WS01Innovative cloud-based tools for ecological modellingpre conf.scienceworkshopChantal HuijbersGriffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Parklands Drive, Southport QLD, Australia,

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL; and ecocloud ( to explore spatial biodiversity data and ecological models to understand the relationships between species and their environment.

These innovative tools provide easy access to global biodiversity, climate and environmental datasets integrated with a suite of analytical tools and linked to high-performance cloud computing infrastructure. These tools can be used in research, but also provide a great educational resource to introduce students to the concepts of data discovery and ecological modelling. The workshop will therefore be of interest to students, researchers and academics, but also to industry professionals working in environmental science and related subjects.

In the first half of this workshop participants will be introduced to the basic elements of species distribution models and climate change projections, including the data required to run the models, the differences across various model algorithms and how to appropriately interpret and evaluate the results of model outputs. Using the BCCVL, workshop participants will access global datasets to run a species distribution model and then project the results into the future using a climate change projection with a number of different emission scenarios.
The second part of the workshop will showcase ecocloud, a tool where users can access data and popular analytical tools such as RStudio in a cloud environment. ecocloud enables researchers to run large data analysis using the latest advances in digital technology from their own computer. In the workshop, we will guide users through some data visualisation and analyses R scripts using Jupyter Notebooks.

No complex coding/statistical knowledge is required. Just bring your laptop, and we'll provide access to a wealth of data and modelling tools.

ST02Biodiversity Data Quality - how it affects scienceconferencestandardssymposiumArthur ChapmanAustralian Biodiversity Information Services, Ballan, Victoria, Australiabiodiv_2@achapman.orgName: Antonio Saraiva, Email:, Affiliation: University of Sao Paulo, Country: Brazil Name: Paula Zermoglio, Email:, Affiliation: University of Buenos Aires, Country: Argentina Name: Lee Belbin, Email:, Affiliation: Atlas of Living Australia, Country: Australia

Data quality (DQ) remains a major concern in biodiversity informatics because end-users of these data rate the ‘quality’ of data as a primary concern in the re-use of data. This Symposium will look at how the quality of data is affecting the science and how negative effects may be rectified.

The distributed nature of data acquisition, the difficulties associated with adequately capturing the dimensions of taxonomy, space and time, make it mandatory to document data quality assessments and improvements so that those using the data know its applicability in their field of use or context. By documenting data quality-related processes, we hope that the negative impacts of data quality on biodiversity science can be reduced and that users of biodiversity data will have confidence in those data through the use of explicit selection criteria. We must ensure that the community is engaged to share and benefit from innovative ideas, methods and tools that are being developed to assess data quality for improved fitness-for-use.

WT03Workshop of the TDWG Task Group on Vocabularies of Valuespre conf.standardsworkshopPaula ZermoglioUniversity of Buenos Aires, Viamonte, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, B1053pzermoglio@gmail.comName: Arthur Chapman, Email:, Affiliation: TDWG Data Quality Interest Group, Country: Australia Name: Antonio Saraiva, Email:, Affiliation: University of Sao Paulo, Country: Brazil Name: Lee Belbin, Email:, Affiliation: Atlas of Living Australia, Country: Australia

The distributed nature of data acquisition and digitization, the difficulties imposed by some of the data sub-domains, such as taxonomy and geography, make it important to discuss ‘data quality’ in biodiversity so that data can be maximally re-used for the widest range of applications, such as education, science policy-development and decision-making. More than a third of the 103 ‘data quality’ tests developed by Data Quality Tests and Assertions Task Group of the TDWG Data Quality Interest Group, are dependent upon controlled vocabularies. It is for this reason that we initiated another Task Group (Task Group 4, “Vocabularies”) to establish a standard format for the preparation of Vocabularies of Values for the biodiversity data community. While there have been several initiatives in the Biodiversity Informatics community to develop tools and best practices relating to ‘data quality’ there has been no consensus related to how to build and distribute a vocabulary.

The goal of the workshop is to implement the format being developed for the preparation of vocabularies of value, to teach the vocabulary format, and to have people build a vocabulary following this format. We invite anyone with an interest in building vocabularies of values to participate in the workshop, as this will be an opportunity to meet face to face, resolve issues, and produce a draft vocabulary. The workshop will not be exclusively focused on the vocabularies already identified as needed, but will provide a working space for building any vocabulary of interest. This workshop will be a valuable opportunity to receive feedback on the proposed format and to test it in real-life applications.

ScheltemaExpo 12109.00-12.30
GT04Workshop of the TDWG Data Quality Interest Grouppre conf.standardsIG/TG/CMArthur ChapmanAustralian Biodiversity Information Services, Ballan, Victoria, Australiabiodiv_2@achapman.orgName: Antonio Saraiva, Email:, Affiliation: University of Sao Paulo, Country: Brazil Name: Paula Zermoglio, Email:, Affiliation: University of Buenos Aires, Country: Argentina Name: Lee Belbin, Email:, Affiliation: Atlas of Living Australia, Country: Australia Name: John Wieczorek, Email:, Affiliation: University of Berkeley, Country: USA

The goal of the workshop is to present the status of the four Biodiversity Data Quality (BDQ) Task Groups (TG) of this Interest Group: TG1 – BDQ Framework, TG2 – BDQ Tests and Assertions, TG3 – BDQ Use cases, and TG4 – Vocabularies of Values. We will focus on issues raised during the year which need to be evaluated by the group, and plan the required steps to increase participation of other stakeholders and develop appropriate TDWG standards and best practice in relation to ‘data quality’.

This will be a closed workshop on the Sunday prior to the main TDWG Conference.

The distributed nature of data acquisition and digitization, the difficulties imposed by some of the data sub-domains, such as taxonomy and geography, make it important to discuss ‘data quality’ in biodiversity so that data can be maximally re-used for the widest range of applications, such as education, science policy-development and decision-making.

The Data Quality Interest Group is a dynamic group, and the Sunday meetings are an opportunity for face-to-face work to resolve outstanding issues, and to help develop TDWG Standards related to Data Quality.

ST08More than Names : Identifying and Crediting People in Biodiversity DataconferencestandardssymposiumSimon ChagnouxMuséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Rue Cuvier, Paris, France, 75005chagnoux@mnhn.frName: David P. Shorthouse, Email:, Affiliation: Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Country: Canada Name: Anne E Thessen, Email:, Affiliation: Oregon State University, Corvallis, Country: USA

The biodiversity standards community has successfully developed robust data exchange formats for taxa and occurrences (= specimens and observations). However, they lack formal and granular ways to attribute these data to individuals and institutions. As these data records become more numerous, we are at risk of disenfranchising those who generate data - the collectors, taxonomists, authors of publications, determiners of specimens, curators and support staff at museums. There are untapped opportunities here to formally recognize their efforts and to engage new audiences.

The aim of this symposium is to express the scope of the current problem in data attribution, describe proactive and retroactive solutions that other communities such as librarians and Research Data Alliance (RDA) are actively developing, and to chart a path toward a professional attribution system in museum science.

SI10How does Wikimedia Solve the Problems of Biodiversity Informatics?conferenceinfrastructuresymposiumQuentin GroomBotanic Garden Meise, Nieuwelaan, Meise, Belgium,

Where does the world go to find information about biodiversity? There is a good chance the answer is Wikipedia and the Wikimedia family of projects. This open and fully internationalized environment is entirely created and funded by volunteers and delivers more than 16 billion page views per month across 264 languages (

With 134,000 active contributors just on the English language Wikipedia, it can safely be argued that this is the most open and international citizen science project in terms of usage, participants and languages. It has an irreplaceable role in formal and informal education and in the democratization of information globally. Furthermore, since 2012, Wikimedia has developed Wikidata with multilingual, public domain data.

This whole environment is a huge, but underutilized, opportunity for biodiversity informatics, not just to communicate our research, but also to pursue novel research and curate and link data globally. Wikidata has many potential uses in the life sciences (Mitraka et al. 2015). The Gene Wiki project has proven its value in annotating and curating genomic data (Burgstaller-Muehlbacher et al. 2016; Putman et al. 2017). The Scholia project is examining Wikidata’s use in scientometrics through citation networks (Nielsen et al. 2017). It is being used to examine scientific hypotheses on the causes of invasive species ( There is cross-pollination between iNaturalist and Wikidata where there are common interests ( It can even be used in the visualization and examination of science history (

Just like Wikimedia, biodiversity science is a multilingual, open, global endeavor with a strong volunteer component and, as such, they can benefit from a close collaboration. This symposium will explore different ways biodiversity scientists are using Wikimedia and what might be possible in this rapidly developing arena.

GT12Interest Group Meeting: Access to Biological Collection DataconferencestandardsIG/TG/CMMareike PetersenMuseum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germanymareike.petersen@mfn.berlinName: Jana Hoffmann, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Anton Güntsch, Email:, Affiliation: Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin Dahlem, Country: Germany Name: Walter Berendsohn, Email:, Affiliation: Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin Dahlem, Country: Germany

The TDWG Interest Group, Access to Biological Collection Data (ABCD), bundles the activities related to further developing, promoting and communicating the ABCD standard. In this meeting, we will highlight the recent developments related to ABCD and its Extension for Geosciences (EFG), give updates on ABCD 3.0 and discuss how to create synergies with the developments in other domain-specific standards.

ST13Enhancing taxonomic publications for dynamic data exchange and navigationconferencestandardssymposiumLaurence BenichouMuséum national d’Histoire naturelle / EJT / CETAF E-Publishing working grouplaurence.benichou@mnhn.frName: Agosti Donat, Email:, Affiliation: Plazi, Country: Switzerland Name: Gérard Isabelle, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Museum of Central Africa, Country: Belgium Name: Penev Luybomir , Email:, Affiliation: Pensoft, Country: Bulgary Name: Chester Chloë, Email:, Affiliation: Museum national d’Histoire naturelle / EJT, Country: France

Taxonomic publications are focused on expanding knowledge about the world's species. Taxonomic treatments are sub-article elements about a specific taxon and are required by the governing Codes to make new taxonomic names available. Treatments are highly structured with specific language, illustrations, and references to related matter such as previous treatments, collections, publications and material examined. The latter is in its best case a citation of the digital object of a physical specimen in a collection. Taxonomic publications are thus prime candidates for text and data mining to discover these elements and make them findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). The data contained within a publication can then be linked to the respective cited specimen and can be reused, as already done by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Anchored in FAIR and Open Access principles, this symposium aims to present the benefits of utilizing existing standards and identifiers as strategies for liberating the data contained within taxonomic publications. Using practical case studies (European Journal of Taxonomy, Pensoft ARPHA publishing platform), we will demonstrate how structured publishing and the Plazi workflow allow the extraction and dissemination of interoperable linked data, including from PDF-based publications, to build pertinent repositories (e.g. Biodiversity Literature Repository) and feed GBIF or the OpenBiodiv platform. Applications and analyses based on this increasingly available data will be presented.

As a conclusion to the symposium, a panel discussion will be conducted to explore the potential alternate metrics obtainable from such practices and ways in which these could be exploited to establish measurements for quality, scope and performance that are more relevant to our field.

SS14The role of Earth Science collections within biodiversity researchconferencesciencesymposiumJiri FrankNárodní muzeum, Vinohradská, Prague 1, Czechia, 110 00jiri_frank@nm.czName: Falko Glöckler, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde, Country: Germany

Earth Science collections, like Life Science collections, have an important role in biodiversity research as they provide evidence for the evolutionary history of organisms, as well as helping to understand the impacts of natural hazards, disasters, and environmental and climate change.

The general aim of this symposium is to discuss and present the importance of Earth Science collections in biodiversity research and other cross-disciplinary subjects. The symposium is related to the implementation of metadata standards, publication of collection data via data portals, tools for mapping the data and conducting quality checks discussed at the TDWG Paleo Interest Group meeting.

The symposium will be open for talks related to Earth Science collections and research with special focus on the following topics:

- The role and implementation of fossil taxa in the taxonomic backbone (e.g. Catalogue of Life) and the role of geochemical data in related platforms.

- Defining minimal, optimal and full requirements for data records in digitised Earth Science collections.

- Implementation and usage of existing metadata standards and controlled vocabularies for Earth Science collections.

- Data portals, search and presentation platforms for Earth Science collections access, research and outreach.

ST15Molecular biodiversity evidence in time and space: data linkages and standardsconferencestandardssymposiumJerry LanfearELIXIR Hub, South Building Wellcome Genome Campus Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD, UKjerry.lanfear@elixir-europe.orgName: Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Email:, Affiliation: HGF-MPG Group for Deep Sea Ecology and Technology Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung c/o Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Country: Germany
Name: James Macklin, Email:, Affiliation: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Country: Canada

Molecular methods - such as amplicon sequencing and metagenomics - have the potential to transform the way we assess biodiversity across space and time. Their ability to deliver insight on taxa which are largely invisible to traditional methods (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi etc), the sheer volume of deeply minable data they deliver and the falling costs of their application bolsters their great promise for future biodiversity studies and assessments. Indeed, the role of these methods in long-term and global monitoring efforts is steadily growing. However, there are several challenges in integrating this new wave of biodiversity data with more traditional data stores, especially at scale. Theoretical and technical mismatches between Linnaean and more ad hoc, operational naming conventions, differing data standards (e.g. Darwin Core vs. MIxS) and a constellation of often transient data management infrastructures all impede the harmonization of these vital resources. To address these challenges, a number of international efforts to interface and merge morphological and molecular biodiversity data, evidence, and standards have emerged. This session will capture the state of the art with these efforts, review key standards, identify future directions, and invite stakeholders to collaborate on future developments to bridge molecular and macro-scale biodiversity.

SP17Science Powered by Informatics – Connecting Policy Needs with Data Driven ScienceconferencepolicysymposiumAbby BensonUS Geological Survey, Federal Avenue, Denver, CO, USA,

Previously we brought the Biodiversity Information Standards community together to explore how current standards are being extended, and how new developments are occurring that support science and policy efforts. We want to continue to think bigger about bold steps to align Biodiversity Information Standards’ core mission with scientists and policy makers working on the cutting edge of environmental challenges. To do so, we need to dig deeper into the data and informatics challenges faced by policy makers.

