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DustWatch Australia: wind erosion modelling for sustainable land management

Australian cropsDuring the last decade, wind erosion of soils has removed millions of tonnes of valuable topsoil from Australia’s agricultural and pastoral lands, reducing capacity to produce food and affecting the economy. The loss of topsoil can also negatively affect biodiversity, the climate and air and water quality.
DustWatch Australia has taken a collaborative approach to understanding wind erosion and is bringing together relevant data sets, modelling those data and making the information openly available. Griffith University, the Australian National University and the University of Southern Queensland focus on northern Australia and support a national DustWatch website, while the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage maintains the southern DustWatch network of DustTrak wind erosion sensors.
Having large, diverse data sets did create data management issues for DustWatch Australia, which were solved using QRIScloud. Read more

NCMAS 2017 call for applications now open

The National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS) is currently calling for applications for HPC access in 2017.
NCMAS information and application forms are available online. Applications close 5pm AEDT (4pm AEST), Friday, 14 October 2016. 
NCMAS is the premier competitive program for provision of high-performance computing resources for scientific research in Australia. Approximately 203 million CPU-hours are available on four national facilities in NCMAS 2017:
  • Raijin (NCI)
  • Magnus (Pawsey Supercomputing Centre)
  • MASSIVE (Monash University)
  • FlashLite (UQ/RCC).
QCIF contributed to the funding of FlashLite and has a share in time on Raijin, which researchers from QCIF’s member organisations can apply for through the QRIScloud portal.
If you have questions or require assistance with your NCMAS application, you can contact the NCMAS secretariat ( or the QRIScloud Help Desk:

Want to use Copernicus Australia’s Regional Data Hub?

satelliteQCIF is seeking input from interested researchers on anticipated local access and processing requirements for Copernicus Australia’s Regional Data Hub.

Copernicus is Europe’s Earth observation program, operating the Sentinel satellite network. Each Sentinel mission will focus on a different aspect of Earth observation including atmospheric, oceanic, and land monitoring. 

The Australian Government and the European Commission established the Regional Data Hub to cover Australia and the South-East Asia and South Pacific regions. The data hub will support multiple activities, including preferential data access and mirroring for key regional data sets.

To support local access the Queensland Government has collaborated with Geosciences Australia and NCI to make the Copernicus Sentinel satellite data available for download.

The Regional Data Hub members include Geoscience Australia, WA Government, Queensland Government, CSIRO, NSW Government, with NCI and AARNet as national implementation partners. 

Researchers wanting to discuss anticipated local access and processing requirements for the Hub can contact QCIF’s Gavin Kennedy:

Griffith wins at the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards

QSEA winner logoGriffith University's Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) won the Technical Excellence Award at the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards on Friday, 2 September 2016.
QCIF is a long-time member and supporter of the Spatial Industries Business Association in Queensland, the co-host of the awards, and nominated BCCVL for the award. 

BCCVL is a “one stop modelling shop” that simplifies the process of biodiversity and climate change modelling.

Specific criteria for the Technical Excellence Award included the level of complexity of the challenge, the degree of technical methodology to overcome the challenge, client satisfaction and the potential as a new spatial sciences benchmark.
BCCVL and QCIF representatives attended the awards ceremony that showcased the talent, creativity and innovation that will progress and expand the spatial industry.
Read more about the award on BCCVL's blog. If you would like to learn more about QCIF's affiliation with SIBA please contact Gavin Kennedy:
Griffith University and QCIF at the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards 
L-R: Hamish Holewa (QCIF/Griffith), Gavin Kennedy (QCIF), Malcolm Wolski (Griffith), Gerhard Weis (Griffith), Rob Van Manen (award presenter from CR Kennedy), Chantal Huijbers (Griffith), and Rob Cook (QCIF).

RCC adds GenomeSpace to Galaxy Queensland

GenomeSpaceGenomeSpace, a cloud-based framework to support genomics analysis through an easy-to-use Web interface, was added to Galaxy Queensland last month, thanks to the work of The University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre (RCC).
GenomeSpace enables easy integration and export of genomic data into and out of analysis pipelines. It is a community resource that currently supports the streamlined interaction of 20 bioinformatics tools and data resources.
Its key features include the ability to integrate with most life science software; compatibility with bioscience data formats; and the ability to act as a mediator for credentials, for private and public access to secure data. Read more

QCIF's Dr Marlies Hankel co-authors paper on novel anode materials for lithium ion batteries

