GBIF has awarded its 2014 Ebbe Nielsen Prize to Tony Rees
Added on 2014-07-15 09:55:53 by Vandepitte, Leen
GBIF has awarded its prestigious Ebbe Nielsen Prize for 2014 to Tony Rees, whose groundbreaking informatics tools have significantly advanced the delivery of data about life on Earth.
Rees is manager of the marine research data center at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and manager of the Interim Register of Marine and Non-Marine Genera (IRMNG). He will receive the €30,000 Ebbe Nielsen Prize at GBIF’s 21st Governing Board Meeting (GB21), which takes place this year in New Delhi, India, from 16-18 September. The GBIF Science Committee awards the annual prize to researchers combining biosystematics and biodiversity informatics research in an exciting and novel way. GBIF’s Australian delegation nominated Rees in recognition of four innovative achievements that have advanced global progress in biodiversity informatics: Tony has designed and constructed the ‘Taxamatch’ software, which detects and corrects wrong or variant spellings of taxonomic names. This tool has been installed in several global biodiversity data systems, including the World Register of Marine Species. He is responsible for conceiving and implementing the Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG), initially developed as an information backbone for the Census of Marine Life and OBIS project. It is now a significant data source for a number of systems including GBIF, for which it forms part of the taxonomic backbone that helps to organize species information published through the network. As communicated earlier, The Flanders Marine Institute – the host institute of WoRMS – will take over the hosting of IRMNG in 2014. Tony has also developed the ‘c-squares’ spatial index and mapping system and has redesigned the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), introducing centralized taxonomic indexing, spatial indexing and rapid online mapping for the first time.