The Genomics of Past and Future Natural History Collections
The history of advances in modelling large scale dynamics of the biosphere depends partly on mobilizing enormous amounts of fine-grained data. In this context, genomic data residing in classical natural history collections, as well as important new efforts currently underway to increase tremendously modern genomic collections at global scales, potentially represent another example of major advances in biosphere modelling. Payoffs will be the ability to identify approximately almost any organism anywhere on Earth, longitudinal automated monitoring of organismal and ecosystem responses to climate change, a much more detailed and accurate phylogeny of Life, accelerating the routine use of genomics in many scientific fields, and a better understanding of genomic evolution. In a deep sense, the biosphere shares one global genome.