Dr Marlies HankelQCIF/RCC eResearch Analyst Dr Marlies Hankel (pictured) is the corresponding author of a paper on novel anode materials for lithium ion batteries published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP).
Together with her co-author and group leader Prof. Debra Bernhardt (Searles) from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Dr Hankel used Density Functional Theory (DFT) to investigate three novel two-dimensional (2D) materials as possible anodes for lithium ion batteries that could provide a larger energy capacity than commonly and commercially-used graphite.
Prof. Bernhardt and Dr Hankel carried out their calculations for the project on NCI's Raijin high performance computer, with allocations mainly via QCIF’s NCI share but also through NCMAS. Read more

Join the ‘Working with Data: 101’ workshop

QCIF and the Open Data Institute Queensland (ODIQ) have partnered to develop and deliver an introductory workshop in data analytics. 
'Working with Data: 101' is designed to impart foundation level skills for those who are, or who support, decision makers and policymakers.
This practical, hands-on, full-day course starts with an introduction to the fundamental concepts and terms of data science, then moves into identifying and using best practice data structures. It teaches regular expressions for data manipulation, and the use of tools, such as OpenRefine, for cleaning and manipulating data.
The next available ‘Working with Data:101’ workshop is on Wednesday, 19 October 2016, at ODIQ’s office in Spring Hill. All details, costs, booking instructions and trainer information is on ODIQ’s website. Numbers are capped, so get in early.

Workshop for professionals on tools for mapping and modelling species distributionAustralian species distribution map

The Atlas of Living Australia and the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory will jointly deliver a free hands-on workshop in Brisbane on using innovative tools for mapping and modelling species distribution.
The QCIF-coordinated workshop is for professionals dealing with ecological information who wish to have better informed decision-making, policy and planning processes.
The workshop will be held on Thursday, 29 September 2016, from 9am–1pm, at Griffith University's South Bank campus. Visit the event webpage for more information and to register. Feel free to contact QCIF’s Gavin Kennedy for further information:

Join ReDBox’s community meeting at eResearch Australasia 2016

ReDBox logoQCIF will host its popular ReDBox community meeting at this year's eResearch Australasia conference in Melbourne. 

The lunch-time get-together will be held during the conference on Wednesday, 12 October in State Room 1 and 2 at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park hotel.

Bring your lunch and learn all about research data management planning with ReDBox, the tool’s 1.9 release features including ORCID support and RIF/CS 1.6., and contribute to the plans for ReDBox version 2.0. 

For more information contact QCIF’s Gavin Kennedy:

Visit the QCIF exhibition booth at eResearch Australasia 2016

QCIF will have an exhibition booth at this year's eResearch Australasia conference, which is being held in Melbourne, 10–14 October, so if you're attending, be sure to visit us.

QCIF will hold lightning talks during conference break-times at its booth (booth location 5 and 6), and we're happy to answer any questions you might have about QCIF and QRIScloud at any time during the event. Some of our collaborators, such as UQ's Research Computing Centre, will also have representation at the QCIF booth. 

View the conference program and register

“Problem Owners” sought for Brisbane HealthHack 2016

HealthHack logoQCIF is co-sponsoring this year’s Brisbane HealthHack, a data hack weekend across 14–16 October dedicated to solving important healthcare and medical research problems.

“Problem Wrangler” and QCIF/RCC/IMB eResearch Analyst Dr Nick Hamilton is currently seeking “Problem Owners” with health-related research problems that they would like to propose be solved over the Brisbane HealthHack weekend. Please check the HeathHack website or contact Dr Hamilton to check if your research issue is suitable for HealthHack:

Participation in HealthHack is free, whether you bring a research problem to the table as a researcher, or donate your skills as a software developer, user experience (UX) designer, data analyst or visualiser.

For the first time, free childcare will be available at all HealthHack sites. Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth will also host HealthHacks on the same weekend. Free food and drink is also provided to participants. Read more

UQ Library to hostbinary and world map workshops for International Data Week

UQ Library at the University of Queensland is marking International Data Week with a series of workshops throughout 12–16 September 2016.

The workshops and seminars aim to help researchers, research higher degree students, research administrators, and anyone working with data, learn how to clean data, work more effectively with data, and share data.

All sessions are hosted in UQ Library’s new Centre for Digital Scholarship. See the full program.

QUT marks International Data Week with a talk on Open Data

Dr Markus Rittenbruch QUT's key event for International Data Week is an afternoon tea and talk on Wednesday, 14 September on 'Open data: It’s good science'. 

Those creating and working with data are invited to hear why open data should be the default in research, and how one can make their data open. Speakers include QUT Design Senior Lecturer Dr Markus Rittenbruch (pictured) and QUT Health PhD scholar Anisa Rouhani-Farid. Dr Rittenbruch was a project lead on QUT's The Cube (one of the world's largest digital interactive learning and display spaces) and developed visualisations for its multi-touch walls using open data. Ms Rouhani-Farid will highlight the ‘reproducibility crisis’ in research, where there is evidence of an increasing amount of hidden and irreproducible data in health and medical research.

