Harmonization of metadata and data lies at the foundation of data sharing, transdisciplinary collaboration, capacity building and community development in a decentral, federated network. My work focuses on standards that have the aim to empower data providers, including indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as well as scientific collections, enable participatory decision-making based on rights-based approaches for humans and nature, and provide visibility to the contributions of data providers.

Ethical and legal framework for the DES

Continuing the discussions on “Meeting legal/regulatory, ethical and sensitive data obligations” during the second phase of the community consultation by the alliance for biodiversity knowledge, for which I was one of the moderators, a group of scientists, collection professionals and consultants is working towards defining the functions and characteristics of an ethical and legal framework for the Digital Extended Specimen (DES).

Strengthening cross-continental and interdisciplinary connections, a cooperation between the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC), brings together members and working groups involved in publishing. The focus of the cooperation is on best practices for presenting data in publications to enable their linking with associated data, as well as clarifying copyright and licensing questions for liberating data from publications.

Presenting one of the keynote talks at a Mobilise COST Action and SYNTHESYS+ workshop (September 29-30, 2021) engaging the community towards “A Loans and Permits Data Standard for Scientific Collections”, I joined the “Permits & Loans” standard developing SYNTHESYS+ working group as associated member. The objectives of the working group include compiling a list of applicable document types (e.g. permits, agreements), their classification into higher level document categories and an typology of content extracting the permissions, prohibitions and obligations (cp. the W3C ODRL standard) stated within the documents.

Global collections catalogue and network

In connection with using GRSciColl as infrastructure tool for building a global collections network, and thereby expanding the global catalog’s functionality and data (see “Implementations and Applications”) I joined TDWG‘s Latimer Core task group (see TDWG-CD) to contribute to the development and the application of the collection description standard.

This is complemented by work in the Darwin Core Material Sample task group, with the aim to clarify and define controlled vocabularies needed to complement Latimer Core and for application by GRSciColl.

DES backbone and DO specification

My contributions focus on the structure, building blocks and functions required by the backbone of the Digital Extended Specimen (DES) data infrastructure and the representation of collections as Digital Objects (DOs) as part of the development of the openDS data model (see Digital Infrastructure and Workflow Development).


I am a member of Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG; see Latimer Core task group above) and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). In the RDA I joined the FAIR Digital Object Fabric (DFIG; see also the FDO-CWFR working group) and the Biodiversity Data Integration interest groups.