Based at the IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende, Ward will be responsible for the management of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) as well as for the IODE Ocean Data Portal.
Mr Ward Appeltans has an MSc in Environmental Biology. He has nearly 10 years of professional experience in marine biological data management. He has been working as a project leader at the data centre of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), where he led data management and communication activities of several EU projects (e.g., MarBEF, PESI, ...). His main area is biogeographic and taxonomic information, being the manager of the European node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (EurOBIS) for three years and manager of the World and European Register of Marine Species (WoRMS and ERMS) databases. Ward was also Secretary of the Council of the Society for the Management of Electronic Biodiversity Data (SMEBD).
For 2012, the OBIS coordination and operational activities are split in two parts: (i) technical work - carried out at Rutgers University (by Dr Edward Vanden Berghe) - ; and (ii) coordination/strategy/administration - carried out at the IOC Project Office for IODE, Oostende, Belgium (by Mr Ward Appeltans).
OBIS was part of the 10-year Census of Marine Life programme through funding from the A. Sloan Foundation. In June 2009, the UNESCO-IOC General Assembly adopted OBIS as part of its IODE programme.