Senior Data and System Architect
Open access to data and publications
The current national and international efforts to reduce the cultural and technical barriers to opening up data form a key part of my role. I want to be part of a research world where data are available almost immediately after collection, in a form that is both well described and interoperable but that crucially allows for credit to be given to the individuals who collected, processed, analysed, quality assured, described and released the data. Dataset DOIs are a great start but there is so much more that we can do.
Standards for metadata, data and vocabularies
I have long been interested in the international standards that cover discovery metadata and the very many discipline-specific data standards that aim to facilitate interoperability. The UK Polar Data Centre is committed to the Directory Interchange Format (DIF) standard of NASA’s Global Change Master Directory but we also support ISO standards and are currently testing ISO19115-1. Standards compliant web services are another interest as is testing the software (mainly open-source) that deliver these services.
Marine geophysical survey
I have participated in a large number of research cruises in the Southern Ocean supporting the collection of a wide range of data but I have a particular interest in geophysical datasets and especially multibeam bathymetric data. I have processed and cleaned tens of thousands of hours of polar bathymetric data and made these available in a variety of formats for reuse by the community. I play a major role in a number of regional gridding efforts (e.g. the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean) and have co-authored several publications describing openly available bathymetric grids (see my publications tab).
The majority of my technical development work at BAS has involved the creation and maintenance of relational database models (usually Oracle) as well as interfaces for both data input and data discovery/download. A recent example is designing the database model that underpins the polar marine metadata project. This reuses database development work by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (a sister NERC data centre and key collaborator) and uses controlled keywords from the NERC vocabulary service for increased interoperability.
I believe that physical samples are also data and their long-term curation and management are just as important as the digital data we hold. I have managed projects to catalogue large portions of the polar rock and fossil collection hosted by BAS. These samples along with the other collections held by BAS on behalf of the polar community have a huge potential reuse value which can be realised at a fraction of the cost of their original collection.
I work on a large number of projects relating to the creation of data and information systems both for science and business purposes. These range from redeveloping the discovery metadata system to implementing a flexi-time recording system. I am a certified Prince2 practitioner and we use the Prince2 methodology on many projects but we also use Agile methods where appropriate especially with code development.
Owen M.J., Day S.J., Leat P.T, Tate A. J, Martin T.J. 2014. Control of sedimentation by active tectonics, glaciation and contourite-depositing currents in Endurance Basin, South Georgia. Global and Planetary Change 123, 323-343
Gales J.A., Leat P.T., Larter R.D., Kuhn G., Hillenbrand C-D, Graham A.G.C., Mitchell N.C., Tate A.J., Buys G.B., Jokat W. 2014. Large-scale submarine landslides, channel and gully systems on the southern Weddell Sea margin, Antarctica. Marine Geology 348, 73-87
Leat P.T., Day S.J, Tate A.J., Martin T.J., Owen M.J., Tappin D.R. 2013. Volcanic evolution of the South Sandwich volcanic arc, South Atlantic, from multibeam bathymetry. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 265, 60-77
Curtis M.L., Riley T. R., Michael J. Flowerdew M.J. and Tate, A. J. 2011. Short Note: The application and beneﬁts of digital geological mapping in Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 23, pp 387388 doi:10.1017/S095410201100023X
Leat P.T., Tate A.J., Tappin D.R., Day S.J., Owen M.J. 2010. Growth and mass wasting of volcanic centers in the northern South Sandwich arc, South Atlantic, revealed by new multibeam mapping. Marine Geology 275 (1), 110-126
Fretwell, P.T.; Tate, A.J., Deen, T.J., Belchier, M. 2009. Compilation of a new bathymetric dataset of South Georgia. Antarctic Science 171-174
Graham, A. G. C., Fretwell, P.T., Larter, R. D., Hodgson, D. A., Wilson C. K., Tate A. J., Morris, P. 2008. A new bathymetric compilation highlighting extensive paleo–ice sheet drainage on the continental shelf, South Georgia, sub-Antarctica, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q07011, doi:10.1029/2008GC001993.
