National Process developed to support biodiversity informatics skills and capacity development
The Establishment of the SANBI-GBIF Young Researchers Award Advisory Panel
One of the key focus areas for the SANBI-GBIF Node is to grow capacity and skills in biodiversity informatics, to support the mobilisation, management, use and application of biodiversity data for science, policy and decision making. In line with this the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has issued a call for the 2021 GBIF Young Researchers Award.
The award fosters innovative research and discovery in biodiversity informatics by graduate students in master’s and doctorate programmes at universities, whose studies rely on GBIF mediated data, in countries participating in the GBIF network. As the South African Node of GBIF, South Africa can nominate 2 early career researchers for this award, which includes a €5,000 prize. This year seven applications were received, including projects which focused leopard conservation, invasive species, processes shaping biodiversity at regional scale, trajectories of change in freshwater fish fauna etc. Winners are generally announced at the GBIF Governing Board Meeting (October 2021).
To support our efforts to develop and grow biodiversity informatics efforts and capacity at the national level, SANBI-GBIF has developed a national process to support the selection of candidates and has established a SANBI-GBIF Young Researchers Award Advisory Panel. This panel includes stakeholders from the University of the Western Cape, Iziko South African Museum, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency and Ditsong Museums of South Africa.
It is also supported by DSI and chaired by the SANBI-GBIF secretariat.