Announcing the GBIF Biodiversity Open Data Ambassadors

The success of GBIF depends in part on establishing a good understanding within research and policy communities of the benefits and opportunities provided by free and open access to biodiversity data, as well as the importance of responsible use of such data through proper citation and attribution.

The GBIF Secretariat and GBIF participant nodes work to promote this understanding through their communication platforms, at meetings and across networks around of the world. However, this relatively small group can never hope to reach all relevant communities without assistance.

Biodiversity Open Data Ambassadors can fill that gap. If you are a biodiversity professional who promotes the principles and best practices of open data sharing and use, we can equip you with information resources, networking opportunities and recognition to make you an even more effective advocate in your own professional communities.

Qualifications and commitment

Are you a potential Biodiversity Open Data Ambassador? We ask for some minimum qualifications and a basic level of commitment, namely that:

  • You can provide at least one example in which you have shared biodiversity data through GBIF, used GBIF-mediated data, and/or advocated open data in your professional capacity
  • You agree with the ICSU-World Data System Data Sharing Principles: in short, that data should be shared openly in a timely manner, with the fewest restrictions possible and used with proper citation.
  • You consent to have your contact details openly available on, and possibly on websites run by GBIF nodes and partners
  • You consent to be contacted by GBIF Secretariat and GBIF nodes with requests to promote open biodiversity data at particular events
  • You undertake to provide details of at least one example each year of an event, publication or process in which you have advocated for open biodiversity data

How to become a Biodiversity Open Data Ambassador

If you fit the description above, it’s simple—just fill out this form.

We will review your application then contact you to confirm your role as a Biodiversity Open Data Ambassador. We will give you details of how you can access resources to help you with your advocacy, including presentation slides, talking points, posters, brochures and other materials.

Once you are confirmed as an ambassador, we will also put you in touch with your national GBIF node, if you are in a participating country (if, indeed, you aren’t already). Working together, you and node staff may be able to help strengthen connections with relevant national research and policy communities. We will also inform you of other GBIF-related activities in your country such as data publishing, projects and research use examples.

Biodiversity Open Data Ambassadors are also encouraged to network with one another through a group in the GBIF Community Forum to which you will be invited when your role is confirmed.


Questions or comments? Contact us at

Biodiversity Open Data Ambassadors

Name Affiliation Country Areas of expertise ORCID Image removed.
Mary Barkworth Intermountain Herbarium United States Poaceae, identification resources, plant taxonomy, outreach, education
Nina Filippova Yugra State University Russian Federation Fungi, macromycetes, mycology, taiga, peatland, Siberia
Alice Hughes Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences China Conservation, biodiversity, endemism, data standards, modelling, spatial analysis, trend analysis, biogeography, methodologies
Nicole Kearney Biodiversity Heritage Library, Museums Victoria Australia Digitisation, digitization, biodiversity, heritage, literature, museums, museum, libraries, library, transcription, online publishing, DOIs, collections, digital preservation, metadata, science communication, open access, data, interoperability, editing
Paula Lightfoot Newcastle University United Kingdom Remote sensing, GIS, marine, coastal, UAVs, diving
Nicky Nicolson Biodiversity Informatics & Spatial Analysis, RBG Kew / Department of Computer Science, Brunel University London United Kingdom Biodiversity informatics, machine learning, data mining, museum collections, botany
Anabela Plos Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” MACN-CONICET / Sistema Nacional de Datos Biológicos SNDB Argentina Digitization, biological data, biodiversity data, Botany, Asteraceae, Apiaceae, data portals, data quality, checklist
Constance Rinaldo Biodiversity Heritage Library / Librarian, Museum of Comparative Zoology United States Biodiversity, Peromyscus, Microtus, Sorex, ecology, behavior, information resources
Wouter Addink Naturalis Biodiversity Center Netherlands Data infrastructure, FAIR data principles, interoperability, open source software development, botany, ornamentals
Arturo H. Ariño University of Navarra Spain Biodiversity, taxonomical databases, soil ecology, global ecology, biogeography, bioinformatics, environmental science, air pollution, distributions, methodology, Mediterranean ecosystems
Olaf Banki Naturalis Biodiversity Centre Netherlands Tropics, trees, sample-based & species occurrence data, stakeholder engagement, building consortia, biodiversity data research infrastructures
Dimitri Broesens INBO / Belgian Biodiversity Platform Belgium Biodiversity informatics, Darwin Core, data management, databases, IPT, metadata
Torsten Dikow Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History United States Diptera, Asilidae, taxonomy, cybertaxonomy, sharing research data, open access to biodiversity data
Dag Endresen University of Oslo Norway biodiversity informatics, agrobiodiversity, machine learning, food security, persistent identifiers, research infrastructure
Anders Gravbrøt Finstad Norwegian University of Technology and Science, Department of Natural History Norway Ecology, biodiversity-informatics, distribution modelling, freshwater ecology, climate change impacts
Chris Gentle Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute Australia Data sharing to improve our understanding of the cumulative impact of actions over time  
Rob Guralnick Florida Museum of Natural History United States Biodiversity informatics, systems and taxonomy, global monitoring  
Tsuyoshi Hosoya National Museum of Nature and Science Japan Biodiversity, databasing, Fungi, inventory, systematics, phylogeny, specimen database  
Takeshi Osawa Tokyo Metropolitan University Japan Biodiversity Informatics, Macro Ecology, Spatial Analysis, Virtual Ecology
Prabhakar Rajagopal India Biodiversity Portal India Biodiversity Informatics, India Biodiversity Portal, Tropics, developing countries
Maxim Shashkov Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology RAS – the Branch of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences Russian Federation Earthworm ecology, ecosystem modelling, UAV and remote sensing
Dirk Steinke Centre for Biodiversity Genomics Canada DNA barcoding, metabarcoding, metagenomics, eDNA, SDM, mapping, diversity indicies, molecular evolution, fish, mitonuclear evolution, polinators
Rob Stevenson University of Massachusetts Boston United States Environmental science, biodiversity science, citizen science, biodiversity, habitat loss, invasive species, extinction, extirpation, population declines, science methods, data quality, data mobilization, biodiversity standards, vocabularies, ontologies, user interface design
John Wieczorek VertNet Argentina Biodiversity informatics, data mobilization, data quality, tools, software development, training, georeferencing, research, standards, vocabularies

Other volunteer roles within the GBIF network

GBIF has an open call for volunteer mentors to provide more hands-on assistance and training for our capacity enhancement activities. A Biodiversity Open Data Ambassador can also serve as a GBIF mentor.