Introducing the world’s first Biosecurity Virtual Lab – BioSecurity Commons

Mr Paul Tudman1, Dr Aaron Dodd2, Mr Robert Cosgrove1, Mrs Dora Molina1, Dr Sean Haythorne2

1Griffith University, Nathan, Australia
2The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

Australia’s existing biosecurity modelling capability is a dispersed network of diagnostic, analytic and intelligence – data, models and people. Computing resources, licensing, IT expertise, IP concerns, and silo’ing between jurisdictions and sectors, all impede best practice. Models are often inaccessible and frequently developed for a single purpose, based on a single pest or disease, and are rarely re-used or shared.

Tools that support planning and preparation are critically needed to ensure effective responses to biosecurity events. Moreover, jurisdictions need to share analytics and modelling to demonstrate the right decisions are being made; and to improve modelling research by working collaboratively.

Here we introduce the development of the world’s first Biosecurity Virtual Lab for use in research and decision-making. It aims to empower researchers and decision-makers to investigate a wide range of questions related to biosecurity risk and response.

The BioSecurity Commons project leverages the existing EcoCommons platform architecture, which offers a suite of common approaches for building analytical modelling outputs, as well as integrating a vast array of geospatial data. The project will build a protected and permissioned online environment for working securely, that will promote collaboration across state jurisdictions and disciplines of biosecurity research.

For the first time, researchers, government and practitioners across organisations will be able to securely share biosecurity data, models and analytics. This will build trust, transparency and confidence in model outputs, and accelerate research through the reuse and repurposing of existing models.


Paul is an experienced project manager working with a highly-skilled team of software developers, scientists and communicators to build the world’s first BioSecurity Commons virtual laboratory. His ambition is to continue developing simple to use tools that leverage complex data in meaningful ways, and to empower decision makers, researchers and communities through an increased understanding of our natural environment. Paul recently lead the development of AgTrends Spatial, Australia’s first fine-scale online mapping tool for agricultural economic data.


Oct 13 2021


1:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Oct 12 2021
  • Time: 10:00 pm - 10:20 pm