Here we aim to explore connections between observations and indicators with a focus on policy-relevant uses for these connections. We invite speakers to address ways to build a reliable global biological change indicator, use biodiversity standards, tools, and extensions to address challenges in building indicators, or highlight previously impossible syntheses or analyses that have been made possible through the work of the Biodiversity Information Standards community.

WT18Using the checklist recipe to standardize data to Darwin Core using Rpre conf.standardsworkshopPeter DesmetResearch Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Brussels, Belgiumpeter.desmet@inbo.beName: Damiano Oldoni, Email:, Affiliation: Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Country: Belgium Name: Lien Reyserhove, Email:, Affiliation: Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Country: Belgium

Standardizing biodiversity data to Darwin Core can be hard. It often requires many tweaks to get it right. Want to minimize manual steps and make your data standardization repeatable, efficient and open? Then join this workshop on standardizing data to Darwin Core using R.

For this workshop we will make use of the “checklist recipe” (, a template GitHub repository for standardizing data, which won the 2018 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge. It contains all the ingredients to make your data standardization open, repeatable, customizable and documented. In this hands-on workshop we will teach you how to manage data, navigate a GitHub repository, transform data using functions from the R package “tidyverse” and “rgbif”, and document your code using RMarkdown. In the end you will have learned the necessary skills to write a mapping script for transforming source data into ready-to-publish Darwin Core data. A script that you can easily reuse for publishing updates or other datasets.

The recipe has considerably streamlined our own work to publish seven checklists on alien species for Belgium, which is one of the goals of the TrIAS (Tracking Invasive Alien Species, project, an open data-driven framework to support Belgian federal policy on invasive species. Even though the recipe was created for standardizing checklist data, it can be used for standardizing occurrence data as well.

Whether you are a novice wanting to work efficiently or seasoned data publisher eager to learn some new tools, this workshop will be an opportunity to improve your knowledge and encourage you to use R and GitHub as essential tools for data publication.

This workshop requires registration and is limited to 20 participants. Bring your laptop with RStudio (, open source edition) and GitHub Desktop ( installed.

ScheltemaExpo 02013.30-17.00
SS19Exploring biodiversity knowledge by ontologiesconferencesciencesymposiumMarkus KochSenckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany [institutional member of CETAF]markus.koch@senckenberg.deName: Christine Driller, Email:, Affiliation: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Country: Germany Name: István Mikó, Email:, Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, Country: USA Name: Matthew J. Yoder, Email:, Affiliation: Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, Country: USA

The representation of biodiversity data in ontologies has become a key asset for cross-domain applications beyond taxonomy, such as data mobilisation via text-mining and annotations, similarity analysis and phylogenetics among others. This symposium aims at bringing together both ontology and domain experts to present current progress in the design of ontologies and to discuss open problems and solutions with regard to best practices and application-based demands as well as future directions. Topics covered by the symposium include basic questions on class-based versus instance-based ontology construction, challenges posed by different data sources, terminology, and ontology mapping with regard to both semantic integration, interoperability and ontology alignment, and main provisions of assuring the reusability of domain knowledge as well as effective curation of ontologies. Case studies will consider any aspect of organismic diversity (taxa, phenotypes and genotypes) to highlight both the needs and opportunities for biodiversity research. With a broad set of topics related to the representation and availability of biological data in web-based language, this symposium especially aims at promoting the use of ontologies as the future standard for describing biodiversity.

SI20Semantic Annotation of Collection DataconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumAnton GüntschFreie Universität Berlin, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlina.guentsch@bgbm.orgName: Quentin Groom, Email:, Affiliation: Botanic Garden Meise, Country: Belgium Name: Roger Hyam, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Country: UK

The data associated with specimens are still too fragmented and poorly connected to fulfill the demands of science. Specific data are difficult to find and aggregate. Recently, Natural Science Collections have started to equip physical specimens with HTTP-URI-based identifiers in order to publish specimen information in the form of Linked Open Data (LOD). This constitutes an important move towards improved interoperability of collection data and can potentially boost a new generation of interdisciplinary scientific applications. However, to achieve true interoperability, collection data need to be enriched with links to semantic resources such as, representations of people (e.g. HUH - Harvard Index of Botanists,, literature (e.g. BHL - Biodiversity Heritage Library, and geographic entities (e.g. GeoNames, Finding and setting such links can be a time-consuming and costly process. Collections have therefore started to develop and test pragmatic workflows for setting semantic links in an efficient way.

In the symposium, new approaches and best practices for semantic annotations will be presented.

SI22DiSSCo as a model for regional development of collections infrastructureconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumWouter AddinkNaturalis/ DiSSCo, Vondellaan, Leiden, Nederland, 2332 AAwouter.addink@naturalis.nlName: Ana Casino, Email:, Affiliation: CETAF, Country: Belgium

DiSSCo is a new pan-European Research Infrastructure initiative of 21 European countries, which will transform the currently fragmented landscape of natural scientific collections in Europe into a coherent and responsive research infrastructure. It achieves the necessary preparations and construction through a series of DiSSCo-linked projects in combination with a EU-funded Preparatory Phase Project and Construction Phase Project. When operational in 2025, it will have established not only a technical infrastructure but also a legal entity and a governance structure with centralised coordination and national investments for effective operation.

The developed DiSSCo model will enhance digital skills and competencies and provide use-case-driven tooling to support researchers to navigate the data lake of heterogeneous and interlinked data derived from the 1.5 billion specimens in Europe. It will provide unified digital, physical and remote access to the collections and innovation-led science programmes jointly developed by 100+ European institutions. The newly formed Research Infrastructure will provide a stable and essential base for scientific research, education, and resource management and will position European natural science collections at the centre of data-driven scientific excellence and innovation in environmental research, climate change, food security, One Health and the bioeconomy.

The symposium will highlight the achievements in the DiSSCo-linked and DiSSCo-related projects: ICEDIG , Synthesys+, Catalogue of Life Plus and MOBILISE and how these are strategically aligned. It will provide space to discuss DiSSCo as a international model for regional development of collections infrastructure and how this model can contribute to the global alliance for biodiversity knowledge. Such an alliance is needed to achieve a “fully interconnected ecosystem of policies, data standards, processes, governance arrangements, software tools, informatics infrastructure investments and research programmes” as discussed in the GBIC2 conference in 2018.

WS24The coding club: how to share digital skills in a welcoming environmentconferencescienceworkshopStijn Van HoeyVITOstijn.vanhoey@vito.beName: Damiano Oldoni, Email:, Affiliation: INBO, Country: Belgium

Programming skills are becoming more important as research relies on larger data sets and manual data manipulation steps should be avoided to support reproducibility. However, many researchers lack the basic software and data management skills or are primarily self-taught coders. As the learning curve can be steep at the beginning and short-term project deadlines take priority, researchers are hesitant to start coding even though they realize the necessity and potential long-term benefits.

To overcome this reluctance, the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Coding Club unites all scientists of INBO and beyond who want to develop their programming skills in a pleasant and supportive environment to do research more effectively and reproducible. We focus on the R language and the scope is to manipulate and use biodiversity data to improve our data management skills and do research more efficiently.

Inspiration came from international initiatives such as The Carpentries and Our Coding Club at the University of Edinburgh. Similarly to these, the INBO Coding Club is based on the belief that “learning together” and feeling part of a broad community results in a better learning experience.

Whereas other initiatives use a teaching approach and organize workshops based on predefined tutorials, the INBO coding club starts from specific situations or challenges. By using challenges, the interaction among participants is encouraged. Discussing the solutions provide a valuable element, as learning from peers is an effective way of learning.

Based on our experience, we are convinced that other institutes could benefit from having a coding club as well. In this workshop, we will showcase our approach. The workshop is a hands-on session trying out the concept itself. Furthermore, time will be foreseen to discuss and share experiences on effective approaches to tackle the programming learning curve together.

WP26Contributing to a co-designed “Mission on Biodiversity” in the framework of Horizon EuropeconferencepolicyworkshopCarole PALECOMuseum of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier, Brussels, Belgium, 1000carole.paleco@naturalsciences.beName: Ana Casino, Email:, Affiliation: CETAF, Country: BE Name: Vanessa Demanoff, Email:, Affiliation: MNHN , Country: FR Name: Josefina Enfedaque, Email:, Affiliation: European Commission, Country: BE Name: Hilde Eggermont, Email:, Affiliation: BiodivERsA, Country: BE Name: Patricia Mergen, Email:,, Affiliation: Botanic Garden Meise / Royal Museum for Central Africa, Country: BE

The European Commission has created a new instrument for the next research Framework Programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027) embedded under pillar 2 Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness referred to as a “Mission”. Specific Missions are to be co‐designed with Member States, the European Parliament, and the stakeholders community, under a clear bottom-up approach where the involved communities have a strong say and express their direct commitment.

A Mission has to be cross‐disciplinary, with a clear EU added value. It has to be bold and inspirational, indicate a clear direction, be ambitious but realistic in research and innovation, spark activity across disciplines, sectors and actors, be open to multiple and bottom-up solutions. A Mission has to address the global sustainable development goals, be impact-oriented, and demonstrate their return to society.

Under this framework, the CETAF community would like to contribute to the  Mission with focusing clusters on Biodiversity & to a Partnership on Biodiversity with the contributions from as many organizations and stakeholders in the field as possible (including the European institutions, Commission and Parliament, and related organizations such as Bio-Bridge, IUBS, GBIF, IUCN). It constitutes an unprecedented opportunity to unite visions, resources and efforts shared by a wide range of interested parties when tackling jointly the loss of Biodiversity and the enhancement of its preservation in a sustainable manner.

The aim of this workshop is to give participants a better understanding of the potential roles and actions that could contribute to two new Horizon Europe tools: Missions and Partnerships. The participants of this workshop will have the opportunity to not only receive the latest information on the Partnerships and Missions linked to BBiodiversity but also to engage with representatives involved in these new programmes. It will be a unique occasion for active attendants to make their voices heard! 

A detailed programme can be found below:

11:00 – 12:00 Brief presentations setting the scene:

  • The European commission’s framework and mechanisms for a) the Missions and b) the Partnerships focusing on Biodiversity by Josefina Enfedaque, DG Research & Innovation, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
  • A Partnership on Biodiversity, building on the BiodivERsA network: objectives, timeline, actors to engage with by Henrik Lange, Vice Chair at BiodivERsA, IAS officer at Naturvårdsverket
  • The post-2020 global biodiversity framework: 2030 mission and 2050 vision" by Josefina Enfedaque, DG Research & Innovation, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources 
  • Proposals from the CETAF network to contribute to a “Mission Biodiversity” or the next Biodiversity Partnership ? By Ana Casino, CETAF Executive Director.  

12:00 – 12:10 Introduction to the group work

12:10 – 12:30 Discussions I - Missions & Biodiversity - round tables

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 14:00 Discussion II - A Partnership on Biodiversity - round tables

14:00 – 14:20 Feedback from Groups

14:20 – 14:50 Plenary discussion

14:50 – 15:00 Wrap up & Next steps



SI29GGBN – A global infrastructure for molecular research and collectionsconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumGabi Droegeg.droege@bgbm.orgName: Katie Barker, Email:, Affiliation: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, Country: USA Name: Jonas Astrin, Email:, Affiliation: Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Country: Germany Name: Ole Seberg, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Sølvgade 83, opg. S., DK-1307 Copenhagen, Country: Denmark

The Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN, was founded in 2011 to fill a critical gap in research infrastructure: standardized, legal access to samples for genetic research. Its core consists of searchable DNA and tissue collections of natural history museums and botanic gardens, along with those of culture collections, gene banks, zoological gardens, environmental samples, etc. These collections provide long-term storage and public access to material used for the breadth of molecular research. The GGBN Data Portal and the GGBN Data Standard have been developed as complementary tools to existing infrastructures such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and International Nucleotide Sequence Database (INSDC), by enabling standardized access to its member biorepositories and establishing cross links between underlying voucher specimens, sequence data and publications. Today two million sample data are available through GGBN – out of the approximately 12 to 15 million samples stored in GGBN’s collections. In addition, together with CETAF (, SPNHC (, TDWG ( and SYNTHESYS+ (, GGBN provides best practices for biorepositories on meeting the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS, regulations. With its standards and best practices for genetic collections, GGBN is creating a network of trusted collections.

Referencing molecular data of all kinds back to their physical sources – typically vouchers–and geographic origins is crucial with respect to the requirements of the Nagoya regulations and for observing good scientific practice.

In this symposium we will focus on the major challenges facing best practices for linking existing infrastructures dealing with molecular data and physical samples and explore solutions.

GT30GGBN – Interest Group MeetingconferencestandardsIG/TG/CMGabi DroegeBotanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Königin-Luise-Straße, Berlin, Deutschland, 14195g.droege@bgbm.orgName: Katie Barker, Email:, Affiliation: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, Country: USA

The recently founded TDWG Interest Group “GGBN” will meet to provide the current status of its work on a data standard for the documentation of environmental DNA and High-Throughput Screening (HTS) library samples. Attendees are invited to check the following documents carefully in advance and for a fruitful discussion.

SS31Quantification of biodiversity across scalesconferencesciencesymposiumNadia SoudzilovskaiaCML, Institute Of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University, The Netherlandsn.a.soudzilovskaia@cml.leidenuniv.nlName: Koos Biesmeijer, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Country: The Netherlands Name: Joris Timmermans, Email:, Affiliation: CML, Institute Of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University, Country: The Netherlands Name: Peter van Bodegom, Email:, Affiliation: CML, Institute Of Environmental Sciences, Leiden University, Country: The Netherlands

Scientific efforts to collect data on species presence, abundance and community assemblages delivered terabytes of data, providing an enormous potential for analyses of biodiversity dynamics. However, our understanding of quantitative patterns of biodiversity across spatial and temporal scales, as well as across different levels of ecosystem and phylogenetic organization is still in development. Such understanding is essential for both science, as it allows linking biodiversity metrics to environmental and evolutionary processes, as well as for policy makers, because we need quantitative biodiversity data to enable development of nature conservation policies and comply with landscape management directives.

