Save the Date: Emerging Innovations for Biodiversity Data

Second Annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference

4-6 June 2018, UC Berkeley Campus

The Berkeley Natural History Museums, the Berkeley Initiative for Global Change Biology, and iDigBio are pleased to announce the second annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference, to be held in Berkeley, CA, 4-6 June 2018. The rapid mobilization of digitized biodiversity data, led largely in the United States by the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program, has resulted in a substantial increase in available data for research and related activities. The 2018 conference will again encompass the uses of digitized data across all biodiversity disciplines, with special emphasis on digitized specimen data and the potential for “big data” analytics in organismal biology. Planning is in process and further details will be released in several successive mailings later this autumn and in early 2018. A call for papers will be circulated in January. Please save the date and watch for further announcements via several listservs and on the iDigBio website ( This conference will provide an important opportunity to explore digital data tools, techniques, discoveries, and outcomes across the biodiversity sciences. For further information or to ensure that you are on the email list, please contact Gil Nelson at iDigBio (

Registration: Registration fees are a modest $100.00 for professionals, $50.00 for students. 


The main themes for this year's event include:

  1. Addressing the fundamental questions of evolutionary biology and ecology
  2. Meeting the research challenges of the Anthropocene
  3. Biodiversity data archives for education and science outreach
  4. New tools for data discovery and analysis
  5. Future, untested frontiers for natural history collections 
Featured speaker list currently includes (continue to monitor for new additions):
  • James Hanken, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology; Professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard
  • David Blackburn, Associate Curator of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
  • Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Institute on Environment Fellow, University of Minnesota
  • Robert J. Full, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dena Smith, Program Director, Division of Earth Sciences, Sedimentary Geology & Paleobiology Program, U.S. National Science Foundation
  • Scott V. Edwards, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, and Curator of Ornithology and Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology
  • Paula M. Mabee, Professor of Biology, University of South Dakota, formerly Director of the Division of Environmental Biology in the NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)


Key features of the conference
  • Plenary and Keynote speakers
  • Invited and contributed talks from industry and academic leaders
  • Poster sessions and breakout discussion groups
  • Affiliated technical workshops
  • Optional field trips to UC Berkeley reserves: Point Reyes Field Station and Blue Oak Ranch Reserve


The inital planning team for this conference includes (watch for additional planners and sponsors to come onboard): David Ackerly, Michael Nachman, Carl Boettiger, Carla Cicero, Carol Spencer, Michelle Koo, and Heather Constable from UC Berkeley, and Gil Nelson, Larry Page, Pam Soltis, Alex Thompson, and Jill Goodwin from iDigBio.