About the Technical Team

A small group of dedicated professionals with a wide range of skills and experience in data management and informatics for natural sciences collections, responsible for making informed decisions about the technical design of the DiSSCo data infrastructure and allied elements. We love what we do.

Wouter Addink

Wouter leads the DiSSCo Technical Team in his capacity of leading DiSSCo technical development preparations. He is coordinating the creation of a European Loans and Visits System (ELViS) in the EU funded project SYNTHESYS+. This is a core DiSSCo service under construction from 2020 andto 2022. His involvement in relevant developments in TDWG biodiversity information standards, the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and participation in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) also contribute to Technical Team.

Wouter is also:
Coordinator, Research Data and e-Infrastructure at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NL.
Deputy Director for Data and Technology in the DiSSCo Coordination and Support Office.

Falko Glöckler

Falko leads the department Science Data Management in the Science Programme “Digital World and Information Science” at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. Falko undertakes research in ecology, databases and software engineering.

He is a technical expert contributing to work package 5 of DiSSCo Prepare

Technical Expert
Chair of DiSSCo Synchronisation Group 2 (standards and common resources)

Anton Güntsch

Anton specialises in collection information systems, standardisation of collection data as well as semantic enrichment and interoperability of “Linked Open Collection Data”. He co-ordinates the development of a platform for maintaining DiSSCo data standards as well as common semantic resources and chairs the DiSSCo Synchronisation Group 2 on standards and common resources. Anton is chair of the CETAF Information Science & Technology Commission (ISTC).

Anton is Head of the Biodiversity Informatics Research Group at the
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin (BGBM).

Sharif Islam

Sharif Islam has more than ten years experience working with large scale research computing and data infrastructures in both the USA  and Europe. He is currently the Data Architect for DiSSCo, and and leads the design of the European Loans and Visits System (ELViS) in the EU funded SYNTHESYS+ project. His research interests include the intersection of software, algorithms, and data within the context of our current understanding of nature, culture, and society.

Sharif is Data Architect in the DiSSCo Coordination and Support Office, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NL.

Claus Weiland

Claus leads the development team of Senckenberg’s biodiversity databases and collection management system as well as DiSSCo Prepare’s WP 6 “Technical architecture & service provision”.
His primary fields of activity and interest cover the representation of biological objects in knowledge bases and the application of machine learning (graph neural networks) on those. Within DiSSCo Prepare, Claus’ special focus is on the integration of machine learning algorithms and semantics into the DiSSCo architecture, taking particular account of community efforts like the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry.  He is actively involved in the development of the Flora Phenotype Ontology (FLOPO) and the EnviroPackets format.

Technical Expert

Matt Woodburn

Matt’s interests and work spans a range of topics relating to bio/geodiversity and natural science collections data, including data modelling, standards, workflows, management, tools and systems. He is a co-convener of the TDWG Collection Descriptions Interest Group and Data Standard Task Group, with a current focus on dynamic data models for describing and quantifying collections, and linking them to digital specimens. Within DiSSCo Prepare, he leads a task within Work Package 5 on modernising technical infrastructure for science data mobilisation and publication, and is also working on the design of a framework for structuring data policies and linking them to DiSSCo services as part of Work Package 7.

Matt is a Data Architect in the Diversity and Informatics Group of the Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Biodiversity informatics and molecular taxonomy expert

Urmas Kõljalg

Prof. Urmas Kõljalg (Male) is a professor in mycology of the University of Tartu,
Estonia since 2001. He is also serving as a director of the Natural History Museum and
Botanical Garden of the same university since 2005. His major research area is
biodiversity informatics and molecular taxonomy.

Urmas is involved in the DiSSCo related Task 7.4 in the BiCIKL project, which aims at providing specimen information as FAIR Digital Objects. During the last eighteen years he
has been developing online tools for managing open and linked biodiversity data
(http://plutof.ut.ee) and for the metabarcoding of fungi (https://unite.ut.ee). He is leading the UNITE Board (https://unite.ut.ee/board.php) and Estonian research infrastructure roadmap project NATARC (http://natarc.ut.ee/en/index.php ) which is developing national e-infrastructure for the natural and earth sciences.

Former Technical Team members

Technical Architect/Expert

Alex Hardisty

Alex has recently retired. He is interested in bio/geodiversity informatics, the engineering of large-scale distributed information systems for data management and processing, virtual research environments and socio-technical issues of new technology adoption, Alex is a technical architect, before his retirement he was leading DiSSCo technical work on open Digital Specimens (openDS), Minimum Information about Digital Specimens/Collections (MIDS/MICS) & exploiting machine-actionable FAIR Digital Objects. Alex was also chairing the DiSSCo Synchronisation Group 3 on tools and services.

Alex was before his retirement Director of Informatics Projects in the School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, UK.

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