InvertEBase originated in 2014 as part of a U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Thematic Collection Network (TCN) grant in the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) Program. It was initially created as a collaborative effort to digitize specimen records from ten arthropod and mollusk collections housed at six major U.S. museums in six states. They include the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Illinois), Cleveland Museum of Natural History (Ohio), Auburn University Museum of Natural History (Alabama), University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Delaware Museum of Natural History, and the Frost Entomological Museum at Pennsylvania State University. Numerous additional collections joined the project, in part supported through NSF’s Partners to Existing Networks (PEN) awards.
Terrestrial arthropod data reside within a separate TCN-project-supportedSymbiota portal, which had evolved from an originally regionally defined Southwest Collections of Arthropods Network to a general Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network (SCAN).
In 2020, the InvertEBase portal was greatly expanded as a result of merging the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Marine Life of Panama Symbiota portal, and the addition of two new TCNs funded by NSF that will use and further develop the portal. The latter are focused on Documenting Marine Biodiversity through Digitization of Invertebrate Collections (DigIn) and on Mobilizing Millions of Marine Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard (ESB). Current development focuses on developing and aligning taxonomic authority files in collaboration with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS).
The InvertEBase portal has been supported by the following NSF Awards:
(1) Thematic Collections Network Award: InvertEBase -- Reaching back to see the future: The original InvertEBase project and portal were made possible by the National Science Foundation awards EF 14-02667 to P. Sierwald and R. Bieler (Field Museum), EF 14-00993 to A. Deans (Penn State), EF 14-02697 to E. Shea (Delaware Museum of Natural History), EF 14-04964 to D. O'Foighil (Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan), EF 14-01176 to J. Bond (Auburn University), and EF 14-02785 to G. Svenson (Cleveland Museum of Natural History), and EF 14-01450 to J. Hanken (Harvard University). Additional PEN awards include DBI 16-01700 to D. Roberts (Chicago Academy of Sciences), DBI 17-01842 to L. Stevens and G. Alpert (Museum of Northern Arizona), and DBI 20-01640 to L. Elder (University of Colorado Museum of Natural History).
(2) Thematic Collections Network Award: Mobilizing Millions of Marine Mollusks of the Eastern Seaboard (ESB): [2020 award, information forthcoming].
(3) Thematic Collections Network Award: Documenting Marine Biodiversity through Digitization of Invertebrate Collections (DigIn): [2020 award, information forthcoming].
(4) Collaborative Research: ARTS: Integrative Research and Training in Tropical Taxonomy: DEB-1456674 to R. Collin (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute); with development of the STRI Panama portal.
(5) Collaborative Research: ARTS: Understanding Tropical Invertebrate Diversity Through Integrative Revisionary Systematics and Training: DEB-1456674 to R. Collin (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute); with development and integration of the STRI Panama portal.