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Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee (SC) is the governing body of the World Data System. It is made up of leading scientists and experts who are actively involved with data and/or computer sciences and deal with large dataset issues, including long-term data stewardship. The Committee includes directors of WDS member organizations and covers a broad range of disciplines and geographical areas.

The Terms of Reference of the WDS-SC are defined within the WDS Constitution as approved by the ICSU Executive Board (November 2013).

Committee Members 2018–2021

Sandy HarrisonChair: Sandy Harrison

Centre for Past Climate Change at the University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Sandy Harrison is a Professor of Palaeoclimates and Biogeochemical Cycles at the University of Reading in the UK, and also a High-End Expert at the Northwest Agricultural & Forestry University (NWAFU) Yangling, China. She studied geography at the University of Cambridge, did her Masters in geomorphology at Macquarie University and a PhD in Quaternary science at the University of Lund in Sweden. Professor Harrison is a palaeoclimate diagnostician with a special interest in the role of the land-surface, terrestrial biosphere, fire and hydrological processes on modulating regional climates. She uses large-scale syntheses of data in combination with global models to diagnose these interactions. She is Co-Chair of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), where she leads the effort to evaluate climate models that are used to project future climate change against palaeoclimate data. She is also a member of the Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP) Project Committee on “Improving Scientific Input to Global Policymaking: Strategies for Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Alex de SherbininVice Chair: Alex de Sherbinin

(Associate Director of WDS Regular Member: Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center [SEDAC])
Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), University of Columbia, USA

Alex de Sherbinin is the associate director for science applications at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), an environmental data and analysis center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He also serves as:

  • Deputy Manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)
  • Coordinator of the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN), a sustained partner of Future Earth and a scientific panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP)
  • Co-Chair, WDS-CODATA Task Group on Citizen Science and the Validation, Curation, and Management of Crowdsourced Data

Dr. de Sherbinin is a geographer who has published in leading journals on the human aspects of global environmental change, geospatial data applications, environmental indicators, and biodiversity conservation topics. He holds a PhD in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation from ITC at the University of Twente (Netherlands). Prior to joining CIESIN, he served as a Programme Officer with the Social Policy Program of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 1996–1999) and a Population Geographer at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB, Washington, DC, 1989–1995).

Ingrid DilloVice-chair: Ingrid Dillo

(Deputy Director of WDS Regular Member: Data Archiving and Networked Services [DANS])
DANS, The Netherlands

Dr Ingrid Dillo holds a PhD in history and has worked in the field of policy development for the last 30 years, including as senior policy advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the National Library of the Netherlands (KB). Ingrid is now deputy director at DANS. Among her areas of expertise are research data management and the certification of digital repositories. She is a member of the Board of the CoreTrustSeal and of the Board of Directors of the DRYAD repository. She also is Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of the ICSU World Data System.

Ingrid is also active in the Research Data Alliance (RDA). She is a member of the Technical Advisory Board of RDA and co-chairs the RDA/WDS Interest Group on Certification of Digital Repositories. She has been co-chair of the RDA/WDS Interest Group on Cost Recovery for Data Centers and an active member of the former RDA/WDS Repository Audit and Certification DSA-WDS Partnership. From July 2017 until February 2018 Ingrid has been the interim Secretary-General of RDA.

For many years she participated in the Research Data Expert Group of the Knowledge Exchange. Ingrid is also one of the authors of the article “The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship“, in which the FAIR-principles were originally stated. Over the last two years Ingrid co-chaired the OECD/GSF Expert Group on Sustainable Business Models for Data Repositories.

Aude ChambodutAude Chambodut

(Director of WDS Regular Member: International Service of Geomagnetic Indices [ISGI])
Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre, Strasbourg, France

Dr Aude Chambodut got her Ph.D. in Internal Geophysics—specializing in Geomagnetism—from the Institut de Physique du Globe Paris (IPGP) in 2004. For two years, she was associate-researcher successively at Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Potsdam and Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany. Since 2006, she works at the Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre (EOST), Strasbourg, France, as researcher in the Global Geodynamic Laboratory of Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg (IPGS) and as lecturer in Geomagnetism at the University of Strasbourg (UDS) and at the School for Engineers in Geophysics (EOST).

In 2010, she became director of the Department of Magnetic Observatories of French Austral and Antarctic territories. She is involved in pure and technology researches in the frame of geomagnetism and environmental geophysics. Her research activities focus on geomagnetic field modelling, geomagnetic indices and Sun–Earth relationship. Since 2014, Aude Chambodut is Director of the International Service of Geomagnetic Indices (ISGI), which is in charge of the elaboration and dissemination of geomagnetic indices, and of lists of remarkable magnetic events, based on the report of magnetic observatories distributed all over the planet., with the help of ISGI Collaborating Institutes.

