Australasian Biogeography

Malte is working on a large scale project to map the natural regions of the Austral Realm (Southern Hemisphere) in order to determine the geographical, climatic and neotectonic causes for biotic evolution over time. His research involves collaborations with BEES staff (Cassis, Laffan) and taxonomists and biogeographers worldwide. If you are interested in pursuing a honours or PhD project in biogeography, please contact Malte or visit

Project details

The BioAtlas Project is an online database for biotic areas that incorporates XML parsing from word processing documents. The concept is based on current systems such as the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL), which dedicates a webpage for each species on Earth. The BioAtlas dedicates a page for each biotic area, including area hierarchies (i.e., realms, regions, provinces). The project uses several standards, including the International Code of Area Nomenclature (ICAN; Ebach et al 2008) and relevant TDWG standards.
The prototype will be built using Australia as an exemplar group. The online database will consist of an atomized database and BioMaps of all of Australasia’s biotic areas since the Eocene. The data will be modeled on the Interim Biogeographical Regions of Australia (IBRA), which when fully functional, will provide an online service to conservation biologists, ecologists and policy makers. The BioAtlas will be a benchmark in bioinformatics as it will provide a comprehensive database that will be linked to Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF),Encyclopedia of Life (EoL), Australia’s Living Atlas (ALA), and other national and international biodiversity information systems.