Project promotion materials:

Software is available at:

Project Members:

Jason Wimmer (

Vaughan Hobbs (

Alvin Sebastian (

Siobhann McCafferty (

Richard Conant (

Beverley Henry (

Bill Slattery (

Marco Fahmi ( )

ANDS Contact:

Mingfang Wu (

Project Status:


A Data Transformation and Model Calibration System for Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in Australian Ecosystems

Queensland University of Technology

Project Description

The Semaphore project helps soil scientists to use existing modelling tools (specifically DayCent and Century carbon and nitrogen modelling tools). DayCent and Century allow scientists to model cycling of greenhouse gases under different conditions, and Semaphore provides an interface to generate appropriate input and output files and digital curation and management of these files.

This is the first system of its kind to allow researchers to perform complex greenhouse gas modelling in a cloud environment, and to share the results and data input files with other researchers. The system also has the capability to easily incorporate new or updated modelling tools. These attributes have already made the system successful, as researchers involved in the project have testified.

Targeted user communities will gain an integrated system of tools for executing complicated greenhouse gas modelling tools, the ability to add new or updated tools as they become available, data management and curation, along with extensive collaboration and data sharing capabilities.

Research Champions:

Prof. Richard Conant (Institute for Sustainable Resources, QUT and Colorado State University)

Associate Prof. Beverley Henry (Institute for Sustainable Resources, QUT)

Data Type:

Input Data:
Carbon and nitrogen data and other biophysical and climatic data required for process modelling from Brigalow site
Carbon and nitrogen data and other biophysical and climatic data required for process modelling from Hermitage site
Collated datasets Carbon and nitrogen forecasts as predicted by the models

High Level Software Functionality:

Semaphore is a collection of tools to assist in (semi-)automating the process of modelling and analysing ecosystem dynamics using Australian data. The process involves data transformations, model execution and calibration, and result verification. The source code is available at GitHub repository:

The hightlight of Sempahore is a workflow management system that provides a web interface for user to manage and run experiments online. The workflow management system requires the execution service component contained in this repository. The source code for the workflow management system can be accessed from a GitHub repository:

Inside Semaphore

Component-wise, several Node.js modules have been developed as parts of this project. These modules can be re-used in other projects.

More information can be found in the project's blog