Research projects


Environmental and metagenomics

A bioinformatics system to detect and assign functions to habitat-specific gene patterns. METAFUNCTIONS is a research project funded by the European Commission within Framework Programme 6 under the NEST – Newly Emerging Science and Technology Adventure initiative. The METAFUNCTIONS project, which started on 1 October 2005 is pooling expertise in bioinformatics, computer science, geographical information systems and marine sciences to develop a data-mining system that correlates genetic patterns in genomes and metagenomes with contextual environmental data. This innovative tool may enable scientists to infer functions and activities for sequenced hypothetical genes, thus providing a wealth of information about niche adaptations as well as new enzymes and proteins for medical and industrial use.

EnviroSPACE and UNEP/GRID-Geneva were involved to develop the "Genome Map Server", which is the internet-based GIS application to retrieve and visualize information from the "Environmental/Genomic Database", and in processing selected environmental GIS datasets or environmental descriptors, that will constitute a basis for data visualization and analysis in the "Genome Map Server".

Link to project website:

Link to UNEP/GRID-Geneva project description: