NCEAS helps spearhead Semantics for Biodiversity Symposium

From October 28 - November 1, 2013 in Florence, Italy, the Semantics for Biodiversity Symposium will be offered as part of the TDWG Annual Conference 2013, an event widely attended by international experts in biodiversity informatics. The new Symposium on semantics for biodiversity has been co-organized by NCEAS' Director of Computing Mark Schildhauer and SONet Postdoctoral Associate Benjamin Adams, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Berkeley, the iPlant Collaborative, Arizona State University, University of Colorado, California Academy of Sciences, and other key institutions.

The Semantics for Biodiversity Symposium
A series of three, 90 minute sessions, scheduled on separate days, that together constitute a the "Semantics for Biodiversity" track.
  • Ontologies and Formal Models
  • Technologies, Reasoning and Annotation Methods
  • Interoperability with Genomic and Ecological Semantics
An initial "primer/tutorial" session will be offered to provide basic background information about semantic technologies, and how these can help inform biodiversity research.

The conveners of the Symposium have solicited participation from diverse communities including representation from the biodiversity informatics and standards-development community, as well as researchers interested in knowledge modeling and semantic application development in the biodiversity sciences, including relevant linkages to investigations in the ecological, genomic, and phylogenetic sciences.
Multiple groups of informaticians and technologists are currently developing semantic technologies to enhance discovery, interpretation, and interoperability of biodiversity data. The purpose of the Symposium series is to provide an important opportunity to these groups to present and discuss their activities in a coordinated fashion with a highly invested and relevant community who can help inform, critique, and contribute to their efforts. It is anticipated that these sessions will significantly raise awareness among computer scientists and engineers of the informatics challenges confronting the biodiversity community, particularly among those developing generalized knowledge representation and reasoning technologies, and machine-learning approaches.

A special issue of the Semantic Web Journal on "Semantics for Biodiversity" is planned for the conference and will cover similar thematic topics as the Symposium.

Please visit for additional information on each of the sessions.  Questions for the organizers can be directed to semantics4biodiversity [at]


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Posted on August 26, 2013