Confirmed speaker to date, in alphabetical order:

  • Irina Brake - NHM, Vibrant
  • Chris Freeland - Global BHL Technical Director, Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Christoph Häuser - Coordinator for international cooperation and scientific policy, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • Gregor Hagedorn - Julius Kühn Institute, Berlin
  • Donald Hobern - GBIF Director, Copenhagen
  • Thomas Koetz - Policy Officer International Biodiversit, DG for the Environment, European Commission
  • Mark-Oliver Rödel - Project leader, BIOTA; Speaker of the Research Field Discovery of Biodiversity, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • Wouter Addink - Sp2000, ETI Bioinformatics
  • Antonio Valdecasas - Museo Nacional Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
  • Isabella Van de Velde - DEST Training, RBINS Brussels
  • Marie Vandewalle - Project Manager BiodiversityKnowlede, UFZ Leipzig
  • Johannes Vogel - General Director, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
  • Daniel Zitterbart - Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, anymals.org

Abstracts of talk, if available:

Wouter Addink: Catalogue of Life - a Virtual Research Community to exchange data for enumerating the extent of life on earth

Thousands of databases and information systems have a taxonomic (name) component because names are the primary method to organize and find biodiversity data. The Catalogue of Life started in 1996 and is at present used as taxonomic backbone service in all six major global programmes as well as in a constantly growing number of regional and national projects. The Catalogue of Life is formed by the Species 2000 and ITIS partnership: a "federation" of database organisations bringing together an array of global species databases covering each of the major groups of organisms. Working with the six major global programmes exploring the full extent of species diversity, a Virtual Research Community is established to create a community-driven validated taxonomic checklist of all the 1.9 M extant known species on earth. To make this possible, an array of services and data pipelines is under construction in the 4D4Life and i4Life projects.

Isabella Van de Velde: DEST – training future taxonomists and fueling their passion

Science faces a continuing loss of taxonomic expertise because the positions of retiring professional taxonomists are often redirected to non-taxonomic research or are simply cut for budgetary reasons. Consequently, taxonomic expertise is eroding at a fast pace, so that also
the transfer of taxonomic knowledge and skills to new generations is steadily declining. Hence, it is imperative to consolidate a high quality training that prepares students for future taxonomic careers.

Within the framework of the EU funded project EDIT (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy), the Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) was established by leading taxonomists of EDIT and other international partners, providing a high quality training that
prepares students for future taxonomic careers. Because of its success, the DEST is continued beyond the EDIT project and has become a major player in global taxonomic capacity building, as shown by the worldwide interest of students to follow the training programmes.

The ‘distributed’ way of the DEST training encourages trainees’ mobility, improves scientific (and cultural) exchange and provides the  vastly enriching experience to work together with experts and to exchange ideas with other students. The training programmes stimulate
researchers and students to network with colleagues and to generate future research cooperation resulting in joint research projects and publications. As such, DEST offers to both, trainees and training providers, a contact forum and portal for the development of a wide
array of potential, international collaborative research activities.

Daniel Zitterbart: Anymals+plants, biodiversity in your palm

Anymals+plants is a social network dedicated to map the worlds biodiversity on a local level. Based on an App for android smartphones every user is informed about his local biodiversity, and given opportunity to log and share observations. Information about local biodiversity is gathered from GBIF and presented alongside with pictures, facts and its local name of every species. This information shall teach the user and thereby increase his observational capabilities. After one half year of operation we surpassed the mark on 40.000 users, and will present and discuss first results and limitations.