NZOSA Finalists Part 6: Open Source use in Science

NZOSA Finalists Part 6: Open Source use in Science

We are featuring the finalists from each category in the 2021 New Zealand Open Source Awards, in the lead up to the February 2022 gala dinner and award announcements. Congratulations to all the finalists, and we look forward to celebrating all your valuable work at the gala dinner!

Open Source use in Science
Whakamahi Pūmanawa Herekore i te Pūtaiao

AviaNZ(external link): Making Sure Our Birds Are Heard

The AviaNZ project is a collaboration between mathematicians, data scientists, and conservation biologists, to enable acoustic recordings of birdsong to be turned into reliable estimates of abundance.

The free open source software is designed to let the user analyse birdsong either manually or automatically. AviaNZ works with many groups, from Ngapuhi, through the Department of Conservation and Nga Whenua Rahui, to local community groups in many areas. The software used by the project is FOSS, making it accessible to the broadest range of New Zealanders.

The software has been trained for NZ species, but can be readily adapted for any other birds, and those filters can be contributed back to the project for use by anyone, anywhere.

The project combines ecology and conservation, working with tangata whenua and local communities, and is powered by open source software. 

Centre for Computational Evolution(external link) for BEAST 2(external link)

BEAST 2 is an open source cross-platform program for inferring family trees (phylogenies) from molecular sequences.

It is used by scientists all over the world in diverse fields, but particularly in genomic research.

BEAST 2 is used by scientists all round the world. Having open source code means results can more easily be verified and errors can be reasoned about. Results can more easily be reproduced independently.

BEAST 2’s analysis of the family trees of viruses has come into its own over the last two years, to the point that New Zealand is recognised as a world centre of phylogenetic research. 

Irene Wallis' development of the fractoolbox(external link) Python library

Irene Wallis has developed an open-source Python library for researchers and engineers to performed advanced fracture analysis in deep geothermal wells.

The library, called Fractoolbox, helps reservoir engineers to visualise data from very deep geothermal wells, allowing them to operate these renewable resources in a sustainable and economic manner.

Although proprietary versions of this kind of software have been around in the Oil & Gas industry for a while, they are generally priced out of reach of geothermal companies. Irene's open source library is helping to mainstream advanced fracture analysis in geothermal wells.

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