Microbial Antarctic Resource System.


mARS is an information system dedicated to facilitate the discovery, access and analysis of molecular microbial diversity (meta)data generated by Antarctic researchers.

This includes the ability to upload information that describes (i) a research project that involves molecular microbial diversity sequence information (this goes into the Integrated Publishing Toolkit system that was developed by GBIF), (ii) communicating descriptive environmental information through a relatively newly accepted standard set of terms (Genomic Standards Consortium, MiMARKS), (iii) uploading links to DNA, RNA, proteomic or metabolomic data sets that have been deposited in public repositories, and the required metadata describing them.


A mARS Vision Paper was open for comments, and is now downloadable for consultation.

mARS will allow the discovery and integration of these microbial resources using BIODIVERSITY.AQ infrastructure. By harboring this information directly at BIODIVERSITY.AQ, Antarctic scientists will have the information archived and accessible through common language queries.


mARS Hands-on Training Workshop @ POLAR 2018 


Sunday, 17 June 2018
Monday, 18 June 2018
9am – 5pm

WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Flüelastrasse 11
Davos Dorf
room C157

If you are a polar (Antarctic or Arctic) microbial scientist who generates molecular sequence information from polar habitats, you might want to consider joining us for this training workshop. We have developed mARS which is an information system currently under development that is dedicated to facilitate the discovery, access and analysis of polar environmental context (physiochemical) and molecular microbial diversity (meta)data. Projects can be registered through a Global Biodiversity Information (GBIF) portal and then environmental data sets and accompanying sequence sets, if available in public repositories, can be uploaded into a searchable mARS database. As of later in 2017, mARS will expand the coverage of data sets to include the Arctic.

more information




We seeks an enthusiastic data manager to assist in the construction of this Antarctic biodiversity virtual laboratory. The successful candidate will be responsible for publication of various types of biodiversity data. The main focus will be on enriching the content of the mARS portal and the further development and maintenance of this portal.

The Data Manager Officer will be offered a one-year, full time position starting September 1st, 2018 or as soon as possible, and will be based at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (www.naturalsciences.be). She/he will work under the supervision of the Project Promoter and in close collaboration with the AntaBIS data scientist. There is potential to extend the duration of the position but this will depend on available funding and positive evaluation.