Dimitris is Chief Information Officer at Naturalis Biodiversity Center and executive director of the Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo) European Research Infrastructure. He holds a PhD in biosystematics with post-doctoral expertise in biodiversity informatics and in the research data lifecycle. He is an Invited lecturer, teaching biodiversity informatics, across European universities. He is on executive boards of several multi-partner multi-million European projects. He also serves at various other board-level positions of international organisations. He has been an active member of RDA since 2014, co-chairing different interest and working groups. He has served on the RDA Technical Advisory Board since 2018.
What is your history with the RDA and what impact has it had on you?
My first experience with RDA was during the Amsterdam plenary in 2014. And what an experience that was. It created such an impact that it would be fair to say that has partly, yet substantially, contributed to the development of my career. Being able to put the socio-technical challenges that my community was facing (biodiversity information) in the wider context of the multi-disciplinary work of RDA was instrumental in understanding the critical issues and borrow solutions and approaches from a multitude of other communities.
RDA has not, however, only been a place for knowledge and experience exchange. It has been a space where one can acquire different (new) and inspiring perspectives on the topics at hand. Over the years, I got more and more involved in co-chairing different Interest and Working Groups, and gradually built a sense of own responsibility towards the community that led me to seek my election as a TAB member in 2018. Over the last years, following the increasing production of outputs by interest and working groups, we have significantly benefited from adopting an array of outputs that today form the core of the technical architecture of a new pan-European Research Infrastructure for natural science collections (DiSSCo). Over the last seven years, I feel that I grew and learned together with my colleagues and friends at RDA in a true community spirit.
What do you feel you bring to the TAB and what is your experience so far in being a member?
My commitment to further contributing to RDA, through my role in the TAB, was mainly driven by my strong interest in leveraging the fantastic potential of RDA in developing cross-disciplinary collaboration. TAB plays a pivotal role in this. I was further invested in improving mechanisms and establishing lightweight processes to better monitor the activity of groups, developing performance indicators for TAB, and Improving the authoritative voice of TAB, in relevant forums outside RDA. Despite the many steps made towards those objectives, the ever-growing size of the RDA community always poses new challenges and requires more organisational capacity and new solutions. As a member of RDA, I have made efforts to bring more people from my community of practice into RDA and help them navigate the complex landscape of groups, people and opportunities. After seven years of continuous commitment to RDA and its mission, I know that I benefited from the RDA community way more than what I have contributed. I will always be grateful. And for that, I would like to wholeheartedly say: Thank you RDA!