The use of novel data collection and assembly methods, such as remote sensing, automated sampling techniques, and large databases opens new possibilities to obtain comprehensive biodiversity data that cover large geographical scales and temporal extents and at the same time feature high spatial and temporal resolution. Combining traditional data collection methods and these new tools re-enforces a rapid advancement of knowledge on quantitative biodiversity patterns across spatial and temporal scales and calls for new concepts and methods to understand these patterns as well as their biotic and abiotic drivers.

In this symposium we aim to have a series of solicited and submitted oral presentations on topics in relation to important aspects of quantitative analyses of biodiversity using big-data-driven research methods. We welcome talks on (i) quantitative understanding and linking biodiversity patterns and their drivers across geographical and temporal scales as well as across different levels of biological and ecological organization; (ii) exploring biodiversity concepts such as taxonomic vs. functional diversity, the use of alpha-beta-gamma diversity concepts in the framework of spatially continuous data; (iii) development and application of novel techniques, linking different types of observations (such as traditional sampling, remote sensing and automatized measurement stations) to ecosystem information in order to examine biodiversity dynamics.

GS32TDWG Technical Architecture Group (TAG) meetingconferencescienceIG/TG/CMPaul J. MorrisMuseum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA,

Meeting of the members of the TDWG Technical Architecture Group to discuss current technical issues concerning TDWG standards, including maintenance and delivery of TDWG standards, and to provide guidance on current issues for the TDWG executive. The target audience includes members of the TAG and the conveners of existing or potential new Task Groups. However, the meeting is open and other TDWG members are welcome.

SI33Improving access to hidden scientific data in the Biodiversity Heritage LibraryconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumConstance RinaldoErnst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA,
Martin R. Kalfatovic, Associate Director, Smithsonian Libraries |Program Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library, email:

This symposium will present examples of how the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) collaborates across the international consortium and with community partners around the world to help enhance access to the biodiversity literature. BHL’s collaborative approach, which encourages international partners and embraces local needs, has resulted in a strong and supportive global consortium. Literature repositories, particularly the BHL collections, have been recognized as critical to the global scientific community. BHL demonstrates that digital libraries are not merely repositories of scanned materials but active research hubs that advance international cooperation by being user-focused and interoperable. Biodiversity literature and archives are raw scientific data that provide analysis potential for users to answer a wide variety of research questions.

A diverse global user community propels BHL to develop access tools beyond the standard “title, author, subject” search. BHL utilizes the Global Names Recognition and Discovery (GNRD) service to identify taxonomic names within text rendered by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, enabling scientific name searches and creation of species-specific bibliographies, critical to systematics research. Unpublished field notes, correspondence and other materials deposited in BHL make it possible for researchers to connect historical information that is physically held in different member archives. As BHL is beginning to incorporate transcriptions for some of those materials, the data is also becoming increasingly accessible for the kinds of larger-scale analysis enabled by BHL’s full-text search capabilities and Application Program Interface (API) protocols. In addition to taxonomic name services already incorporated in BHL, the consortium has also begun exploring georeferencing strategies for better searching and potential connections with key biodiversity resources such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). With many different institutions around the world participating, the ability to work together virtually is critical for a seamless end product that meets the demands of the international community as well as the needs of local institutions.

GS34Meeting and Workshop of the Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum Interest GroupconferencescienceIG/TG/CMRobert MontoyaIndiana University Bloomington, S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN, USA, 47405montoya@indiana.eduName: Deborah Paul, Email:, Affiliation: iDigBio and Florida State University, Country: USA Name: Patricia Mergen, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Museum for Central Africa and Meise Botanic Garden, Country: BELGIUM Name: Gary Motz, Email:, Affiliation: Indiana University, Bloomington, Country: USA Name: Holly Little, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Laura Russell, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Secretariat, Country: Denmark Name: Dmitry Schigel, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Secretariat, Country: Denmark Name: Rebecca Snyder, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Anna Monfils, Email:, Affiliation: Central Michigan University & PI, BLUE project, Country: USA Name: Libby Ellwood, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Country: USA

The meeting is intended to serve two purposes, one general and one quite specific. The first portion of the meeting will be conducted as a workshop, entitled ‘Toward higher-level categories for a biodiversity curriculum’. These categories will then serve as the basic, foundational topics necessary in a well-rounded curriculum. The workshop has two main goals: (1) to identify target groups in this domain and the ongoing training opportunities currently offered, and (2) to identify a rough outline for how these disparate courses might be integrated into a clear and unified topic structure. Some of the identified target groups include, GBIF, the BioDATA project, GBIC2 global alliance for biodiversity knowledge, Indiana University’s Department of Information and Library Science, iDigBio, the Carpentries, Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) and the ForBio Research School in Biosystematics. The intention here is to fulfill one of the central mandates of our IG: to offer a “deeper understanding of the key principles of biodiversity informatics and synthesize the teaching curriculum for different target groups and credit levels in the field.” Target groups primarily include students and professionals who wish to expand their current knowledge sets Secondarily, this high-level framework can optionally be used by various global educational institutions to ensure that our collective efforts are coordinated to meet the central and future needs of the domain. This framework will build upon work already completed by the IG and set a firmer foundation for future activities, which will include seeking out funding to mobilize these efforts through publication and possible coordinated workshop and educational activities. Any articulated curriculum is intended to provide a broad foundation for biodiversity information work, including (but not necessarily limited to) the core areas identified by GBIF’s GBIO Framework including cultural-, data-, evidence-, and understanding-based elements.

The second portion of the meeting will serve to discuss Interest Group (IG) business, including the continued drafting of a collaborative white paper/article, discussion of possible training opportunities, and new business.

SP35Operationalizing Essential Biodiversity Variables: data integration, production and disseminationconferencepolicysymposiumRobert GuralnickFlorida Museum of Natural History, Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, USA, 32611rguralnick@flmnh.ufl.eduName: Daniel Kissling, Email:, Affiliation: University of Amsterdam, Country: Netherlands Name: Néstor Fernández, Email:, Affiliation: iDiv, Country: Germany

The Group on Earth Observations – Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) has the impetus to develop conceptual and technical approaches to the production of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). However, the ecological scientific community, as well as those who are responsible for acquiring, curating, publishing, processing and using heterogeneous biodiversity and ecological data must invest in supporting a systematic production and use of EBVs. Such information products should be applicable to any geographic area, covering time-period(s) of interest for detecting biodiversity change at policy-relevant time scales, with data that is held in any or multiple repositories, and produced by appropriately skilled persons anywhere in the world. Within constraints of specific data types, EBV information products should be harmonized and comparable at various scales from local to global and across time, such that they can be used to monitor and measure biodiversity change.

We propose a symposium session that intends to foster scientific and technical exchange and build communities of practice to support production, delivery, use, and sustainability of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) data products. We will showcase what has been done so far, and discuss principles and technical activities that support global coordination of biodiversity monitoring.
This session specifically aims to:
- Showcase the role and need for informatics to develop and support the production and delivery of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) information products at scales from local to global;
- Showcase approaches for utilizing and sustaining EBV information products and their adherence to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) principles.
- Provide recommendations for the production and dissemination of biodiversity observations under the EBV framework.

SI37Making long term ecological research data FAIRconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumFrancisco PandoReal Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Plaza de Murillo, Madrid, Spain, 28014pando@rjb.csic.esName: Francisco Bonet, Email:, Affiliation: University of Córdoba, Country: Spain

Long-term ecological research (LTER) is based on gathering time series of a broad spectrum of data elements aiming to get insights on how life functions and is organized on Earth, and the environmental processes associated with it. This stream of scientifically validated data is applied to investigate many different types of ecological questions and to respond to the environmental challenges the world faces now. In the context of this symposium, we consider "long-term data" as not only those projects that are “investigator-driven” and autonomous in design typical of many LTER sites, but also the more standardized, centrally controlled networks as exemplified by NEON.

The rise of data as a central piece in the science of the 21st-century (Hey et al. 2009), is being enabled and promoted by some key data repositories. These make data available to be reused for new ways of doing science and answering previously unresolved scientific questions.

Data repositories range from generic–those accepting many types of data and not enforcing standardization or integration (e.g., (–to special-purpose, deeply-integrated repositories (e.g.,, Implementing FAIR data principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016) of findability, accessibility, interoperability and reuse, allows greater data integration opportunities. While other life science data networks have implemented standardized data profiles, digital object identifiers (DOIs) for datasets and advanced filters for records, it is still very difficult to find such features in long-term ecological data repositories.

This symposium aims to present and discuss current efforts and ideas on how to make the transition from long-term FAIR ecological metadata to actual long-term FAIR ecological data from multiple points of view, e.g., technological, cultural, methodological.

WT38Names for Biodiversitypre conf.standardsworkshopNiels KlazengaRoyal Botanic Gardens Victoria/Atlas of Living Australia, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne Vic. 3004, Stan Blum, Email:, Affiliation: TDWG, Country: U.S.A. Name: Nico.Franz, Email:, Affiliation: Arizona State University, Country: U.S.A. Name: Jeff Gerbracht, Email:, Affiliation: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Country: U.S.A. Name: Rich Pyle, Email:, Affiliation: Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Country: U.S.A. Name: William Ulate, Email:, Affiliation: Missouri Botanical Garden, Country: U.S.A. Name: Greg Whitbread, Email:, Affiliation: Taxamatics, Country: Australia

Taxonomic names are an important part of any biodiversity data infrastructure and systematic handling of taxonomic names is essential for any meaningful integration of biodiversity data. Yet, the current TDWG standard for dealing with taxonomic names, the Taxonomic Concept Transfer Schema (TCS), is barely used and there are many non-standard implementations out there.

At the ‘Names for Biodiversity’ workshop at SPNHC/TDWG 2018 the Taxonomic Names and Concepts Interest Group (TNC-IG) was reconvened in order to promote the consolidation of handling of names in biodiversity data systems. First order of business for the TNC-IG is to come up with a replacement of TCS that better foresees in the needs for taxonomic names and concepts of the biodiversity data community and is compliant with the TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance and Standards Documentation Standards.

At this workshop we will present and review the draft new specification, as well as use cases and auxiliary documents. We will also discuss and prioritise further needs and create a work plan for the interest group for the coming year.

ScheltemaExpo 12113.30-17.00
SP39Increasing Opportunities to Align Data Initiatives for Bio/Geo CollectionsconferencepolicysymposiumVincent SmithNatural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 5BDvince@vsmith.infoName: Deborah Paul, Email:, Affiliation: iDigBio/Florida State University, Country: USA Name: Katja Seltmann, Email:, Affiliation: Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, University of California, Santa Barbara, Country: USA

A number of recent initiatives, often working at a country or continental level, are making huge strides in regional digitisation, aggregation and visualisation of collections data. Often the intellectual case, methodologies, organisational processes and impact of these programmes are very similar, differing only where regional needs demand a difference in priorities. This suggests that the geo-/bio-diversity informatics community is driving toward a common vision for community activities, and provides the means for less-resourced regions to highlight needs for local investment. But without international coordination, we risk duplicating effort, and subsequently struggle to build upon each other’s work.

Orchestrating cross-project and cross-border teamwork is difficult to coordinate with current funding models, making it difficult for us to agree on what to accomplish, by whom and how to sustain this work. This also requires an inclusive model of participation supporting small group innovation alongside the larger and more enduring organisations. We explore this challenge from the perspective of several major initiatives and the needs of participating communities. We aim to identify concrete steps toward building a loose coalition of organisations and initiatives that work together to identify an agreed work plan for the bio/geo-informatics community, and encourage participation in the coalition by individuals or groups from diverse sectors with innovative ideas. We ask contributors to outline priorities for practical areas of shared interest on topics such as:

- Shared data visualization and metrics of use / impact
- Producers and consumer needs for geo-/bio-diversity data
- Techniques for cross-institutional software development
- Shared authority file resources to improve data quality and speed of data mobilization
- Models for retaining opportunity for outside innovation, and new participation.

By highlighting best practice across domains, identifying community priorities and possible methods of working, we hope to advance the cooperation and coordination of the geo-/bio-diversity data communities.

GS40African Interest Group - Biodiversity and Sustainable DevelopmentconferencescienceIG/TG/CMIsayvani NaickerAfrican Academy of Sciences, Nairobi, Kenya,

This interest group meeting will convene the African participants of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the biodiversity sector at the biodiversity_next conference. We aim to foster systematic collaboration, advance resource mobilization and harness strategic advocacy and leadership for biodiversity information management. This meeting will be used to take forward the Global Biodiversity Information Observation framework objective to “align efforts across stakeholders in the African region to enable an integrated understanding of biodiversity."

WS41Fostering the taxonomic imperative: the opportunities and challenges of the 2050 biodiversity goalsconferencescienceworkshopMichelle PriceConservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genèvemichelle.price@ville-ge.chName: Thierry Bourgoin, Email:, Affiliation: Museum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, Country: France Name: Erik Smets, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Country: Netherlands Name: Jesús Muñoz, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Botanic Garden, Madrid, Country: Spain Name: Jiří Kvaček, Email:, Affiliation: National Museum, Prague, Country: Czech Republic Name: Nikolaj Scharff, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Country: Denmark Name: Vince Smith, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum, London, Country: UK Name: Ana Casino, Affiliation: CETAF, c/o Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Country: Belgium

Biodiversity is the living fabric of our planet and achieving its responsible, sustainable use is vital if we are to reach global development goals and conservation targets. Taxonomy is the science that deals with the discovery, naming and classifying of all living things, past and present. Defined in a broad sense, taxonomy encompasses the fundamental recognition and description of species (alpha taxonomy) through to establishing the relationships among living organisms in an evolutionary framework. Taxonomy thus underpins the understanding of biodiversity and yet funding for taxonomic research and support for institutions that hold natural history collections is continually brought into question. Drivers behind the establishment of research priorities, including their link with economic concerns and societal challenges, may be local, regional, national or even global in nature. To ensure relevance in a changing society, taxonomy and taxonomists need to respond both to intrinsic and extrinsic challenges. Data mobilisation of specimens from natural history collections and the move towards the development of a global biodiversity knowledge network are facilitating increased and more equitable access to digital data on specimens and species. Technological developments and innovations, especially in genetics and genomics, are also opening up new opportunities for integrative approaches to taxonomy, allowing scientists to interpret the living planet in new and exciting ways. The aim of the workshop is to outline how the community of taxonomists and natural history museums can work together to address the taxonomic imperative and ensure taxonomy remains central to the next generation of biodiversity scientists and to society.

