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A Revolution in Evolution: Open Science Projects at Duke

October 3rd, 2016
12:00 PM


Monday, October 3, 2016

Noon - 1:15 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building, Room 011)

The scientific practice of sharing information, begun in earnest with the creation of society journals, entered a new epoch with the digital age. Through online open science projects, Duke researchers Karen Cranston and Doug Boyer are extending the potential for sharing data and expanding our knowledge of evolution, from microbes to mammals. Join us as they talk with Duke librarian Elena Feinstein about the motivations behind open science, how their projects (MorphoSource and Open Tree of Life) embody and benefit from openness, and the professional rewards (and challenges) of pursuing open science.


This talk is made possible by the Forum for Scholars and Publics, Duke University Libraries' Digital Scholarship Services department, and The Edge: The Ruppert Commons for Research, Technology, and Collaboration, which is hosting a series of events at Duke in 2016-2017 on the theme of Open. With presentations, workshops, and project teams focused on open access, data, publishing, research, scholarship, science, and software, the Libraries offer an opportunity for the Duke community to discuss, learn, reflect, and engage in a changing scholarly landscape that promises to expand the traditional boundaries of academia.




Doug Boyer

Duke University

Doug Boyer is an assistant professor at Duke University in the Evolutionary Anthropology department. He earned his PhD from Stony Brook University in 2009 and has been at Duke since 2012. He is interested in the early phases of primate evolutionary history, and how anatomical diversity reflects an evolutionary history of selective pressures more generally. He studies evidence from fossils and comparative anatomy, often using new bioinformatic analytical methods developed with collaborators at Duke in order to characterize shape variation among 3D digital models of bones and then reconstruct evolutionary patterns.  In order to provide access to the raw data underlying his research (3D models of fossil and recent bones) to colleagues and to the public for research and education, he designed the MorphoSource, an open access repository where researchers and public can view, download, and upload data on anatomical structures  and whole organisms.  The broader goals of the MorphoSource are to increase the amount of anatomical data available for research, to increase the inclusiveness of the community that can use these data, and to align the interests of individual researchers and museums with a larger goal of advancing scientific understanding by providing tools to gain scholarly credit through data sharing.

Karen Cranston

Duke University

Karen Cranston is a computational evolutionary biologist in the Department of Biology at Duke University. She is the lead PI of the Open Tree of Life project, which produces a constantly-updating evolutionary tree of all species. The project uses open data, open source software, and motivates community curation of phylogenentic data through services useful for research. Karen is also passionate about training scientists in the skills for open science, both teaching and developing workshops on programming, data science and reproducible science with Data and Software Carpentry. She tweets at @kcranstn. 

Elena Feinstein

Duke University

Elena Feinstein is the Librarian for Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Duke, working with researchers, faculty, and students to advance their scholarship. Before joining Duke Libraries in 2013, she was the senior curator of the Dryad data repository. Elena is a passionate advocate for open science and is excited to explore new ways that libraries and librarians can support and participate in this work.