Larter, Robert D., Hogan, Kelly A., Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter, Smith, James A., Batchelor, Christine L., Cartigny, Matthieu, Tate, Alex J., Kirkham, James D., Roseby, Zoë A., Kuhn, Gerhard, Graham, Alastair G.C., Dowdeswell, Julian A. (2019) Subglacial hydrological control on flow of an Antarctic Peninsula palaeo-ice stream. The Cryosphere, 13. 1583-1596. 10.5194/tc-13-1583-2019
Brasier, M, Grant, Susie, Trathan, Phil, Allcock, L, Ashford, O, Blagbrough, Hilary, Brandt, A, Danis, B, Downey, R, Eléaume, MP, Enderlein, Peter, Ghiglione, C, Hogg, Oliver, Linse, Katrin, Mackenzie, M, Moreau, C, Robinson, LF, Rodriguez, E, Spirdonov, V, Tate, Alexander, Taylor, M, Waller, C, Wiklund, H, Griffiths, Huw. (2018) Benthic biodiversity in the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area. Biodiversity, 19. 5-19. 10.1080/14888386.2018.1468821
Leat, Philip T., Fretwell, Peter T., Tate, Alex J., Larter, Robert D., Martin, Tara J., Smellie, John L., Jokat, Wilfred, Bohrmann, Gerhard. (2016) Bathymetry and geological setting of the South Sandwich Islands volcanic arc. Antarctic Science, 28. 293-303. 10.1017/S0954102016000043
Bohoyo, F., Larter, R.D., Galindo-Zaldivar, J., Leat, P.T., Maldonado, A., Tate, A.J., Gowland, E.J.M., Arndt, J.E., Dorschel, B., Kim, Y.D., Hong, J.K., Flexas, M.M., Lopez-Martinez, J., Maestro, A., Bermudez, O., Nitsche, F.O., Livermore, R.A., Riley, T.R.. (2016) Bathymetry and geological setting of the Drake Passage. BAS GEOMAP 2 Series. Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey.
Owen, Matthew J, Day, Simon J, Leat, Philip T, Tate, Alex J, Martin, Tara J. (2014) Control of sedimentation by active tectonics, glaciation and contourite-depositing currents in Endurance Basin, South Georgia. Global and Planetary Change, 123. 323-343. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.08.003
Leat, Philip T., Fretwell, Peter T., Tate, Alex J., Larter, Robert D., Martin, T.J., Smellie, J.K., Jokat, W., Bohrmann, G.. (2014) Bathymetry and geological setting of the South Sandwich Islands Volcanic Arc. BAS GEOMAP 2. Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey.
Gales, J.A., Leat, P.T., Larter, R.T., Kuhn, G., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Graham, A.G.C., Mitchell, N.D., Tate, A.J., Buys, G.B., Jokat, W.. (2014) Large-scale submarine landslides, channel and gully systems on the southern Weddell Sea margin, Antarctica. Marine Geology, 348. 73-87. 10.1016/j.margeo.2013.12.002
Leat, Philip T., Day, Simon J., Tate, Alex J., Martin, Tara J., Owen, Matthew J., Tappin, David R.. (2013) Volcanic evolution of the South Sandwich volcanic arc, South Atlantic, from multibeam bathymetry. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 265. 60-77. 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.08.013
Curtis, Michael L., Riley, Teal R., Flowerdew, Michael J., Tate, Alex. (2011) The application and benefits of digital geological mapping in Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 23. 387-388. 10.1017/S095410201100023X
Leat, Philip T., Tate, Alex J., Tappin, David R., Day, Simon J., Owen, Matthew J.. (2010) Growth and mass wasting of volcanic centers in the northern South Sandwich arc, South Atlantic, revealed by new multibeam mapping. Marine Geology, 275. 110-126. 10.1016/j.margeo.2010.05.001
Fretwell, P.T., Tate, Alex, Deen, Tara, Belchier, Mark. (2009) Compilation of a new bathymetric dataset of South Georgia. Antarctic Science, 21. 171-174. doi:10.1017/S0954102008001703
Wendt, Anke S., Vaughan, Alan P.M., Tate, Alexander. (2008) Metamorphic rocks in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Geological Magazine, 145. 655-676. 10.1017/S0016756808005050