ST43How can specialized data aggregators better integrate information? Is following Darwin Core enough?conferencestandardssymposiumAnnie SimpsonU.S Geological Survey Drive, Reston, VA, USA, 20191asimpson@usgs.govName: Gerald Guala, Email: Affiliation: US Geological Survey, Reston, VA, Country: USA.

Invasive species databases and other specialized biodiversity information systems are being called more and more to share their information with one another (Zeller et al. 2005; Holdren 2013). Because of differences in data content and database purpose, much information from smaller datasets can be lost during the integration process into larger databases such as BISON, iDigBio, GBIF, and others (Costello et al. 2013).

The effort required for cross-walking data fields and for modifying database structure to accommodate new information is significant (Diepenbroek et al. 2014). Darwin Core extensions have been, and continue to be, created to facilitate the sharing of specialized datasets (Byrd 2018). However, following the guidelines set out in these extensions can be insufficient when their structure leans toward the flexible vs. requiring the use of controlled terms.

Participants in this symposium will be encouraged to share examples -- both challenges and successes -- they have encountered during their efforts to combine specialized datasets.

WT44TDWG Paleo IG Workshop: Coordinating best practices for fossil specimen data mobilizationconferencestandardsworkshopHolly LittleSmithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA, 20560littleh@si.eduName: Talia Karim, Email:, Affiliation: University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Country: USA Name: Denne Reed, Email:, Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin, Country: USA Name: Falko Glöckler, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Mareike Petersen, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Jana Hoffmann, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Jiri Frank, Email:, Affiliation: National Museum Prague, Country: Czech Republic

Recent investigations into published paleontologic specimen datasets have shown a wide array of errors stemming from both issues in the original datasets and data ingestion algorithms run by aggregators. Fossil specimen records are unique in a variety of ways, most obviously in that they possess geologic time and lithostratigraphic components. Maybe less obviously, many taxa lack a fully described higher taxonomy due to uncertainty in their relationship to other taxa. The community also lacks a comprehensive digitally published taxonomic checklist that is regularly updated and maintained, making data ingestion on a global and multidisciplinary scale more complex. Furthermore, natural history collections house rocks and minerals as well. As these geological objects share a significant amount of requirements with paleo specimen records, a harmonized description of geoscientific collection objects needs to be established.

As a means to address these issues, various efforts are underway to evaluate current paleo data sharing practices and to examine how individual datasets are integrated into global aggregation portals. In order to improve the data and its discoverability at a global scale, it is necessary to establish a set of best practices for sharing these data. Working towards that goal, a better understanding of how existing standards (e.g., Darwin Core and ABCD) relate specifically to paleobiological data is required. How are paleobiological and geological data mapped to existing terms, how have existing terms been co-opted and not utilized in the officially defined manner, and where are there inconsistencies or lack of terms to support a fully robust record? A globally-informed discussion of these questions is necessary for development of better data sharing practices.

While many of these conversations have been happening on a local or regional scale, this session will provide an opportunity for a broader discussion on development of these standards. This work fulfills one of the main goals of the Paleo IG to “broaden the adoption of data standards and data management best practices within paleobiology by improving documentation, providing examples and simplifying the use of data standards.”

WS45pan-European Biodiversity Monitoringpre conf.scienceworkshopLivia SchäfflerZoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, Ana Casino, Email:, Affiliation: CETAF AISBL, Country: Belgium; Name: Karsten Gödderz, Email:, Affiliation: CETAF AISBL, Country: Belgium;
Name: Ittai Renan, Email:, Affiliation: Steinhardt Museum of Natural History/Hamaarag, Country: Israel; Name: Martin Husemann, Email:, Affiliation: Center of Natural History (CeNak)/ University of Hamburg, Country: Germany; Name:
Matthias Geiger, Email:, Affiliation: Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig ̶ Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Country: Germany; Name: Niklas Noll, Email:, Affiliation: Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig ̶ Leibniz
Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Country: Germany; Name: Wolfgang Wägele, Email:, Affiliation: Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig ̶ Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Country: Germany

Present-day accelerated biodiversity loss remains largely unrecognized as there is still a lack of comprehensive long-term monitoring systems. Available data from different sources and collected on various spatial and temporal scales can hardly be consolidated. In order to prevent human-induced
species extinctions, we need to consistently document biodiversity change over time and analyze determinants of population decline to finally be able to provide policy makers with evidence-based recommendations.
With our taxonomic expertise and modern technologies for species-based research united at the European level in CETAF, we founded the European biodiversity monitoring group to plan and implement a comprehensive pan-European program to be interlinked with established initiatives and

At the Biodiversity_Next conference, the CETAF BiodivMG will bring together taxonomists with important players from ecological research, representatives of global monitoring infrastructures and biodiversity conservation to establish fruitful inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations.
An integrative pan-European monitoring scheme requires the strategic zonation of Europe and selection of appropriate monitoring sites. With respect to observation methods we need to agree upon taxonomic groups to be covered and on feasible and affordable monitoring approaches. Co-design with ecological statisticians for the development of standardized methods will allow for meaningful data analyses.

Our workshop will consist of two sessions:
1. The first session is dedicated to the selection of appropriate sampling sites representative for the climatic zones and the variety of habitat types found in Europe.

Keynote speaker session 1:
a. Lucy Bastin (JRC Digital Observatory of Protected Areas) will talk about the use of remote sensing-derived products to complement field observations
b. Rob Jongman (Wageningen UR) will talk about the experiences in Europe with stratification of the environment and harmonization of in situ habitat information

2. The second session is dedicated to the development of a harmonised sampling scheme to monitor biodiversity across Europe, considering taxa that allow for answering scientific questions related to major anthropogenic pressures.

Keynote speaker session 2:
a. Paul Hebert (Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph) will talk on planetary bio-surveillance of terrestrial arthropods with standard sampling protocols and species identification by DNA barcodes: “TRACE: Tracking the Response of Arthropods to Changing Environments”
b. Caspar Hallman (Radboud University) will present “Biodiversity monitoring in Europe – past, present and possible future”

ScheltemaExpo 12009.00-12.30
SI46Biodiversity Virtual Research Environments: past, present & possible futuresconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumBen ScottNatural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 Vince Smith, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum, Country: UK Name: Urmas Kõljalg, Email:, Affiliation: Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Country: Estonia Name: Matt Yoder, Email:, Affiliation: University of Illinois, Country: USA

Within the biodiversity informatics community, Virtual Research Environments (VREs) are increasingly being used to support a more dynamic approach to collaborative working in systematics and taxonomy. Researchers who are not co-located are seeking to work dynamically together at various scales from local to international. These shared infrastructures are funded as VREs in Europe, Virtual Laboratories (VLs) in Australia and Science Gateways (SGs) in the USA and all have similar objectives. Many of these systems support biodiversity informatics activities (e.g. Scratchpads, PlutoF, Taxonworks and Linnaeus) and were developed for very specific communities with little or no capability for interoperability between them, for the purposes of exchanging research assets/objects (e.g., data, workflows, results, etc.) or enabling the sharing of data, tools, services or resources. This symposium will discuss the successes and challenges of these platforms and examine some exemplar systems. We will also explore the functional overlap with collection management systems and data aggregators/portals, which are increasingly incorporating VRE-like data management functionality but are constrained by restrictions on the communities using them and/or the scope of data they hold. Shared development of VREs is hampered by the diversity of technologies that underpin these systems and current funding frameworks that make it difficult to build a sustainable long-term approach to their development. By bringing together all stakeholders for biodiversity VREs we seek to:

1) Raise awareness of existing solutions and discuss extensions to support wider uptake.
2) Discuss the skills and funding needed for creating and sustaining VREs/SGs/VLs.
3) Better coordinate efforts in developing and sustaining these systems, by working toward a set of common technological development principles for VRE developers.

As part of this symposium and panel discussion, we will also include representatives from outside the biodiversity community who are developing cross-domain systems.

SS47Advancing biodiversity research through artificial intelligenceconferencesciencesymposiumLaurens HogewegNaturalis Biodiversity Center, Darwinweg, Leiden, Nederland, 2333 CRlaurens.hogeweg@naturalis.nlName: Wilfred Gerritsen, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis, Country: Netherlands Name: Sander Pieterse, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis, Country: Netherlands Name: Timo Roeke, Email:, Affiliation:, Country: Netherlands Name: Willem-Pier Vellinga, Email:, Affiliation: Xeno-canto Foundation For Nature Sounds, Country: Netherlands

The increasing abundance of biodiversity data supported by multimedia (images, video, audio), either from natural history museum collections or observational data offers challenges, but also new opportunities, for biodiversity research. Recent years have seen a massive increase in the ability of automatic recognition, based on data-intensive deep learning methods, to perform automated classification of multimedia. Last year saw a rise of exploratory initiatives around the world, which have shown great potential of automation of species identification. It seems to be clear that these methods are getting ready to support all kinds of aspects of biodiversity research: enriching and opening up digital collections, developing improved tools to support and stimulate citizen scientists to contribute even more, continuous monitoring through smart traps, supporting taxonomists’ workflows, improving educational software, etc. On the other hand there are many open questions, such as how to use machine predictions in practical applications, ensuring data quality, creating interoperability standards, and the sharing of data, models, and tools. Also deeper questions come up such as the question whether moving part of the knowledge from people to artificial intelligence makes a positive contribution to research (and the researcher) in all cases. For example, the ability of automated methods to explain their decisions is an important topic, but also far from solved.

This symposium invites researchers to show their work in the area of supporting biodiversity research with machine learning methods, but we also specifically welcome speakers to put forward critical notes or present their unaddressed research questions on this topic.

SI49Living Atlases Community of PracticeconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumAnne-Sophie ArchambeauIRD - UMS PatriNat - GBIF Francearchambeau@gbif.frName: Cristina Villaverde, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Botanic Garden - CSIC - GBIF Spain, Country: Spain Name: Rui Figueira, Email:, Affiliation: CIBIO/InBio - Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto - Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Country: Portugal Name: Tim Robertson, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Name: Andrea Ferreira Portela Nunes, Email:, Affiliation: Secretariat of Research and Developmento Policies and Programs Ministry of Science, Technology, innovations and communications, Country: Brazil Name: David Martin, Email:, Affiliation: CSIRO - Atlas of Living Australia, Country: Australia Name: Anders Telenius, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Sweden - Swedish Museum of Natural History , Country: Sweden Name: Carole Sinou, Email:, Affiliation: Canadensys, Country: Canada Name: Marie-Elise Lecoq, Email:, Affiliation: VertNet, Country: USA

As data publishers share more and more data to GBIF, a national need for data portals has increased around the informatics and biodiversity network. In this context, the Australian GBIF node (Atlas of Living Australia) and INBio in Costa Rica made the first partnership in 2013 to create a national data portal based on the ALA tools ( This was the start of the international and technical community that grows around this platform.

After 5 years, the community put in production 14 data portals (several more are under development), organized several technical workshops, presented the community through symposia or single presentations in several international conferences (GEO BON, TDWG, GBIF Governing Board, etc.), and launched its website ( During the GBIF Governing Board 2018, a discussion started to work on the development of a Living Atlas Community of Practice (CoP).

The main goals of this CoP, among others, are to better align software codebases in use across the GBIF network (including, as well as supporting the development of the Living Atlas platform through an open-source shared model, assisting individual countries and thematic groups in the adoption of Living Atlas and developing and maintaining training, documentation and support services.

During this symposium, we would like to officially launch the Living Atlases CoP and present the roadmap and the long-term vision for the Living Atlases platform, including its potential to provide services on biodiversity information, not only within GBIF network, but also for other research infrastructure facilities on biodiversity or environment.

WI50Accessing knowledge from legacy biodiversity literatureconferenceinfrastructureworkshopChristine DrillerSenckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Institutional Member of CETAF)
  • Name: Giuseppe Abrami, Email:, Affiliation: Text-technology Lab, Goethe University Frankfurt, Country: Germany
  • Name: Markus Koch, Email:, Affiliation: Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Country: Germany
  • Name: Gerwin Kasperek, Email:, Affiliation: University Library J.C. Senckenberg, Country: Germany
  • Name: Adrian Pachzelt, Email:, Affiliation: University Library J.C. Senckenberg, Country: Germany
  • Name: Alexander Mehler, Email:, Affiliation: Text-technology Lab, Goethe University Frankfurt, Country: Germany

The workshop aims to share the technological developments from the Specialised Information Service for Biodiversity Research (BIOfid). The BIOfid team will introduce the participants to the easy accessibility and fast exploitation of data trapped within legacy biodiversity literature.
Furthermore, we want to foster the dialogue between the participants and our team to feed back researchers' demands and requirements into the further development of the BIOfid tools.
The workshop addresses scientists working on all data-intensive aspects of biodiversity research and comprises three sections:

1. An introduction into the BIOfid web portal enabling fast and easy access to literature, facts, and concepts extracted from historical texts through a visual interface.
2. Participants will utilise state-of-the-art, easy-to-use Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools, e.g. deep learning of text content. We will analyse large text corpora automatically to extract knowledge and to link it to established ontologies and knowledge bases. Participants are invited
to bring a selection of own texts to explore them with our methods.
3. The BIOfid team supports the participants in establishing custom workflows in order to perform all stages from source materials to processable texts and thus to achieve the best results through the BIOfid methods.

In all sections, the participants will learn how the BIOfid team overcame diverse challenges in regard to data quality, text recognition, information extraction and linking. Making knowledge and data from legacy biodiversity literature available is the main goal of BIOfid. Hence, we gather the expertise of biologists and computer scientists to give biodiversity researchers a gateway into the data of historical biodiversity literature and to supply them with high-quality tools for text mining. The current focus of the project is Central European literature (primarily in German) about three taxonomic groups: vascular plants, birds, as well as moths and butterflies.

