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Save the Date: Methods, Protocols, and Analytical Tools for Specimen-based Research in the Biological Sciences


Third Annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in collaboration with iDigBio of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Natural Science Collections Alliance are pleased to announce the third annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research conference, to be held 10-12 June 2019 at Yale University, New Haven, CT

The 2019 conference will focus on methods, protocols, and analytical tools for the use of digital data in biodiversity research and encompass the uses of such data across all disciplines within the biological and ecological sciences. Special emphasis is placed on the use of digitized specimen data and big data analytics. A full conference description is in process and the call for papers and conference registration will open in January 2019. Please save the date and watch for further announcements via several listservs and on this announcement page ( The conference will again provide an important opportunity to explore digital data tools, techniques, 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.

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

We are also pleased to offer the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) popular and successful Sustaining Biological Infrastructure: Strategies for Success (SBI) course, to be co-located with the conference. This course helps leaders of digital data resources, collections, field stations, and labs enhance their skills in strategic planning, communication, and financial management to make their projects more successful and sustainable. The course will be held June 12-14. Enrollment: $849 (discounted from $975). Colleague discount (second team member from the same project/lab/etc): $649. Limited space available. Please contact Jill Parsons, ESA’s Associate Director of Science Programs, at or Emily Mastrianni, Science Programs Specialist, at for more information. 

Conference Registration opens 28 January 2019Click here to view registration page

  • Deadline for workshop proposals: 23 March 2019
  • Deadline for those submitting an oral presentation or poster abstract: 30 April 2019
  • General registration deadline: 17 May 2019

This year, we will offer abstract submission opportunities for papers, discussion sessions, and workshops.Those proposing workshops will be required to register and submit an abstract by the early registration date of 23 March. 

Themes for oral presentations and posters might include:

  • published or publishable biodiversity research using digitized specimen data,
  • methods and protocols for enhancing discovery with digitized specimen data,
  • systematics and the use of digital specimen data,
  • ongoing research projects that utilize digital data,
  • gaps and deficiencies in currently available digital data that hinder effective use,
  • user critiques of digital data, aggregators, and data providers,
  • pipelines that integrate digitization, data use, and research,
  • standards and practices for depositing and documenting open access digital datasets,
  • the role and relevance of “Big Data” in biodiversity research,
  • use of digitized biodiversity specimen data within ecological research and practice,
  • conservation use of digital specimen data,
  • the relative importance of vouchers vs. observations as digital data,
  • managing digital biodiversity specimen data in support of research pipelines,
  • analyzing and visualizing specimen-based and related digital data.

Keynote speakers:

Rosemary Gillespie, Professor & Schlinger Chair in Systematic Entomology, Berkeley EvoLab, University of California, Berkeley, Essig Museum of Entomology, Department of Environmental Science.

Walter Jetz, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Jetz Lab: Global Biodiversity, Ecology & Conservation, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University.

Plenary speakers include:

Charles C. Davis, Professor, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Curator of Vascular Plants and Director, Harvard University Herbaria.

José Fortes, AT&T Eminent Scholar and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science, and founding Director of the Advanced Computing and Information Systems Laboratory at the University of Florida.

Nico Franz, Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University (ASU) where he serves as Curator of the Hasbrouck Insect Collection, Lead Coordinator of the Natural History Collections, Director of the Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC), and Director of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Biorepository.
Pincelli Hull, Assistant Professor, Geology and Geophysics, Department of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University.
Caroline Strömberg, Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington, 2017 receipient of the prestigious Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society.
Andrea Weeks, Program Director, Systematics and Biodiversity Science Cluster, National Science Foundation and Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of Biology, Director of the Ted R. Bradley Herbarium, George Mason University.
The planning team for the 2019 conference includes Tim White, Patrick Sweeney, Larry Gall, Susan Butts, Michael Donoghue, Nelson Rios, Greg Watkins-Colwell, and Michelle Duong from Yale, and Gil Nelson, Jill Goodwin, Larry Page, and Pam Soltis from iDigBio.