Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Towards a Curriculum for Biodiversity Informatics
expand article infoFatima Parker-Allie, Francisco Pando§, Jean C. Ganglo|, Anders Telenius, Danny Vélez#, Mark John Gibbons¤, Gautam Talukdar«, Manuel Vargas», Raoufou A. Radji˄, Hanna Koivula˅, André Heughebaert¦, Christian Svindsethˀ, Daniel Amariles ˁ, Takeshi Osawa, Melianie Raymond, Laura Russell
‡ South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa
§ Real Jardin Botanico -CSIC, Madrid, Spain
| Laboratoire des Sciences Forestières, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Abomey-Calavi, Benin
¶ Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
# Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, Bogotá, Colombia
¤ University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
« Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India
» Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica
˄ Université de Lomé, Lomé, Togo
˅ Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Joensuu, Finland
¦ Belgian Biodiversity Platform, Bruxelles, Belgium
ˀ Natural History Museum, Oslo, Norway
ˁ International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Cali, Colombia
₵ National Institute for Agro-Environmental Science, Japan, Tsukuba, Japan
ℓ GBIF, Copenhagen, Denmark
₰ Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen, Denmark
Open Access


Biodiversity informatics has been characterized as a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, which aims to bring together the areas of biodiversity and informatics. A study was conducted looking at the current level of activity within the GBIF Participant countries and its associated network in relation to work-based training and/or academic teaching at universities, in the field of biodiversity informatics. It was intended to get an overview of GBIF Node Managers, (hence, member countries), already engaged in developing course curricula, or in providing training, and whether they would be willing to share resources or enter into collaborations, to further elaborate this field of science.

This investigation followed a survey approach, conducted globally across the GBIF community to identify the existing capacities and resources within the network. The results indicated that the vast majority of GBIF Nodes survey respondents, are engaged in onsite training activities in biodiversity informatics areas, with a focus on professionals, mostly researchers, policy makers and students. Training includes data digitization, management, publishing, analysis and use, to enable the accessibility of analogue and digital biological data which currently resides as scattered databases/datasets.

A list containing the associated URL's for training and dissemination activities in GBIF Nodes has been developed, based on survey results, and will be presented. An initial assessment of the academic teaching activities indicated that many countries across most regions were already engaged in the conceptualisation, development and/or implementation of formal academic programs in biodiversity informatics including Benin, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, France, India, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan and Togo. This study also identified that digital e-learning platforms were a very important tool to help build capacity in a number of countries.

To assess the level of potential in the network to support academic teaching and work-based training, sixty percent indicated that they would be willing to be recruited or commissioned to support teaching activities, demonstrating the value of the Nodes network to support the development of biodiversity informatics globally. The contributions and activities of various nodes across the network will be highlighted and a working high-level curriculum framework will be discussed.


Biodiversity Informatics, curriculum, big data, training, modular training packages, business analytics, data analytics, tertiary institutions, e-learning, re-usability

Presenting author

Fatima Parker-Allie

Presented at

Biodiversity_Next 2019

Hosting institution

South African National Biodiversity Institute

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