For active participation, please bring your own laptop with the latest web browser versions of Chrome or Firefox and, if possible, an XML editor installed.

GT51TDWG Collection Descriptions Data Standards Task Group meetingconferencestandardsIG/TG/CMMatt WoodburnNatural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 Matt Woodburn, Email:, Affiliation: NHM, Country: UK Name: Deborah Paul, Email:, Affiliation: iDigBio, Country: USA

As a global community of scientific collections, we need a core vocabulary that describes the collections themselves, not the published datasets. We need to be able to use the published dataset metrics together with collections-level metadata and metrics in order to make meaningful comparisons across collections (e.g. what’s unique about a particular collection, or where are the taxonomic and geographical gaps). These data are especially critical for discovering collections that are not yet publishing their specimen data anywhere. There are valuable collections that have no information stored in a database and many do not have a presence on the Internet.

The TDWG Collections Descriptions (CD) Data Standard Task Group aims to provide a data standard for describing natural scientific collections facilitating 1) automated metrics using standardised collection descriptions and/or data derived from specimen datasets (e.g. counts of specimens) and 2) a global registry of physical collections (either digitised or non-digitised).

Some current stakeholders asking for such a standard include GBIF, DiSSCo, CETAF, SYNTHESYS+, ICEDIG, MOBILISE, and iDigBio. biodiversity_next provides an excellent opportunity to discuss progress and draft outputs with the stakeholders, as we approach the end of the task group’s first year.

This will be a working meeting for the group to 1) share results from in-person meetings we plan to have with stakeholders, and 2) review progress on project tasks, plan next steps, and update group documentation.

WS53Using NEON samples and data in biodiversity researchpre conf.scienceworkshopChristine LaneyNational Ecological Observatory Network, Battelle, 38th Street, Boulder, CO, USA, 80301laney@battelle.orgName: Nico Franz, Email:, Affiliation: Arizona State University, Country: USA Name: Ed Gilbert, Email:, Affiliation: Arizona State University, Country: USA Name: Katherine LeVan, Email:, Affiliation: National Ecological Observatory Network, Battelle, Country: USA Name: Katherine Thibault, Email:, Affiliation: National Ecological Observatory Network, Country: USA

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON; is a unique environmental observation facility that characterizes and quantifies ecological change in the United States. NEON has deployed a strategic, standardized, and community-vetted sampling and monitoring system across 81 field sites. In addition to instrument-based monitoring from a complex array of terrestrial, aquatic, and airborne sensors, NEON carries out a rigorous set of field observation protocols, many of which include sampling. Approximately 100,000 samples are generated per year. Archived samples include tissue samples (fish and small mammals), whole organisms (e.g., beetles and ticks), and DNA extracts from both. Soil, water, and deposition material are collected for characterization and chemical analyses, as well as for eDNA and microbial studies. All samples are available by request and data are free and open via NEON’s system of web portals; including the primary NEON data portal ( and the emerging, Symbiota-based NEON Biorepository data portal. In this workshop, we will explore:

* The range of samples that NEON produces, with a particular focus on organismal samples
* Examples or use cases of how some researchers are using NEON samples
* Information about the NEON Biorepository facility at Arizona State University (ASU), and how to request access to samples or the facility
* An overview of NEON’s sample and data collection, processing, and archival pipelines
* Metadata standards and data exchange protocols used by both facilities, including Darwin Core, ABCD, and others
* How to access NEON data, including programmatic tools for data mining and formatting

This workshop will be discussion- and use case-driven, with some live demonstrations of the NEON data portals. Numerous representatives from NEON and ASU will be present to answer questions and promote the usage of the NEON infrastructure, samples, and data to advance our knowledge and learning of continental-scale biodiversity trends.

ScheltemaExpo 12013.30-15.00
SI55Federated Infrastructures for Sustainable Biodiversity Data ManagementconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumBirgitta König-RiesFriedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena Fakultät für Mathematik u. Informatik, Ernst-Abbe-Platz, Jena, Deutschland, 07743birgitta.koenig-ries@uni-jena.deName: Anne-Sophie Archambeau, Email:, Affiliation: French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, Country: France Name: Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, Email:, Affiliation: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Country: Israel Name: Edward Gilbert, Email:, Affiliation: Arizona State University, Country: USA Name: Corinna Gries, Email:, Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Country: USA Name: Dagmar Triebel, Email:, Affiliation: Bavarian Natural History Collections, Country: Germany

Over the last decades, and primarily in the last few years, a number of large national and international biodiversity data infrastructures have been established. These include GBIF, LTER, BHL, iDigBio with SEINet-Symbiota, Living Atlasses and GFBio.

They provide stable service platforms for safeguarding and/or accessing data. All of these initiatives face similar challenges: They rely on distributed, often decentralised data repositories for data preservation and archiving and have to implement complex procedures and pipelines to manage data exchange among the central platform and the data repositories as well as between the single decentralised repositories. Furthermore, they need to support data curation, transformation, archiving and publication. Similar to this, data repositories have to be prepared to fulfill changing technical requirements, standards and guidelines of both the users and central platforms they contribute to.

With this symposium, we want to attract data experts from federated biodiversity data infrastructures. For the session, we invite talks that discuss approaches to align distributed data repositories with common metadata collections, ontologies, terminologies, agreed data standards and archiving concepts. The need for domain- (and platform-) specific metadata registries might be addressed as well as issues of data quality, data filtering and transformation from the perspective of large data repositories.

We envision this session as an opportunity for the projects and data repositories to learn from each other. This would be a first step towards sharing experiences and knowledge among these initiatives and to identifying areas for bilateral collaborations.

WS57Promoting natural history collections for understanding biodiversity and biodiversity changeconferencescienceworkshopJean-Denis VigneNational Museum of Natural History, Rue Cuvier, Paris, France, 75005vigne@mnhn.frName: Michelle Price, Email:, Affiliation: Chair of the CETAF, Head of Science, Conservatory and Botanical Garden of the City of Geneva, , Country: Switzerland Name: Michel Guiraud, Email:, Affiliation: MNHN, Director of the Collections in the French National Natural History Museum, Paris, Country: France Name: Jian-Sheng Sun, Email:, Affiliation: MNHN, Director of the Department “Life adaptation” of the French National Natural History Museum, Paris, Country: France Name: Christoph Häuser, Email:, Affiliation: Deputy Director General of the Naturkunde Museum Berlin, Country: Germany

There are more than one billion natural science specimens in collections in natural history museums throughout the world. They are an invaluable source of information about biological diversity, since the origins of life on Earth. The geological and paleontological collections as well as the bio-archaeological collections, describe past biodiversity and its evolution over different time scales. The biological specimens collected over the last three centuries from across the globe allow us to understand biodiversity and biodiversity trends over time, but especially the rate of acceleration of the biodiversity loss in recent times. This workshop is a contribution from the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) that proposes to examine how to better promote the potential of collections for contributing to discover and inventory of biodiversity in new ways, to develop a better understanding of biodiversity dynamics from the molecules to communities, and contribute to decelerating biodiversity erosion. In this context, the development of large-scale collaborative projects for the scientific study of collections using integrative taxonomy and modern approaches to data analysis can be explored alongside the contribution of large-scale natural history collection data mobilisation and aggregation efforts. The workshop aims to produce a final manifesto on the role of collections in understanding biodiversity and biodiversity change, for consumption by stakeholders, in particular the international and national agencies and organizations concerned by global change.

WT59Advancing citizen science data quality, quality assurance, and quality controlconferencestandardsworkshopLibby EllwoodThe La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 90036ellwoodlibby@gmail.comName: Rob Stevenson, Email:, Affiliation: University of Massachusetts Boston, Country: USA Name: Peter Brenton, Email:, Affiliation: CSIRO, Country: Australia Name: Quentin Groom, Email:, Affiliation: Botanic Garden Meise, Country: Belgium Name: Lucy Bastin, Email:, Affiliation: European Commission, Country: Italy Name: Sven Schade, Email:, Affiliation: European Commission, Country: Italy Name: Luigi Ceccaroni, Email:, Affiliation: Earthwatch Europe, Country: UK

This workshop is hosted by the Citizen Science Interest Group. It will begin with information about the current state of citizen science data standards and workflows. We will then devote time to work on products and resources focused on ensuring high-quality data from citizen science projects. Topics to be covered and outcomes will be flexible to participants’ preferences though are likely to include:

1) The penetration of standards implementation into the citizen science space – issues, impediments, methods, etc.;
2)  What is important to capture, why and for the benefit of whom?;
3)  Different approaches to managing data quality and quality assurance/control/QC in citizen science – what works best and how to optimize for maximum impact and benefit;
4)  What approaches can the biodiversity_next community employ to support or improve outcomes for/from improvements in citizen science data and metadata definition and standardization?

ST60World Catalogue of Collections – describing and assessing collections for identifying relevant gapsconferencestandardssymposiumMareike PetersenMuseum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germanymareike.petersen@mfn.berlinName: Frederik Berger, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Matt Woodburn, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum, Country: UK Name: Niels Raes, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Country: Netherlands

In recent years, natural history museums have started to invest considerable resources in a detailed assessment and description of their scientific collections. Several initiatives seek to effectively and collectively quantify and qualify specimen collections held in natural history institutions worldwide (Smith et al. New light on collections) . While these initiatives differ slightly in terms of scope and focus, they all share a common vision of better understanding the availability and distribution of natural history heritage globally. At present, only a small percentage of the more than 1.5 billion objects and specimens from natural history collections worldwide are available online. Ongoing national and international digitization projects and the development of research infrastructures like the Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) will create new opportunities to access and use these unique resources. For the planning and prioritizing of related digitization projects, a description of collections at some detail is of crucial importance. It will enable museums and research institutions to share efforts and resources towards a common goal of a “World Collection Catalogue”, which allows the identification of existing gaps in taxonomic and geographic coverage.

The overall goal of the proposed symposium will be to develop a more standardized way to describe, assess and quantify collections. It aims at bringing together existing initiatives and methods used to describe collections at institutional, regional, national and international levels. On the one hand, participants will have the opportunity to share experiences and to introduce tools as well as relevant expertise for approaching this challenge. On the other hand, smaller institutions or those with more limited resources will benefit from exchanging knowledge on already established processes and common standards. The outcome of this symposium shall be made openly available and provide a reliable base of use cases, that help groups such as TDWG's Collections Description Interest Group, involved in standardizing and harmonizing collections descriptions.

WS61Biodiversity Informatics 101: Preparing for Biodiversity_Next and Beyondpre conf.scienceworkshopHolly LittleSmithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA, 20560littleh@si.eduName: Deborah Paul, Email:, Affiliation: iDigBio, Country: USA Name: Laura Russell, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Secretariat, Country: Denmark

More and more biodiversity data are coming online everyday and give all of us new opportunities to engage whether it is through data mobilization, data use in research and education, software design, policy development, etc. Exciting projects, programs, and new methods too, expand on what we can and will be able to do with these data. But, getting started and keeping up with trends and activities in biodiversity informatics can be overwhelming. Biodiversity Informatics 101 offers a fun, carefully curated event to help participants get started or expand and share their current experience with others. Topics covered result from a strategic review across the bio/geodiversity community. Focus will be on subjects critical to understanding of material to be presented at biodiversity_next, and crucial to an individual’s needs for interacting with biodiversity data and the relevant communities - no matter one’s role. Course content delivery will include, lecture, discussion, and hands-on sections. Expect a diverse audience designed to help us all share insights into the needs of our broader network and the expertise and opportunities available.

WT65Authority Management of People Names (a working meeting)pre conf.standardsworkshopQuentin GroomBotanic Garden Meise, Nieuwelaan, Meise, Belgium, 1860quentin.groom@plantentuinmeise.beName: Elspeth Haston, Email:, Affiliation: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Country: United Kingdom Name: Anton Güntsch, Email:, Affiliation: Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Country: Germany Name: Nicole Kearney, Email:, Affiliation: Biodiversity Heritage Library, Country: Australia Name: Simon Chagnoux, Email:, Affiliation: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, Country: France Name: David P. Shorthouse, Email:, Affiliation: Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Country: Canada Name: Anne E Thessen, Email:, Affiliation: Oregon State University, Corvallis, Country: USA

Resolving the ambiguities in correctly assigning people's names in biodiversity informatics is a big problem. A solution would allow us to link biographical, collection and publication data together seamlessly. Internationally, many initiatives are making progress on this including ORCID, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, Wikidata, Virtual International Authority File (VIAF), International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), etc. The European COST Action Mobilise will run a workshop in March 2019 on Authority Management of People Names. The goal is to improve the linkage of biographical information within biodiversity informatics – to make it easier to link specimen and authorship data with personal identities, publications and scientific names. Owing to the funding and location of the Mobilise meeting, the participants will be largely European. However, this is a global problem that requires a global solution. We therefore propose a pre-conference workshop to biodiversity_next, which will communicate and extend the progress and actions arising from the Mobilise workshop. This will be a working meeting drawing upon international expertise in this field with international outcomes.

Intended outcomes
1. A common approach among collection organizations for identifying people
2. International standards for person identifiers (that are unique, permanent and persistent)
3. A new TDWG task group on data standards for person identifiers under the Attribution Interest Group

ScheltemaExpo 02109.00-17.00
SI67Digitisation NextconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumHelen HardyNatural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 Laurence Livermore, Email:, Affiliation: NHM London, Country: UK Name: Elspeth Haston, Email:, Affiliation: RBGE, Country: UK Name: Deb Paul, Email: dpaul@FSU.EDU, Affiliation: FSU, Country: USA Name: Hannu Saarenmaa, Email:, Affiliation: LUOMUS, Country: Finland Name: Agnes Wijers, Email:, Affiliation: Picturae, Country: Netherlands

With so many collections embracing the challenges of digitisation, there is a constant need to share progress and learn from each other. This symposium aims to showcase and discuss some key areas of development, including:

* Integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning into digitisation, to automate data extraction from images of specimens and labels at scale and speed;
* New and improved digitisation and data capture workflows, including new approaches for pinned insects; use of barcodes to automate capture of key data; and lessons learned from crowdsourcing data transcription;
* Ways to measure and demonstrate the costs and impact of digitised collections, to support data-driven decision making and to make the case for the next stages of policy and infrastructure investment;
* Understanding the cultural change required in our organisations, including training, policies and processes for digitisation;

* Considering how to include private collections in biodiversity and digitisation initiatives at different scales - from local to global;
* Addressing the need for more effective dissemination of workflows, progress and ideas outside of focused communities, projects and meetings.

