Digital Data 2021: Digital Datas Grand Challenge: Expanding Discovery Across Multiple Domains

Fifth Annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference
The Florida Museum of Natural History in collaboration with iDigBio and the Natural Science Collections Alliance is pleased to announce the fifth annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, to be hosted virtually 7-9 June 2021.
Please watch for further announcements and program developments via several listservs and on this announcement page. The conference will again provide an important opportunity to explore digital data tools, techniques, research protocols, discoveries, and outcomes across all biodiversity research domains. For further information or to ensure that you are on the conference email list, please contact Gil Nelson ( or Jill Goodwin ( at iDigBio.
Digital Data Conference Registration Fees*: 
$100.00 for professionals
$50.00 for students. 
Optional registration fees will support the digital format technology, the editing and publication of abstracts, and keeping the conference sustainable. 
*Registration fees are optional but encouraged. When registering, those who wish not to make a financial contribution to the conference will have that option. Although registration is optional, your registration information, even if you opt out of the fee, will allow us to keep you updated about conference activities.
Registration will open February 1st.  Visit Eventbrite to register:
For agenda and logistic information visit the conference wiki page:
Abstract Submissions:
Options for submission include: discussion, oral, or poster presentations.For more information about submission requirements, visit the conference wiki page.
Discussion sessions may be up to one hour long and will be scheduled within the concurrent session blocks. These may begin with a presentation or introduction followed by discussion or may be completely devoted to open discussion.
Submitting abstracts: The abstract submission link will be sent via Eventbrite after you register for the conference. Contact us if you have problems finding the link after you register.
Abstract submission deadlines: 23 April 2021
Themes for 2021:
The 2021 conference hopes to attract presentations focusing on the use of digitized specimen data in the following areas.
Grand Challenges and Expanded Uses of Digital Biodiversity Data 
  • Human/public health
  • Biotechnology
  • Infectious disease transmission and mitigation
  • Food, soil, water security
  • Bioinspired design
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Data mining/parsing
  • Computer vision
Genomic Data
  • eDNA
  • Vouchers for genomic samples
  • Landscape genetics
  • Biodiversity genomics
  • Ecological and natural resource restoration
  • Environmental justice
  • Preservation of ecosystem services
  • Invasive species/agriculture
  • Traditional Knowledge
Enhancing Digital Records
  • Digital specimen record
  • Extended specimen concept
Influencing Policy
  • Climate change
  • Environment
  • Air and water

Keynote and Plenary Speakers:

Alina Zare - Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Machine Learning and Sensing Lab, University of Florida
Brian Stucky - Assistant Scientist at the Florida Museum of Natural History
David Pecor - Museum Specialist, Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit
José Fortes - AT&T Eminent Scholar and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida 
Katja Seltmann - Director of the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration, UC Santa Barbara
Matthew Kane - Program Director, National Science Foundation

NEW this year!

Virtual Tours of the Florida Museum of Natural History's collections: Digital collection and imaging tours hosted by Florida Museum staff. Tours included: Environmental Archaeology, Lepidoptera, Vertebrate Paleontology, Ichthyology, Herpetology, Malacology, Mammalogy,  2D & 3D Imaging. See wiki page for dates and times.

Virtual Mentoring: Since we are virtual again this year we created a way to digitize some of that organic mentoring magic that happens at every conference through a new initiative: the Digital Data Mentorship Program. We will pair biodiversity professionals as mentors with emerging professionals and students as mentees and arrange an opportunity for them to speak informally about research, academia, careers, and beyond! If you are interested in serving as a mentor or participating as a mentee please select these options in the Digital Data Registration. More details are coming soon!

Bioblitz: What biodiversity is in your backyard? How much biodiversity can the Digital Data Community document? We are taking advantage of the fact that we are virtual again this year by asking participants to document biodiversity in their gardens, yards, and neighborhoods all around the world. The 2021 Digital Data Conference BioBlitz will be conducted virtually from 7 - 9 June 2021. To participate, all you need is an account on iNaturalist, a smartphone, tablet, or a camera and computer. Stay tuned for more!

FLMNH announces 2 Faculty Positions in AI

The University of Florida (UF) is embarking on a campus-wide strategic initiative to hire clusters of faculty with expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI). As part of this initiative, the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) is seeking qualified applicants for two 12-month, tenure-track faculty positions in AI, broadly envisioned, with innovative research interests and experience. These positions will be filled at the Assistant or Associate faculty level in the FLMNH Department of Natural History. Salary is competitive and negotiable based on experience. Click here to read the full position announcement.