Welcome to the March 2023 edition of our newsletter.
Dr Andre Zerger, ALA Director

2023 will be an exciting year for the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and our partners in the biodiversity data sector with Australia hosting two major international events later this year.

First, in partnership with CSIRO’s National Research Collections Australia we are excited to bring the Biodiversity Information Standards TDWG (Taxonomic Data Working Group) conference to Hobart from 9 – 13 October. TDWG sets and evolves international standards such as Darwin Core that make the work that ALA and our partners do possible. In addition to TDWG’s focus on biodiversity informatics, science applications of biodiversity data will feature prominently at the conference, so we warmly invite you to get involved – who doesn’t enjoy a major science event on the Hobart waterfront? 

Second, the ALA has been proud of its ongoing partnership with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) where we’ve gained enormous value from relationships with the international GBIF network. At last year’s GBIF Governing Board meeting in Brussels, the ALA and our biological collections partners in CSIRO successfully bid to host the 2023 meeting of the Governing Board in Australia. The meeting will follow directly from the TDWG event and will be hosted in Canberra in mid-October. It’s been 20 years since Australia hosted a meeting of the Governing Board and we are excited to welcome our international partners. 

Finally, I’d like to reflect on a remarkable experience our team had over recent months hosting two Indigenous Internship students. We welcomed Caitlin Ramsay (University of New South Wales) and Amos Smith (University of Western Australia) who partnered with our Science and Decision Support team over the summer period on two applied projects. As a team, we gained so much from their involvement in our work, and it was rewarding to provide them with some insight into the role of national research infrastructure in Australia’s science and innovation system. For me, it highlighted the value of bringing diversity and new ideas into a team, and the responsibility more established institutions such as the ALA have in supporting our upcoming research infrastructure specialists. 

We hope you enjoy our March newsletter.