This symposium supports the Conference aims of promoting innovation, sharing best practice, and building community consensus and the shared evidence base to move forward. As virtual access to collections continues to grow in importance, it will help the community to consider the opportunities and challenges raised by an ‘on-demand’ approach, while ensuring the continued generation of data to support new and existing research paradigms to unlock answers to the huge challenges facing humanity and the planet.therlands

SI68The World Flora Online – Creating a Research Infrastructure of global integrated data for all plantsconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumChuck MillerVP-IT & CIO, Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63110chuck.miller@mobot.orgName: Walter Berendsohn, Email:, Affiliation: Head, Department of Research and Biodiversity Informatics, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Country: Germany

The World Flora Online (WFO) project was initiated in 2012 in response to Target 1 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) – "To create an online flora of all known plants by 2020". The WFO Consortium now comprises 42 international partners working collaboratively to create the Research Infrastructure (RI) to accomplish Target 1. The WFO portal ( was launched in 2017, initially populated with a taxonomic backbone of information gathered from The Plant List, then augmented by newer taxonomic sources like Solanaceae Source. Now, WFO has organized to engage new global plant Taxonomic Expert Networks (TENs) to modernize the backbone. WFO is also accelerating ingestion of descriptive data from digital floras and monographs, as well as IUCN threat assessments and trait data. A new RI is being created to enable collaboration by the international cadre of TENs to manage the taxonomic backbone. Descriptive data from floras, such as text descriptions, images, geographic distributions, keys, and trait data are added to the backbone. Descriptive items for more than 200,000 species have been quality checked, standardized and integrated into WFO’s initial RI from sources like Flora of Brazil, Flora of China, and many others. The WFO will be utilized by the international botanical and conservation communities to enable 15 additional GSPC Targets affecting local and international policies. Work is underway to build the semi-automated workflows necessary to efficiently pull together the work of the TENs and digital floras and monographs into a single source that can be utilized by the countries implementing policies to achieve the GSPC. This symposium will assemble six presentations on Science (scientific tools for data curation), Infrastructure (interoperability framework, data quality, long term sustainability, uses cases) and Policy and International Collaboration (international activities, RI coordination, data-driven tools, policy-making).

ST69Machine Observations Interest Group: A first dive into Darwin Core for exchanging biologging dataconferencestandardssymposiumPeggy NewmanAtlas of Living Australia, Melbourne Museum, Victoria Australiapeggydnewman@gmail.comName: Peter Desmet, Email:, Affiliation: INBO, Country: Belgium Name: Damiano Oldoni, Email:, Affiliation: INBO, Country: Belgium

TDWG has recently ratified a new Machine Observations Interest Group to explore and document data exchange formats, modeling methods, and publication and archiving strategies for machine observations. This Interest Group was initially formed as an umbrella group to address a well-defined problem documenting best practice guidelines for the application of Darwin Core to bio-logging data.  

In this symposium we seek contributions on issues and experiences related to machine observation data exchange. While the initial group has formed through common objectives for animal-borne sensors, other data formats and interoperability requirements are developing for scenarios where sensors may not necessarily be attached to the animal. Projects are now commonplace using camera traps, video, acoustic recordings, and species identification via machine learning techniques, each of which present new challenges for data standardisation and interoperability.

SP70Access & Benefit-Sharing, Digital Sequence Information and Biodiversity Data allaying for CBD goalsconferencepolicysymposiumAnne NivartMuséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Rue Buffon, Paris, France,
Name: Chris Lyal, Email:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum, London, Country: United Kingdom
Name: Hendrik Segers, Email, Affiliation: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Country: Belgium
Name: Peter Giere, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde, Country: Germany
Name: Dirk Neuman, Email:, Affiliation: Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Country: Germany

Many countries implementing the (CBD) are extending their domestic Access & Benefit-Sharing (ABS) legislation to encompass Digital Sequence Information (DSI), including sequence data available through public databases, and seeking to have it included within scope of the CBD. Biodiversity researchers and collection institutions develop information needed for implementation of the CBD, but face challenges such as traceability of DSI and benefit sharing over multiple researchers over long time periods.

Open access to DSI and other taxonomic and biodiversity information is encouraged by the CBD. This is a core element for capacity building, international collaborations, conservation, sustainable use, food safety, and biocontrol, among other related fields.

The CBD will shortly call for information on benefit sharing and DSI. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how open access to data, DSI and other taxonomic information supports interests of providers, meets ABS benefit sharing obligations, and can overcome a fundamental requirement of all science: reproducibility of research results. Such reliable data are vital to reach the goals of the CBD, Aichi Targets and the post-2020 agenda, and also a requirement for the principles of good research, especially in the light of accelerating progress of advanced molecular studies. We should also examine how benefits arising from taxonomic research are shared, and how to make this more effective. Open access information pipelines to taxonomic information, including links between this and preserved biological material, utilised samples, DSI and permits where relevant, are fundamental to sharing non-monetary benefits efficiently. Contributions from researchers in provider and user countries are essential and ex situ collections have a key function as data repositories and data aggregators of digitized biodiversity data, including DSI.

This symposium aims to attract relevant researchers, stakeholders, collections managers, legislators from ex situ research centers as well as Providing Countries to discuss improving information and collection management systems to better meet benefit-sharing needs and regulatory requirements.

SI72Operationalizing Trait-Based BiodiversityconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumRobert GuralnickFlorida Museum of Natural History, Museum Road, Gainesville, FL, USA, 32611rguralnick@flmnh.ufl.eduName: Ramona Walls, Email:, Affiliation: Cyverse, Country: USA Name: Anne Thessen, Email: , Affiliation: Oregon State University, Country: USA

Disciplines such as biodiversity science, environmental science, biomedicine and phylogenetics, need to make assertions about characteristics of entities and processes. These characteristics have been referred to as traits, phenotypes, and qualities, sometimes interchangeably or inconsistently. Here we use the catch-all phrase “traits” and argue that trait data has become increasingly crucial, and in increasingly high demand, as a resource for scientists and policy makers. This is because traits are the critical link between evolutionary processes and how ecosystems function. While much has accomplished to build needed pieces of the puzzle for assembling and provisioning trait data, and more projects are mobilizing such information, urgent effort is needed to discuss systems approaches, shared practices, and community activities that can lead to better coordination of trait data resources across spatial, temporal and phylogenetic scales. We propose a cutting edge symposium that covers semantic and ontological innovations in relation to trait data harmonization and integration, new tools and pipelines for bringing trait data together, and older and newer data resources that often span across widely different types of data (traditional field monitoring, in-situ sensors, remote sensing, literature reports, specimen-based annotations) and phylogenetic scales (individuals, populations, species, clades). This symposium and discussion afterwards will cover:

  • Strategies for representing characters and why these are appropriate
  • Discipline-specific usage and modeling
  • Modeling and integrating character derived from different source types and how those can and should (or should not) be integrated
  • Aggregating and de-aggregating character data without loss of information
  • Trait database growth and new resources
  • New efforts for established resources
  • Representation of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV)
  • Coordination of efforts around trait databases

This session will start with presentations and end with a group discussion. We plan to write a summary based on the output of this session.

SS73Biodiversity Informatics: Perspectives from the Global SouthconferencesciencesymposiumPrabhakar RajagopalIndia Biodiversity Portal, Strand Life Sciences, Bangaloreprabha.prabhakar@gmail.comName: Balasubramanian D, Email:, Affiliation: French Institute of Pondicherry, Country: India Name: Choki Gyeltshen, Email:, Affiliation: National Biodiversity Council, Country: Bhutan Name: K.D. Dijkstra, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Country: Netherlands Name: Antonio Mauro Saraiva, Email:, Affiliation: Universidade de São Paulo, Country: Brazil Name: Pankaj Koparde, Email:, Affiliation: Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Country: India Name: Vijay Barve, Email:, Affiliation: Florida Museum of Natural History, Country: USA

Large parts of the tropical world in Africa, South America, and Asia are rich in biodiversity but there is a paucity of data. These areas also have large and dense human populations where development aspirations are altering ecosystems at an alarming pace. Documenting biodiversity and making the data available to scientific, policy and citizen communities will be instrumental in enhancing the prospects for biodiversity conservation in these areas. Global initiatives in biodiversity informatics and open data need to recognise the challenges faced by the global south. The broad challenges are 1. Community engagement and participation; 2. Capacities in biodiversity science and data; 3. Technology and infrastructure; and 4. Institutional and sustainability.

The symposium will focus on the current practices and challenges of biodiversity informatics in the global south. A strategy to weave together different initiatives at different scales and focus holds promise for building vibrant communities of practice in biodiversity informatics and an international network. The symposium will provide a forum for the exchange of experiences and ideas across a wide range of initiatives with diverse objectives from Asia, Africa, and South America. These would range from locale-specific to national and regional scales. They could be taxa-specific or attempt to cover the whole spectrum of biodiversity. The symposium aims to identify shared lessons and specific aspects of challenges faced by these initiatives. It will aim to initiate the development of a strategy for cooperatively addressing these challenges effectively. It will explore mechanisms to enable their stronger participation and enhanced contributions to global knowledge.

ST74Standards Alignments across Disciplines in Natural SciencesconferencestandardssymposiumPatricia MergenMeise Botanic Garden, 38 Nieuwelaan, Meise, Belgium, 1860patricia.mergen@plantentuinmeise.beName: Eva Häffner, Email: , Affiliation: Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Country: Germany Name: Ole Seberg , Email: , Affiliation: Natural History Museum Copenhagen, Country: Denmark Name: Florian Leese , Email: , Affiliation: University of Duisburg-Essen, Country: Germany Name: Daniel Hering , Email: , Affiliation: University of Duisburg-Essen, Country: Germany Name: Alexander Weigand , Email: , Affiliation: MNHN Luxembourg, Country: Luxembourg Name: Kristian Meissner , Email: , Affiliation: Finnish Environment Institute, Country: Finland Name: Nathalie Cools , Email: , Affiliation: Research Institution Nature and Forest, Country: Belgium Name: Quentin Groom , Email: , Affiliation: Meise Botanic Garden, Country: Belgium Name: Johan Van Der Eycken , Email: , Affiliation: State Archives of Belgium, Country: Belgium Name: Erik Buelinckx , Email: , Affiliation: Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Country: Belgium

Since the 1980s, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) has been instrumental in the sharing and use of data in the natural sciences. Twenty-five standards are listed by TDWG in various stages of use and development, representing a great interest to the community. The existence of 15 thematic Interest Groups and five related Task Groups demonstrates the interest of the user community, while also highlighting the challenges. While TDWG needs an internal check and alignment of its different standards and groups to help its users decide which standards best apply for their different activities, it is likewise essential that TDWG collaborates with other international standardization bodies across borders of natural sciences.

The intent of this symposium is to have speakers from the TDWG standards experts, notably from different standards maintenance groups and the Technical Architecture Group. Additionally we will invite speakers from other standardization bodies including those with links to molecular standards (GGBN, Global Genome Biodiversity Network), the processes of CEN (European Committee for Standardization), RDA (Research Data Alliance), monitoring standards from Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) such as DEIMS (Drupal Ecological Information Management System), standards from the Open Geospatial Consortium, as well as standards used in cultural heritage, library and archival domains such as EAD (Encoded Archival Description), Dublin Core and MARC (Machine-Readable Cataloging).

After this symposium, participants will have a good overview of existing standards initiatives to reflect on standard assessments, gaps, and interoperability. This symposium is particularly relevant to the COST Action Mobilise Working Groups, in terms of existing standard assessment and defining new concepts for standards management.

The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the key stakeholders to make progress on cross-discipline standards alignments and usability improvement for the community.

SI75Linking specimens and physical samples through standardised identifiers and metadata: the last mileconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumRamona WallsThe University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA, 85721rlwalls2008@gmail.comName: Kerstin Lehnert, Email:, Affiliation: Columbia University, Country: USA Name: Dimitris Koureas, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis, Country: Nederland

Physical samples are the raw material of science: biodiversity specimens, rock or mineral samples from earth and space, soil or sediment cores, water samples, and organismal tissue samples are collected and studied because they represent a wider population or larger context. Yet data from specimens are often difficult to find, access, integrate, and re-use. Critically absent from the management of specimens in most domains is a convenient way to uniquely and consistently identify them via permanent, stable, resolvable identifiers that allow specimens to be linked to other specimens, derived data, and publications. Equally important is the use of robust, standardized metadata that record relationships to taxa, ecosystems, observational systems, and derived data and information.

Infrastructure for sample identification now exists, including International GeoSample Numbers (IGSN), Digital Object Identifiers, Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD), and stable identifiers for the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities. Projects such as Scholix ( and FREYA ( support linking data. Organizations including Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), Genomics Standards Consortium (GSC), and Research Data Alliance (RDA) have efforts aimed at standardizing specimen metadata. What is missing is the last mile infrastructure - the glue to connect these various efforts, making permanent identifiers easy to use for biodiversity researchers and driving adoption. The last mile is within reach. At a 2018 workshop (, there was consensus on the need for a set of standards around specimen identifiers, possibly centered on International GeoSample Numbers (IGSNs). The IGSN steering committee, which includes representatives from the biodiversity community, has a grant to develop a sustainability plan.

The goal of this symposium is to update the status of identifier infrastructure for biodiversity and solidify next steps for achieving a TDWG standard for specimen identification and linking, with the possible formation of a Task Group. More broadly, this symposium includes discussions of findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data for biodiversity.

