Sofie Meeus is a researcher and data steward at the Biodiversity Informatics team at Meise Botanic Garden in Belgium where she works at the interface of biodiversity research and informatics. She completed her PhD in evolutionary biology and population genetics at KU Leuven in Belgium and worked as a postdoctoral researcher on plant speciation and hybridization at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Her research at Meise Botanic Garden mainly focused on using machine learning and citizen science to digitize, extract and improve the quality of data from herbarium collections, to study impact of climate change on tropical trees and to increase public awareness on invasive alien species.
Currently, as a data steward, and member of the Flemish Research Data Network and the Biodiversity Information Standards community, she guides and assists researchers, mainly in the field of taxonomy, in digitizing, standardizing and publishing their scientific data to global sharing repositories, such as the Global Biodiversity Facility. She also collaborates in several European projects that aim to improve access to biodiversity data such as the ‘Biodiversity Community Integrated Knowledge Library’ (BiCIKL) and the ‘Distributed System of Scientific Collections’ (DiSSCo).
Biodiversity informatics is an active community providing tools and data infrastructures for integrating data and linking different data types needed for biodiversity research based on FAIR data and Open Science principles. Within the biodiversity research community, however, data sharing beyond the own bubble is incipient and more effort is needed to connect the generators of data with the data infrastructures already linked into the biodiversity knowledge hub. The main goal of my ambassadorship is to contribute in bridging this gap and to create incentive for researchers to share their data FAIRly by 1) showcasing the advantages of open and linked data for researchers and 2) providing training and accessible best practices guidelines for publishing research outputs.
Sophie's profile on the EOSC Future grants platform
Background information: EOSC Future open call programme
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