian PhD students in targeted workshops on statistics, meta-analysis, GIS-techniques, and scientific writing were performed. During the second phase we aim to continue this successful work by maintaining and expanding the functionality of the database and communication platform, by supporting workflows regarding quality control, data aggregation and data analysis, and by providing scientific training and capacity building. Importantly, with the availability of full subproject data sets at the end of 2012, synthesis analysis of interdisciplinary data sets to test the overarching hypotheses of the research unit and the publication of results in leading international journals will be a major objective of subproject Z2 in the second phase. One database manager, a part-time programmer, and one Postdoc with excellent ecological experience, communication, statistical and writing skills will be required to reach these objectives.