WI76Towards a next generation of citizen science and crowdsourcing toolsconferenceinfrastructureworkshopPatricia MergenMeise Botanic Garden, 38 Nieuwelaan, Meise, Belgium, 1860Patricia.Mergen@plantentuinmeise.beName: Veljo Runnel, Email: , Affiliation: University of Tartu, Country: Estonia Name: Quentin Groom, Email: , Affiliation: Meise Botanic Garden, Country: Belgium Name: Sofie De Smedt, Email: , Affiliation: Meise Botanic Garden, Country: Belgium

In the past decades, citizen science has become key to contributing to data mobilization by providing observations and transcription activities. In the domain of natural sciences, several platforms are used such as Zooniverse, the Digivol platform of the Atlas of Living Australia, the Herbonautes, DoeDat and PlutoF. Other specialized software exist or are being developed in the crowdsourcing communities e.g. to transcribe manuscripts or annotate 3D images and movies. At the same time, automated data capture tools are being developed, applying artificial intelligence and machine learning with growing accuracy.

Both the citizens mobilizing data and the data consumers come with further expectations of functionalities or types of media to be handled by the above tools, e.g., multilingual interfaces; tools to annotate photographs, movies or 3D images; handling segmented documents; adaptable quality control methods, better import and export models, etc.

Facing these requests the developers and maintainers of the crowdsourcing and citizen science tools have to deal with issues of feasibility and priority. Indeed should they invest in updating their tools, or recommend the use of another system that has the desired functions. Another option is to turn to automated data capture instead of citizen science tools, which could still be used to control or correct the output of automated systems.

The goal of this workshop is to bring experts together to compare the needs of their different users, to set priorities for updates and implementation of additional functionalities, agree on optimal complementary specialized use of the different tools depending on the media and/or type of citizens involved, to identify where citizen sciences and crowdsourcing can be combined with automated data capture tools.

SS77Digital biodiversity data as a frontier for new research avenuesconferencesciencesymposiumNiels RaesNLBIF, Vondellaan 55, Leidennlbif@naturalis.nlName: Olaf Banki, Email:, Affiliation: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Country: The Netherlands

In 2018 the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) hit the milestone of mediating on billion digitized species occurrences. Together with sample-based datasets, and checklist data these occurrence records provide a first glimpse of the distribution of life on earth and in its oceans and water bodies. An increasing amount of scientific papers make use of this pool of data, reaching close to an average of two published papers a day. A wide span of different scientific uses is covered in these papers: from taxonomy to species distribution modelling, and from phylogenetics to sustainable use of biodiversity as well as human health.

GBIF does not stand alone in its efforts in enabling scientific efforts through infrastructure, services and data. An alliance on biodiversity informatics has set itself the aim to enable all kinds of digital data linkages at national, regional and global scales. The vision is to enable users to navigate in a shared information space between amongst others sequence, whole genome data, species descriptions, species occurrence data, literature, trait and phenological data, images and sounds, species checklist data, specimen collection data, functional diversity, spatial data, remote sensing as well as environmental, climate and economic data.

This symposium invites speakers that combine digitized species occurrence records and community data with other sources of data to arrive at innovative scientific findings including analyses of biotic interactions, climate change impact studies, phylogeography, biogeography, functional diversity, alien invasive species ecology, and interactions that cross scientific domains. The symposium is to highlight current scientific usage of digital biodiversity data today, and discuss how such data could transform the science of tomorrow.

SP79Agrobiodiversity in the era of open government, FAIR data, and public access policyconferencepolicysymposiumCynthia ParrAgricultural Research Service, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD, USA,
Name: James Macklin, Email:, Affiliation: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Country: Canada

Data policy is undergoing major change throughout the world towards openness and machine readability. One of the most compelling drivers of this change is the potential for data to help address humanity’s major 21st century challenges. Solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, food insecurity, and unsustainable development all require evidence-based decision-making. However, should the collection of and use of biodiversity data in the context of agriculture (e.g. emerging pests, threats to pollinators, development of sustainable food production systems) differ from the application of traditional biodiversity data to conservation and regional planning (e.g. monitoring for invasive species and ecosystem health)? In this symposium we will examine how open government, public access, and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable) data policy are impacting agrobiodiversity research and policy. We consider the effectiveness of initiatives such as Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). On the one hand, these policies and initiatives have enabled the development of critical infrastructure and data standards, for example the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Platform for Big Data in Agriculture. Important research such as the Earth Biogenome Project has been launched, with attention to agricultural pests. On the other hand, the ability to leverage agrobiodiversity data is uneven. Major challenges in using open data to promote sustainable agriculture remain, such as tensions between big and small agribusinesses, lack of best practices and big data skills and storage, and disconnects between research and farming application. Agricultural biodiversity is an ideal lens for us to critically examine the ability of policy to effect meaningful change.

LT84Organization of a potential Deep Learning Standards Interest Groupconferencestandardslunch meetingMike TriznaSmithsonian Institution, Jefferson Drive Southwest, Washington, DC, USA, 20560triznam@si.eduName: Alex White, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Rebecca Dikow, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Paul Frandsen, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA

The last two TDWG meetings have had a growing number of posters and presentations about various applications of deep learning on scientific collections. The biodiversity_next conference will likely have even more deep learning-related content, but standards for model assessment, model sharing, and appropriate model application have not kept apace with model development. Reliance on standards from the wider machine learning community may be misleading for model assessment in biodiversity science, where research questions are hypothesis-driven and data are a unique subset of that used in other machine learning applications. Thus, we propose developing standards specific to the goals of applying machine learning models to questions in collections- based research. We propose organizing a lunch meeting or side meeting during the conference to discuss common issues, and begin the steps of forming an official TDWG Interest Group.


SS86Machine learning: an emerging toolkit for biodiversity science using museum collectionsconferencesciencesymposiumPaul FrandsenBrigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA, 84602paul_frandsen@byu.eduName: Rebecca Dikow, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Mike Trizna, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA Name: Alex White, Email:, Affiliation: Smithsonian Institution, Country: USA

Breakthroughs in machine learning methods and software implementations have reached a point where the development and use of machine learning models for research in museums are now accessible to biologists and curatorial staff rather than mathematicians and computer scientists alone. Foremost of these have been advances in computer vision, where machine learning has emerged as an important tool for taxonomic classification in large digitized datasets, in particular in digitized herbaria (, Beyond taxonomic classification, however, a wide array of biological applications remain unexplored with these tools, including those related to evaluating patterns of diversity across space and time. Emerging research is focused on the characterization of phenotypic patterns, for example, by generating estimates of morphological trait space occupation across elevation and latitudes to evaluate hypotheses regarding the ecological and evolutionary limits of such patterns. A number of opportunities and challenges remain in developing this capacity within collections-based research communities, and this symposium will specifically address (1) leveraging existing machine learning model architectures for application to shape-based analysis of evolutionary patterns, (2) integration of images with rich resources of associated specimen metadata (e.g., phylogenetic relationships, climatic data, co-occurring taxa, etc.), and (3) the potential pitfalls of reliance on machine learning approaches for the analysis of large museum datasets, how best to avoid them, and novel interpretations of model outputs that are specific to fundamental questions in ecology and evolution.

SI87Empowering the taxonomic community by linking information through names and taxonomyconferenceinfrastructuresymposiumOlaf BankiSpecies 2000, Vondellaan 55, Leidenolaf.banki@naturalis.nlName: Markus Doring, Email: , Affiliation: GBIF Secretariat, Country: Denmark

Scientific names and taxonomy are essential in linking different kinds of information originating from, for example, species descriptions and occurrences, published literature, taxonomic and nomenclatural authoritative sources, species checklists, sequences, and specimen collections. Most of the connections between available digital information sources cannot be easily made by (potential) users. However, such linkages would enrich and strengthen existing data, highlight the community of experts generating and working on the data and would allow for better understanding about the occurrence of life on earth. In its efforts to get towards a shared managed and enhanced information space, several global and international biodiversity information initiatives formed a partnership as part of the global alliance for biodiversity knowledge. This partnership is spearheaded by the Catalogue of Life, together with (amongst others) the Barcode of Life Data systems, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Encyclopedia of Life, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and initiatives such as the Distributed Systems of Scientific Collections, iDigBio, LifeWatch, the World Flora Online, and the World Registry of Marine Species.

This symposium is to highlight the progress made by several partners in the consortium in getting towards a shared infrastructure for names and taxonomy. The symposium is also to discuss how the taxonomic community could be best served and strengthened in the future.

WP88From data to policy: supporting biodiversity policy needs and the SDGsconferencepolicyworkshopAndré MascarenhasMuseum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße, Berlin, Germany,
  • Name: Katrin Vohland, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany
  • Name: Christoph Häuser, Email:, Affiliation: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Country: Germany
  • Name: Aidin Niamir, Email:, Affiliation: Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Country: Germany
  • Name: Marta Gómez-Giménez, Email:, Affiliation: Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Country: Germany

The biodiversity policy landscape is complex and there are several possibilities for researchers and their networks to contribute efficiently to inform policy. Efforts are underway to develop workflows that integrate biodiversity information from a variety of sources, to derive accessible policy-relevant indicators. However, knowledge on how best to support policy needs is still limited. This workshop aims to address this gap by creating a space for dialogue between stakeholders from science and policy, to discuss strategies to support multi-national biodiversity and sustainable development policies. We focus on the reporting needs of the Convention on Biological Diversity (through its Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020), the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all of which have their own supporting indicators. The role of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), which were developed to facilitate data integration by providing an intermediate abstraction layer between primary observations and indicators, is also explored. The workshop will benefit from inputs by the EU Horizon 2020 GEOEssential project (, which aims at developing cross-thematic proof of concept workflows integrating earth observation data and essential variables to derive policy-relevant indicators (with the SDGs as overall framework). The workshop is planned to have a first part of short talks, which will provide a stimulus for a second interactive part. Target participants mainly include scientists, knowledge brokers, policy officers or other stakeholders interested or engaged in the science-policy interface. The main expected outcome is to better understand the inter-linkages among indicators associated with biodiversity and sustainable development policy processes, and how to efficiently support their reporting needs.

WS89MIND- Mapping Mammals to INform DevelopmentconferencescienceworkshopSvetlana MitevaDutch Mammal Society, The Habitat Foundation, European Mammal

An understanding of mammal distributions is fundamental for their protection. The threats to the mammals surpass country borders and are related to human activities. Given the ongoing habitat loss, bringing data together to enable analyses for policy, planning and conservation is pivotal. Better data and analyses, integrated in the early stages of planning can diminish the loss of habitats and species, and save costs.

Georeferenced data are essential for impact assessments of land use changes in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and green/grey infrastructure, as well as for health and food safety issues (e.g. African swine fever). Mechanisms are needed to mobilise standardised data on mammals and ensure its use in policy, planning, and species conservation.

There are huge differences among countries in data quantity and quality. Efforts aiming at data mobilisation and building capacities to support countries are in development. There are successful initiatives, demonstrating the benefits of data mobilization. Is it possible to develop them further and replicate them over Europe? How can we develop / improve both data collection and mammal protection in a mutually coherent way all over Europe?

Can we give the synergies between mammal conservation and the above mentioned sectors a functional form facilitating better informed decisions benefitting both sustainable development and nature conservation? What are the challenges and the potentials?

The Habitat Foundation, the Dutch Mammal Society and the European Mammal Foundation are currently considering organising a pan European congress on mammal conservation. Opportunities for better protection offered by developments in data collection and vice versa will be one of the congresses themes. What kind of data, infrastructure and tools are needed for the realisation of sustainable conservation of wild mammals? The outcomes and findings of the MIND workshop will deliver valuable input for the European congress on mammal conservation.

SP91Developing a Data-Literate Workforce in Biodiversity ScienceconferencepolicysymposiumLibby EllwoodThe La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, USA,
  • Name: François Michonneau, Email:, Affiliation: The Carpentries, Country: USA
  • Name: Anna Monfils, Email:, Affiliation: Central Michigan University, Country: USA
  • Name: Deborah L Paul, Email:, Affiliation: iDigBio/Florida State University, Country: USA
  • Name: Robert Montoya, Email:, Affiliation: Indiana University Bloomington, Country: USA
  • Name: Laura Russell, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF Secretariat, Country: Denmark

Rapid advances in data science and technology are transforming biodiversity research. The volume and complexity of biodiversity data being generated, their availability via aggregation, and the interdisciplinary nature of modern scientific research are driving the need for new skill sets to address global scientific issues. Central to addressing the needs of the biodiversity research community is identifying a set of core and transferrable data literacy competencies and developing strategies to help develop a data-literate workforce.

In the United States, one initiative addressing this is the National Science Foundation-funded Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE; project. Central to BLUE is improving biodiversity literacy by supporting the development of core biodiversity data competencies and implementation of biodiversity-related educational materials, including training and supporting educators as they adopt new materials for the classroom.  The Carpentries is an international non-profit organization teaching researchers computational and data science skills for data management and analysis across research domains. The curricula taught is openly developed globally. The Carpentries train-the-trainers model, and its active community of learners and instructors, have allowed the organization to scale up rapidly. GBIF and the TDWG Biodiversity Informatics Curriculum Interest Group are also contributing substantially to this realm.

In this symposium, we welcome presentations about:
• Data literacy as an important component of preparing future biodiversity researchers;
• Innovative ways of using natural history collections data, alongside environmental, ecological and geological data, to present biodiversity information and data skills in education;
• Biodiversity data standards that speak to the high-level knowledge and skills necessary to enter a data-driven workforce.

A discussion session follows presentations. Our goal is to foster collaborations to support the establishment and growth of the computational and data skills needed to serve researchers and educators interested in using biodiversity data.