In promoting the event, QUT Library said: "We recognise that research data is one of an institution’s greatest and most valuable assets. The newly updated [QUT] Research Data Finder contains records of research data sets that have been produced by QUT researchers, some of which are available for immediate access and use! Sharing research data or information about data (metadata) can unlock opportunities that drive innovation and promote positive change for the benefit of businesses, the economy and the community. QUT’s Management of Research Data policy encourages open data at QUT, where possible, as there are many benefits to researchers and universities."

The talk and tea is 2–3pm in room V714, level 7, QUT Library, Gardens Point Campus, 

Attended a Software Carpentry workshop? Please provide feedback for research

If you have ever attended a Software Carpentry workshop, please provide your feedback here (it should take just 5–10 minutes).

QCIF eResearch Analyst Team Leader Belinda Weaver is surveying workshop attendees for her UQ Master of Philosophy research on 'Investigating the efficacy and usefulness of Software Carpentry training for researchers'.

Call for volunteers for Brisbane ResBaz 2017ResBaz logo

If you're keen to be part of the Research Bazaar (ResBaz) at The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, 7–9 February 2017, don't forget to volunteer. Register your interest by filling out this form

QFAB Bioinformatics profile: Nick Rhodes

Nick RhodesNick Rhodes is a systems and software support specialist with QFAB Bioinformatics.
For more than 35 years, he has worked as a biochemist, molecular biologist, lecturer, software developer and database and systems administrator, usually in an academic environment.
Nick’s involvement with IT started in the days of paper tape and punched cards and it has gradually become the main focus of his career, although he still considers himself a scientist at heart.
His many roles at QFAB include:
  • deployment of research tools
  • ensuring partners and collaborators have sufficient computing resources for their analyses
  • managing changes to infrastructure and software
  • involvement in data science and chemoinformatics projects. 
Nick has a Higher National Diploma  (HND) in Applied Biology and BSc(Hons) in Applied Science (Maths, Computing and Biological Sciences), both from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, 1978 and 1990 respectively. Contact Nick at:

QRIScloud is funded by the Australian Government, the Queensland State Government and the QCIF member universities. The Australian Government directs funds through the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Project (led by The University of Melbourne), and the Research Data Storage Infrastructure Project, completed in 2015, and the Research Data Services (RDS) Project (both data projects led by The University of Queensland) using the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and Education Investment Fund (EIF). The Queensland Government directs funds through the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI) and its Co-investment Fund.

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      RDS logo 

 NCRIS logo
September 2016


Upcoming Events

* Each Tuesday, UQ Hacky Hour, St Lucia

* Each Thursday, Hacky Hour Griffith, Nathan or Gold Coast (alternating)

* Each Friday, Hacky Hour JCU, Townsville

* Each Friday, RCC seminar series, UQ, Brisbane

* 12–16 September, International Data Week at UQ Library, Brisbane

* 14 September, International Data Week at QUT, Brisbane

* 15–16 September, Software Carpentry with Python workshop, Griffith, Nathan

* 27–28 September, Software Carpentry with R workshop, Townsville

* 29 SeptemberInnovative Tools For Mapping and Modelling Species Distributions, Brisbane

* 10–14 October, eResearch Australasia 2016, Melbourne

* 12 October, ReDBox Community Meeting, Melbourne

* 14–16 October, HealthHack, Brisbane

* 19 October, Working with Data 101, Spring Hill

* 31 October, COMBINE Symposium, QUT, Brisbane

* 7–9 February, ResBaz 2017, UQ, Brisbane

RCC/MURPA Seminar Series

Featured video

RCC/MURPA Seminar Series: Videos from this year's ‘women in technology’ RCC/MURPA Seminar Series are now available to watch on RCC's YouTube channel. Watch

Featured Article

6 September 2016 — Investment in research driving improvements in Australian universities' QS World University Rankings, The Sydney Morning Herald

Global Reef Record

Featured Collection

Global Reef Record: The XL Catlin Global Reef Record is a research tool aimed at collating and communicating the coral reef science of the XL Catlin Seaview Survey and combining that information with data from other leading sources of ocean research.

This free database will provide scientists across various disciplines of marine studies with a tool for analysing the current state of the reef ecosystems on a local, regional and global scale and monitoring changes that occur over time. More

Milestones and Metrics

QRIScloud now has 792 registered users.

Euramoo now has 261 registered users.

FlashLite now has 107 registered users.

QRIScloud is now storing 252 data collections, with more than 5.131 PB of data ingested.
Copyright © 2016 QRIScloud, All rights reserved.
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