AEKOS: Your gateway to Australian ecology data

A new version of TERN AEKOS makes it easier for users to search and download diverse, well-described, Australia-wide ecological data from a single point of entry. Find out what’s new then come explore almost 100000 sites of published plot data.


Biodiversity hotspots and their threats identified

Spring 2016

TERN data and infrastructure have been used to map South Australia’s biodiversity hotspots, identify their climate change sensitivity, and ultimately inform priorities and strategies for conservation management.


Nature’s Scientific Data journal recommends TERN’s ÆKOS data portal

Winter 2016

We are very pleased to announce that our ÆKOS data portal has been approved by the Nature Research journal Scientific Data as providing stable archiving and long-term preservation of Australian ecology data and is now a recommended data repository.




The Eco-informatics Facility has cyber-infrastructure experts working with governments, researchers, educators and students to make ecological “plot” data (including quadrats, transects, pitfall traplines, cage trap arrays, and other systematic collection methods) discoverable and freely accessible.

Making data discoverable and accessible at the finest level of detail available, together with extra information about the context of data collection, opens up vast new opportunities for assessing re-purpose and enabling informed re-use of data. In doing this, the Australian ecosystem science community is able to achieve greater returns on the investment in data collection and also use the wealth of data available to address national challenges in ecology.

A key product from the Eco-Informatics Facility is the Advanced Ecological Knowledge and Observation System (ÆKOS), a ‘one stop shop’ for ecological plot data comprising a data repository, web data portal and web services enabling data users to store, discover, access and understand the context of the data in detail. More information is available at the Eco-informatics website.


ÆKOS Data Stories

Come and meet just a few of the many Eco-Informatics users and explore how the ÆKOS data infrastructure is helping TERN's end-user community work more collaboratively, efficiently and effectively.



Some of Eco-Informatics' other products and services include:

  • A national information framework (including standards) for managing ecological data by using ontologies, index traits and description models.
  • A long term network of key data partners from government agencies and research organisations for sharing and delivering Australia’s rich ecological plot data.
  • The Submission, Harmonisation and Retrieval of Ecological Data (SHaRED) tool to provide researcher data submission that meets the needs of researchers like those participating in TERN’s Multi-Scale Plot Network.
  • The Soils-to-Satellite integrated web data portal with other National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy capabilities including the Atlas of Living Australia combining spatial, multi-spectral, ecological plot and genomics data.
  • Metadata for Australia’s ecological plot data in a format used by the Australian National Data Service (RIF-CS) that will be accessible via TERN’s central Data Discovery Portal.
  • Collaboration through attribution, citation and acknowledgement of all researchers publishing data in ÆKOS.
  • An online library of all the ecological data collection methods used for data stored in ÆKOS.
  • Access to IP through open source publication of software and models.
  • Practical application of the TERN Data Licensing Policy to support and encourage Open Access.


Ecological data types being collected and distributed by Eco-informatics:

Facility Contacts:
Mr Ben Sparrow
Director, Eco-Informatics
University of Adelaide
Dr Anita Smyth
Data Facilitator
P: +61 8 8313 1270

More Eco-informatics news:

  • ÆKOS Data Stories

    Winter 2016

    To showcase the diversity of TERN's end-user community, we continue to profile our users and, in this case, explore how Eco-Informatics' data infrastructure is helping them work more collaboratively, efficiently and effectively. Come and meet some of them now:
  • NCRIS partnerships developing complementary data services

    Winter 2016

    A recent collaborative initiative with the Atlas of Living Australia has enabled significant advancement towards the delivery of more integrated, efficient and effective data and services to our users.

  • Long-term desert ecology data now openly-available through diverse TERN data infrastructure

    Autumn 2016

    Decades of observations on Australia’s iconic arid plants and animals are now available via TERN’s data infrastructure. Our advanced data infrastructure and links to international portals enable intelligent data reuse by arid ecologists around the world.

  • 90-years of data track change in rangeland ecosystem

    Spring 2015

    Data from one of the world’s longest running arid-zone ecological monitoring projects, now openly available via TERN’s infrastructure, is helping environmental managers answer important questions about the ecology of arid zone vegetation and the changes grazing and climate change have on arid ecosystems.

  • 100 years of platypus survey data now available via ÆKOS

    More than 100 years of platypus observations for 277 waterways across the breadth of Tasmania are now available for download via TERN Eco-informatics’ ÆKOS data portal.

  • The treasures of the south-west sandplains now revealed

    Come explore, discover and openly access data collected from Western Australia’s unique and species rich sandplain communities via TERN’s data infrastructure.

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