ST92Advancing the Quality of Diverse Citizen Science Data from Observations to Atlasing ProjectsconferencestandardssymposiumRobert StevensonUniversity of Massachusetts Boston, Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA, USA,
  • Name: Libby Ellwood, Email:, Affiliation: The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Country: USA
  • Name: Peter Brenton, Email:, Affiliation: CSIRO, Country: Australia
  • Name: Quentin Groom, Email:, Affiliation: Botanic Garden Meise, Country: Belgium
  • Name: Lucy Bastin, Email:, Affiliation: European Commission, Country: Italy
  • Name: Sven Schade, Email:, Affiliation: European Commission, Country: Italy Name: Luigi Ceccaroni, Email:, Affiliation: Earthwatch Europe, Country: U.K.

Citizen science-based biodiversity projects are expanding rapidly in number and size, producing an ever-increasing amount of accessible biodiversity data. The scope of these biodiversity data spans taxa, time, localities and sampling designs. The focus of this symposium is to learn how citizen science project leaders and biodiversity informaticists are managing these data to ensure they are appropriately collected and vetted, follow community standards, are research-ready, credit the community, track provenance and are maintained for future use.

Using technological advances such as cell phones and social media, natural history societies, museums, non-governmental agencies and governmental agencies are increasingly forming partnerships that undertake surveys documenting prominent taxa.

These citizen science activities may involve a variety of sampling designs such as amassing opportunistic observations, employing structured  protocols (e.g. butterfly “Pollard” walks) or organized large scale visits to blocks in atlasing projects. The resulting data are used to answer many questions in biodiversity science. One prominent use is the creation of taxon atlases that present occurrence and density maps which become the reference documents for setting policy initiatives, conservation and restoration actions, and research priorities.

This symposium will focus on the flow of data in citizen science projects from creation to use and re-use, with some emphasis on atlas projects. Speakers will share such considerations as:

  1. a) How they are applying standards in their citizen science projects, atlases, or platforms – both for data and metadata;
  2. b)  How they are sharing or mobilising data and metadata for discovery, aggregation and use/re-use;
  3. c) How they are using atlases to document changes in biodiversity and inform conservation policy;
  4. d)  What metadata they are collecting, what taxonomic standards are incorporated, why they are collecting specific attributes; and
  5. e)  What they are doing about data quality and quality assurance/control measures in their projects and platforms.
WS21CETAF DEST e-Training Course: “Biodiversity in a changing climate: e-learn more”pre conf.scienceworkshopCatherina VoreadouNatural History Museum of Crete, Leoforos Sofokli Venizelou, Heraklion, Greece, 712 02voreadou@nhmc.uoc.grName: Iasmi Stathi, E-mail:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Crete-University of Crete, Country: Greece

Name: Gergely Babocsay, E-mail:, Affiliation: Hungarian Natural History Museum, Country: Hungary

Improving the knowledge, skills and competences of professionals in the field of biodiversity training has become a high priority which involves setting up the right learning schemes and building the necessary skills and capacities.

In this regard, BIODIVERSITY IN A CHANGING CLIMATE: E-LEARN MORE is an e-learning course, developed in the context of the BIOTALENT project ( and maintained, beyond the project’s lifetime, by the CETAF Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST), which covers the Education and Training initiatives for the collections-related community. The course aims to 1) increase knowledge, skills and competences on biodiversity loss and climate change 2) teach about climate-sensitive model species that reflect profound changes in the global environment 3) engage in conserving biodiversity in Europe and beyond 4) integrate biodiversity issues at a higher proficiency level in everyday work 5) open new career opportunities in science-related business and 6) emphasise the importance of Natural History collections in understanding the origins and future challenges of Earth’s biodiversity.

The course has been built under an innovative pedagogical methodology, the Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), which is a constructivist approach where the overall goal is for learners to gain knowledge by themselves.

During biodiversity_next, we propose an interactive workshop addressed to the scientific training community, tool developers, researcher capacity builders), conservation managers and educators in natural history institutions, and those raising awareness of citizen scientists. The participants will use the BIOTALENT platform to get an overview of its modules and IBL implementation. The workshop will present the versatility and effectiveness of the BIOTALENT e-learning platform and will foster its use with the development of new content. To this end, the existing course will exemplify both the stimulating IBL methodology used and the content creation process.
ScheltemaExpo 02009.00-12.30
SS78Facilitating Capacity Building of Young ResearchersconferencesciencesymposiumBoyko Georgiev Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,
Name: Catherina Voreadou, E-mail:,  Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Crete, Leoforos Sofokli Venizelou, Country: Greece
Name: Ana Casino, e-mail:, Affiliation: CETAF, 
Country: Belgium
Name: Iasmi Stathi, E-mail:, Affiliation: Natural History Museum of Crete-University of Crete, Country: Greece

Young researchers, including Early Career Investigators (ECIs), PhD and MSc holders, are called to play an important role in the vision of MOBILISE and DiSSCo. They are called to build a new generation of IT-literate scientists that will efficiently use new e-infrastructures enabling them to embed bio- and geo- informatics and services in their research, develop their research careers on cutting-edge topics and translate strategies on bio- and geodiversity into clear guidelines for providers and decision makers.

How ready are they for such a crucial role? Are there important gaps between young researchers from countries with not well-developed policies and facilities and those from countries having improved all needed infrastructures? In which way available COST networking tools such as, meetings, training schools, workshops, symposia, conferences, short-term scientific missions and conference grants in collaboration with other training initiatives such as DEST, could be transformed into focused capacity building mechanisms providing adequate interaction of technology and bio- and geo-diversity knowledge? Can collaborative actions, well organised synergies and strong interaction between young researchers, such as forum, networks or work in groups, act complementary to the above networking tools, giving thus the possibility to the IT-literate young researchers to contribute in strengthening capacity building in their own institutions, driving their business forward?

Under biodiversity_next, we propose a symposium addressed to young researchers during which a first nucleus of them will be built, which will interact with MOBILISE and DiSSCo experts in order to discuss, exchange opinions, thoughts and innovative ideas on all the above issues. It will also prepare actions in order to enlarge this group, and efficiently face needs that will emerge, take the chance of challenges and earn the greatest benefit from such a synergy. The forum of young researchers will have its own space in the MOBILISE website.

GT90TDWG Machine Observations Interest GroupconferencestandardsIG/TG/CMPeggy NewmanAtlas of Living Australia, Melbourne Museum, Victoria Australiapeggynewman@gmail.comName: Peter Desmet, Email:, Affiliation: INBO, Country: Belgium Name: Damiano Oldoni, Email:, Affiliation: INBO, Country: Belgium

To date, biodiversity repositories like GBIF, OBIS, and the Living Atlases have focused on aggregating species occurrences collected as human observation or specimen records. In the meantime, a deluge of sensor-based species observations are being collected globally as technology presents opportunities for cost-effective, high-resolution monitoring. These machine observations are not translating easily to or across biodiversity repositories. The introduction of diverse sensor-based observation methods to the information model adds new and unavoidable complexity and the sheer volume of data brings challenges for aggregation and resources.

This Interest Group formed to explore and document data exchange formats, modeling methods, and publication and archiving strategies for machine observations.  This meeting introduces the new group and the Darwin Core for Biologging Data Task Group, discussing the objectives, scope and activities of both. We will share the work we have done mapping bio-logging data from Movebank and Ocean Tracking Network to Darwin Core and we will facilitate a discussion on how to move forward.

SS48Strengthening the biodiversity informatics community of practice through capacity enhancementconferencesciencesymposiumLaura RussellGlobal Biodiversity Information Facility, København, Denmark, 2100

Name: Mélianie Raymond, Email:, Affiliation: Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Country: Denmark

Name: Dag Endresen, Email:, Affiliation: GBIF-Norway, University of Oslo, Country: Norway

Name: Andrew Rodrigues, Email:,  Affiliation: Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Country: Denmark

Priority 1 of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) strategic plan is to Empower the Global Network by ensuring that governments, researchers and users are equipped and supported to share, improve and use data through the GBIF network, regardless of geography, language or institutional affiliation. The strengthening of personal skills through international collaboration has been one of the great successes of the global network and enables GBIF to progress towards its vision of “a world in which biodiversity information is freely and universally available for science, society and a sustainable future." Through activities like the Capacity Enhancement Support Programme (CESP) for GBIF Network Participants to facilitate knowledge transfer and collaboration at regional and global levels, and the Biodiversity Information Development (BID) and Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (BIFA) programmes with the aim of increasing the amount of biodiversity information available for use in scientific research and policymaking in the nations of sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP Group of States), and Asia, respectively, the GBIF Secretariat has been able to expand the biodiversity informatics community of practice. This community of practice relies on a large group of individuals within the community that have volunteered to train, mentor, and champion data use. This symposium will focus on continuing to build and strengthen the community of practice through capacity enhancement activities and will be an opportunity to share success stories, case studies/work in progress and discuss resources to sustain, grow and expand the scope of existing programmes to ensure the continued development of skills in our community.

Endorsed or submitted by GBIF

LT93Fundraising and Partnership Functional Subcommitteeconferencestandardslunch meetingConstance A RinaldoHarvard University/Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ and Biodiversity Heritage Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts USAcrinaldo@oeb.harvard.eduThe purpose of the Fundraising and Partnership Functional Subcommittee is to work together with the TDWG Executive Committee as well as TDWG task and interest groups to submit and implement competitive funding bids and improve the position of TDWG in the international landscape through strategic partnerships at the international, regional or local levels. TDWG’s fundraising and partnerships have been extensive in the past few years but new blood is needed!  Bring your lunch and join in a lively discussion to identify ways to continue to make significant progress funding initiatives and finding new partners. Perhaps you may find this an appealing subcommittee to join.""
WS85Data Lifecycles for Open Ecological and Biodiversity ResearchconferencescienceworkshopCees Hof Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the

Antica Culina [] Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO), Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands. Emiel van Loon [] Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands.

This workshop targets early career scientists in ecology and biodiversity research. It focuses on the optimization of all the steps in the research data life cycle in line with open science principles. In the workshop, we will approach the topic of the research data life cycle from three different perspectives:

  • Collaborative model comparisons to achieve standardization of data formats, concepts and analysis steps. 
  • The use of Knowledge Organisation Systems (KOS) in your workflow, focusing on how to manage and archive these information sources.
  • How scientific publishing fits in your research data life cycle – old traditions and new practices. 

For each of the three different perspectives, information from inside specialists will be presented as well as exemplary case studies and best practices. In interactive sessions with the participants, the current and future challenges in the rapidly evolving data and infrastructural landscape will be discussed, ultimately focusing on the consequences for storing and managing your own ecological and biodiversity data and how this impacts the possibilities for computation, data synthesis and data re-use. The closing panel discussion will examine how to translate the presented principles into making your research data “FAIR” (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). The workshop will not be a strictly academic exercise, but touch upon the relevance of open and transparent science for policy and decision-making. 

Please take your own laptop to this workshop as some hands-on internet search sessions are included.


WJ01Setting the roadmap for 'Africa in the Picture'conferenceworkshopJean Cossi GANGLO1 and Esther KIOKO2 1Professor of Forest Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi. Email:; phone: 0022966363770 / 94578915 2Senior Research Scientist, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, Email: Context and justification

Africa is home to a rich biodiversity that provides critical ecosystem services (provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting ecosystem services). However, most ecosystems in the continent are facing threats including, land use change, overexploitation, environmental pollution, invasive alien species, and climate change among others. By 2100, it is projected that due to climate change alone, Africa will have lost over half of its birds and mammals and will experience 20 to 30% decline in lake productivity and a significant loss of plant species. The loss in biodiversity impacts livelihoods, water supply, and food security and lessens resilience to extreme events particularly in poor countries. Africa is also a continent where evidence to support decision making on biodiversity conservation is critically insufficient or lacking. For example, of the 1,342,226,446 occurrence data published in GBIF, Africa’s contribution is about 2 % (as of 22nd September 2019). In terms of data access and data uses by scientists, none of the African countries is listed among the top ten users of GBIF data and out, of the 5,502 scientific papers published on biodiversity, 517 (9.40%) are about Africa and not solely published by African scientists. This underscores the need for quick action to address the current limited capacity in publishing and using Digital Accessible Knowledge (DAK) to inform decisions on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. The objective of this session “Africa in the Picture” of the Biodiversity_Next workshop is to prepare a roadmap for improvement in Biodiversity Information and knowledge access, biodiversity information management and use and align efforts across institutions/stakeholders in the continent to enable an integrated understanding and sustainable mobilization and utilization of biodiversity information.

Key words: Ecosystem services, loss in biodiversity, data mobilization, Digital accessible knowledge, data use, biodiversity informatics

Agenda of the “Africa in the Picture” event:

Three key questions to guide the Agenda have been circulated amongst a group of African biodiversity scientists before the Biodiversity_Next conference:

  1. What are the key limitations to mobilizing biodiversity data in Africa?
  2. What are the key limitations to accessing/managing biodiversity information in Africa?
  3. What efforts/actions are needed to enable a unified understanding of biodiversity informatics and what role can networks (National, Regional, International) play?

A synthesis of the answers will be sent back to the grantees before the conference to help them get prepared for the session.

At the session there will be two participatory sessions with additional questions to be addressed during the workshop focused on what kind of actions and support African biodiversity scientists would need to publish and gain more access to African biodiversity data, and to use data to inform decisions on biodiversity conservation and sustainable uses.

As background documents the following documents are shared:

  1. A declaration of the ‘Biodiversity Information for Development program of the 6th of September 2019;
  2. The African GBIF action plan

Program of Events





Welcome address/Introduction of the session

Ganglo Jean / Kioko Esther


Biodiversity in Africa: Main challenges for conservation and sustainable use

Ganglo Jean


Participatory sessions:

1.    How can African biodiversity scientists assist in overcoming limitations in biodiversity data access and publication? What would support these actions?

2.    How can African biodiversity scientists overcome limitations in using biodiversity data to inform decisions on biodiversity conservation and sustainable uses? What would support these actions?

3.    Discussion/ experience sharing/  identification of key actions

Ganglo Jean / Kioko Esther/All participants

16:40– 16:50

Perspectives for funding:

Deputy Director Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Executive Director of the JRS Biodiversity Foundation


Tim Hirsch


Don Doering


16:50–17: 00

Conclusion / final resolution

Ganglo Jean / Kioko Esther and Rapporteurs

From 17:00

Family photo + drinks

Jacqueline Bouwmans