Tony Rees, OBIS Australia, wins the Ebbe Nielsen Prize

Submitted by ward.appeltans on Mon, 2014-07-14 03:02


The GBIF Science Committee awards the annual Ebbe Nielsen Prize to researchers combining biosystematics and biodiversity informatics research in an exciting and novel way.This year, GBIF has awarded its prestigious Prize to Tony Rees, whose groundbreaking informatics tools have significantly advanced the delivery of data about life on Earth. He will receive the Prize at GBIF’s 21st Governing Board Meeting (GB21), which takes place this year in New Delhi, India, from 16-18 September.

Tony Rees is the manager of the marine research data centre at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and our OBIS Australia node manager.

We are very glad Tony Rees' life work, dedication and perseverance is rewarded by this prestigious prize. Tony has successfully combined two of his passions, informatics and biology, and with the right intuition and knowledge has built solutions that has been used by thousands of scientists all over the world. The development of a global reference list of all genera and a species name matching tool was spot on. We are all used to automated spell checkers now, but correcting scientific names is something different. His tool is able to catch >95% of all the common misspellings and variations and has substantially increased the quality of data in OBIS. More than ten years ago he invented c-squares, a global grid coding system, which we still use today for indexing and mapping our species observations.

[Original story on GBIF web site]

OBIS is a project of:
IODE Sponsored by:
Martin International and Les Grands Explorateurs
With in-kind support from:
Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University
Universidad Simón Bolívar Flanders Marine Institute

OBIS strives to document the ocean's diversity, distribution and abundance of life. Created by the Census of Marine Life, OBIS is now part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, under its International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme.