Other sites

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Home > Resources > Publications > Newsletters > DIVERSITAS Newsletter > DIVERSITAS Newsletter - 2013 #04

DIVERSITAS Newsletter - 2013 #04

DIVERSITAS Newsletter - 2013 #04

To read this newsletter online, please click here.


© Cornelia Krug


bioDISCOVERY: the TRY initiative is gaining recognition

TRY is a global plant trait data base. At the INTECOL/BES congress (18-23 Aug, London, UK), the TRY initiative held a symposium on plant functional ecology and vegetation modelling.  Sandra Diaz, SC-DIVERSITAS member and co-leader of TRY, gave a plenary lecture (19 Oct). The first week of September, the TRY initiative held its 5th workshop at iDIV, Leipzig, Germany.

TRY activities at the INTECOL/BES congress

For the joint INTECOL/BES congress, held August 18 – 23, 2013, the TRY initiative organised a symposium dedicated to Plant functional ecology and vegetation modelling in a new data rich world. The symposium was co-organised by Jens Kattge (MPI-BGC), Sandra Diaz (Cordoba National University), Franziska Schrodt (MPI-BGC) and Cornelia Krug (bioDISCOVERY).

The symposium was split into two sessions, one focussing on vegetation modelling, the other on plant trait ecology. The keynote presenters for these sessions were respectively, Colin Prentice (Macquarie University, Australia and Imperial College, London, UK) on "Towards the next generation of dynamic global vegetation models", and Eric Garnier (CEFE, France) on "From plant traits to community functional structure and ecosystem properties". Full speakers' list of the symposium here.

The TRY initiative and TRY database were further introduced to congress participants through the plenary lecture by Sandra Diaz, titled "Theophrastus in the tangled bank: searching for generality underpinning plant functional trait diversity". In this lecture, Sandra Diaz highlighted the contribution that the TRY data base has made in providing extensive data enabling the search for generalities in plant responses to environmental gradients and environmental change.

5th Workshop of the TRY initiative, 3-5 September 2013 at iDIV in Leipzig, Germany

Following up on the congress, the TRY initiative held its 5th meeting at the German Integrative Centre for Biodiversity Research (iDIV) the 3-5 September 2013. The meeting was the largest meeting so far, with nearly a hundred participants from more than 20 countries.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the current state of the TRY database, ongoing research using data from the TRY database, and reports from other biodiversity data initiatives, such as GBIF, DataONE, LEDA and Fluxnet. The second day was dedicated to discussions in working groups on:

  • Plant traits and vegetation modelling (Colin Prentice, Nicolas Viovy)
  • Plant trait prediction and gap-filling (Arindam Banerjee)
  • The global spectrum of plant function (Sandra Diaz, Sandra Lavorel)
  • Plant traits and phylogenetic analyses (William Pearse)
  • Next generation trait screening projects (Joe Craine)
  • Linking Plant traits to plot data (Oliver Purschke)
  • Tropical Forest Trait Group (Christopher Baratolo)

The third day of the meeting was spent refining the TRY initiative, especially in the light of making the data of the TRY database "open access".

More information on TRY here.



DIVERSITAS and its partners will hold a series of events prior to and during SBSTTA 17.

Expert Workshop on enhancing biodiversity data and observing systems in support of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, 12 Oct 2013, Palais des Congrès, Montreal

The overall goal of this workshop is to engage governments and organizations in a dialogue with the Earth observation community, particularly GEO-BON, on the development of biodiversity observation systems, both by learning from existing experiences and helping to start new programmes.

The workshop objectives are to:

  1. Identify ways to improve collection and use of observations by Parties in monitoring and reporting progress in implementing NBSAPs and thereby achieving progress towards the Ai-chi Biodiversity Targets.
  2. Raise awareness of available tools, products and approaches, and of the organisations and networks such as GEO BON that can support delivery of improved biodiversity observations and their use.

Download the workshop documents here.

Second meeting of the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 Advisory Group, 13 October (upon invitation)

Paul Leadley (University Paris Sud XI, France) and Ben ten Brink (The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) will report on the progress of the scenarios section of GBO-4 to the GBO-4 Advisory Group. Paul Leadley will also report on the progress towards GBO-4 to the CBD SBSTTA Bureau.

Side event "Scenarios assessment for the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4", Tuesday 15th October 2013, 13:15 – 14:45, Room 7A (Level 3)

An in-depth global assessment of scenarios of biodiversity change in response to changes in environmental factors forms the background of the GBO-4. The objective for the scenarios assessment is to provide clearer input into policy and a stronger dialogue with stakeholders to develop a broader range of visions of socio-economic development pathways and their impacts on the environment. Progress in the development of this work will be presented.

Download the side event programme here.

Several members of the DIVERSITAS community will be panellists during the SBSTTA Plenaries:

  • Robert Scholes (CSIR, South Africa), Chair, GEO BON, will present the outcomes of the Expert Workshop on enhancing biodiversity data and observing systems in support of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, held on 12th Oct 2013 (Plenary, Monday 14th morning)
  • Paul Leadley (University of Paris Sud XI, France), Chair, DIVERSITAS bioDISCOVERY, will report on the progress of the scenarios assessment chapter of the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 (Plenary Monday 14th morning)
  • Stanley Asah (University of Washington USA) will present how behavioural science, and more broadly social sciences can contribute to achieve the Aichi targets, and especially those under Strategic Goal A (Plenary Monday 14th afternoon)

Talks on biodiversity organised by CBD, McGill University, Concordia University and HEC Montreal

A series of talks on the role of business, science and traditional knowledge in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020.

Participation in the Science and Biodiversity session, 15 Oct, Redpath Museum at McGill University, 19:00-21:30:

  • Stanley T Asah, College of the Environment, University of Washington
  • Paul Leadley, Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systematique, et Evolution, University of Paris Sud XI
  • Ben ten Brink, Netherlands Department of Nature, Landscape and Biodiversity

Download the full programme here.


Anne Larigauderie appointed Head of Science in Society at ICSU and Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard appointed Acting Executive Director of DIVERSITAS

DIVERSITAS wishes Anne the best in her new position!

Anne Larigauderie, Executive Director of DIVERSITAS, was appointed Head of Science in Society at the Paris based International Council for Science, ICSU on 1st September 2013. There are no words to thank Anne for her contribution to DIVERSITAS, her continuous efforts and dedication over the years.

In her new functions, Anne will provide leadership on ICSU’s initiatives to strengthen the interfaces between science and policy, business and civil society. An important task will be to identify and implement the most effective strategies that ICSU can make in this sector, engaging with government, business and civil society groups who share common interests and ability to act to advance the ICSU mission. ICSU has a particular interest in environmental and sustainable development issues, but is also broadening its portfolio of programmes. Anne will remain active as Head of ICSU's delegation to IPBES.

Anne-Helene Prieur-Richard will be serving as Acting Executive Director until the transition of DIVERSITAS towards Future Earth is completed.



A short note of farewell to the DIVERSITAS community by Anne Larigauderie

I am grateful to the thousands of scientists who have invested their time freely and continue to do so in DIVERSITAS. I am also indebted to my Colleagues at the DIVERSITAS Secretariat. Small teams of dedicated and fun Professionals can move mountains!



From 18 – 23 August 2013, the International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) and the British Ecological Society (BES) held a joint congres as part of the centenary celebrations of the BES. DIVERSITAS scientists joined more than 2000 scientists from around the world in the congress themed "advancing ecology and making it count".


Science-Policy Workshop on Access and Benefit-Sharing for non-commercial, academic Research in LAC

20-22 November 2013, Lima, Peru, Co-organised by DIVERSITAS, ICSU-ROLAC, SCNAT, IUBS, and the University of Bonn


Future Earth regional workshop for Europe: Final report

This workshop organised by the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, together with ICSU and ISSC, took place in Paris on 13-14 May 2013.


IPBES-2: Stakeholder Engagement

Events related to stakeholder engagement at IPBES-2, 9-14 December, Antalya, Turkey


IPBES - Pan-European stakeholder consultation to support the intersessional process

Following the July 2013 meeting in Leipzig, Germany


Vacancy: IPBES French National Commitee Executive Secretary

At the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité - FRB), Paris, France


Call for evidence: the Royal Society project: Human resilience to climate change and disasters

Deadline for submissions of evidence: 5 November 2013.


IHDP Writing Contest on "Beyond GDP" Is Now Open

Deadline: 15 October 2013


Vacancy: Global Land Project (GLP) IPO Project Officer

Deadline for application 20 October 2013


Vacancy: Global Land Project (GLP) IPO Executive Officer

Deadline for application 20 October 2013



DIVERSITAS 2012-2013 Annual Report published!

This annual report presents DIVERSITAS' achievements in biodiversity science as well as DIVERSITAS' contributions to key assessment (IPBES), observations (GEO and GEO BON) and policy (CBD, UNFCCC) mechanisms. Highlights include news on the transition of DIVERSITAS into the new Future Earth programme, and contributions to the post Rio+20 discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


DIVERSITAS - bioSUSTAINABILITY book: scientific analysis and assessment of cities

Elmqvist T, Fragkias M, Goodness J, Güneralp B, Marcotullio PJ, McDonald RI, Parnell S, Schewenius M, Sendstad M, Seto KC and Wilkinson C. 2013. Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities - A Global Assessment. Springer. New York. 755p.


GWSP Global Water News special issue published

"Human beings are undermining our own water security. That much we know - do we know enough to avoid disaster?"


EcoHealth Alliance 2012 annual report published



Blog post from A Hendry, Chair, SC-bioGENESIS

"Eco-evolutionary medicine: why cancer is different" in Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics blog


Upcoming events

Expert Workshop on enhancing biodiversity data and observing systems in support of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020

Oct 12, 2013 - Montreal, Canada

12 Oct 2013, Palais des Congrès, Montreal, Canada, jointly organised by GEO BON and S-CBD



Oct 14, 2013 - Oct 18, 2013 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

At its 17th meeting, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity is expected to address issues related to marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change, and collaboration with IPBES


Belgian Biodiversity Platform Conference: Conservation Research Matters

Oct 22, 2013 - Brussels, Belgium

Deadline for registration 31 July 2013


Symposium "Risk societies, edge environments: ecosystems and livelihoods in the balance"

Oct 23, 2013 - Oct 25, 2013

23-25 October, RIHN, Kyoto, Japan


4th Eco-Evol workshop

Oct 28, 2013 - Nov 01, 2013 - Leipzig, Germany

Upon invitation


German National Committee for Future Earth meeting

Nov 07, 2013 - Germany

Upon invitation


HarmBio workshop: Decisions Support Systems for Biodiversity Predictions

Nov 07, 2013 - Nov 09, 2013 - Crete, Greece



ecoSERVICES workshop

Nov 10, 2013 - Nov 12, 2013 - Paris, France

Upon invitation


2nd BIODIS workshop

Nov 11, 2013 - Nov 15, 2013 - Aix-en-Provence, France

Upon invitation



Nov 13, 2013 - Nov 14, 2013 - Paris, France

Upon invitation


1st meeting of the SC-Future Earth

Nov 19, 2013 - Nov 21, 2013 - Gauteng, South Africa

Upon invitation


ABS science-policy workshop

Nov 20, 2013 - Nov 22, 2013 - Lima, Peru

Upon invitation


Document Actions
Personal tools