Arona DiedhiouArona Diedhiou

Research Director at Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and Laboratoire d’Etude des Transferts en Hydrologie et Environnement (LTHE), University of Grenoble-Alpes, France. Laboratoire de Physique de l'Atmophère et Mécanique des fluides, Université Félix Houphouet Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Dr Arona Diedhiou contributed to the coordination and to the implementation of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA) International Programme as member of its International Executive Committee between 2003 and 2007. He also contributed to the involvement of African scientists, Regional Centres and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. Thanks to this international coordination, AMMA built a multi-scale multidisciplinary database used across the world and mirrored in Africa. Between 2007 and 2012, he was the leader of the RIPIECSA programme (3.5 Million Euros from French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development) to fund research projects on climate, environment, and society interactions in West and Central Africa. Since 2013 and until 2016, he is co-investigator (based in France) of the International Project on Hydro-meteorological Risks in African Cities (RHYVA) and since 2015, co-investigator of the AMMA-2050 project: a UK/NERC-DFID joint initiative on 'Future Climate for Africa'.

Arona Diedhiou serves as a member of the Independent Science Panel of the CGIAR Research Program on 'Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security' and as member of the Scientific Committee of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use programme (WASCAL), an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He advocates for the strengthening of the observing systems and for the sharing of the knowledge (publications and data) with scientific colleagues of developing countries.

Elaine FaustmanElaine M. Faustman

Institute for Risk Analyses and Risk Communication, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Elaine Faustman is Professor and Director of the Institute for Risk Analyses and Risk Communication at the University of Washington, School of Public Health. She obtained her PhD from Michigan State University in Pharmacology and Toxicology. She has directed the NSF-NIH Oceans and Human Health Center at the University of Washington for over a decade and is currently directing the NIH Children’s Environmental Health Risks Center.

Her research activities include developing ontologies for environmental risks and ensuring interoperability for health databases. She is developing quantitative cross-disciplinary systems biology models for evaluating the impacts of environment on health. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of Risk Analysis. She has recently served on the US EPA Science Advisory board. She has also served as chair for the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Developmental Toxicology and as a member for the Committee on Toxicology and Institute of Medicine Upper Reference Levels for Nutrients. In 2012 she was a member of the ICSU Review Committee on CODATA. She is the past Secretary-General for the International Union of Toxicology and continues to be active with this Union.

Isabelle Gärtner-RoerIsabelle Gärtner-Roer

(Science Officer of WDS Regular Member: World Glacier Monitoring Service [WGMS])
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Isabelle Gärtner-Roer is Science Officer of the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), Senior Researcher in the Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group, and Coordinator of the Zurich Graduate School in Geography at the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She is internationally known for her work on rockglacier kinematics and the sensitivity of high mountain environments, with focus on glaciers and permafrost. Her work is documented in several scientific articles, keynote lectures and media reports worldwide.

Since summer 2016 Gärtner-Roer is member of the Executive Committee of the International Permafrost Association (IPA), which aims to foster the dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and to promote cooperation among persons and national or international organizations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering work on permafrost. In addition she is an active member of the PERMOS (Permafrost Monitoring in Switzerland) and the Swiss Geomorphological Society (SCNAT). As officer of the World Glacier Monitoring Service she is managing activities of the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G), in the framework for the internationally coordinated monitoring of glaciers and ice caps in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this context, she brings a lot of experience with large datasets as well as with providing access to the standardized data formats. She serves on the Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science –World Data System since early 2016.

Toshihiko IyemoriToshihiko Iyemori

(Former Director WDS Regular Member: WDC - Geomagnetism, Kyoto)
Data Analysis Center for Geomagnetism and Space Magnetism, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Toshihiko Iyemori is a professor emeritus of the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, and director of the Data Analysis Center for Geomagnetism and Space Magnetism (DACGSM) which belongs to the graduate school. Since 1981, he has been serving geomagnetic data collected by the World Data Center for Geomagnetism, Kyoto, which the DACGSM operates. He was a president of the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences for 2011–2013 and a member of the Executive Committee of IAGA for 2009–2015. His major research field is the Solar–Terrestrial Physics and he is also investigating the electromagnetic effects of lower atmospheric disturbance to geospace. He is one of the members who created the IUGONET (Inter-university Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork) which is a network of distributed databases based on a common metadata database.

Marc Nyssen

Free University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

Marc Nyssen studied Electrical Engineering at the Free University Brussels (VUB), graduating in Electronics in 1975. In 1978, he obtained an Engineering degree in Computer Science, and in 1983, obtained a PhD. degree in Electrical Engineering. From 1978 to 1983, he was appointed in the Medical Informatics Department, responsible for the research network and server computing infrastructure of the new medical campus of VUB in Jette. First as a research assistant, from 1983 then as Associate Professor, finally as Professor. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Medical Informatics (Department of Public Health).

Marc's interests lie in different aspects of the computerized production lines, mainly for the scientist, with emphasis on network communication aspects. Image processing related hardware and software systems were studied and realized under his guidance, as research projects or as thesis for students in Engineering or Biomedical Engineering and Medical Research. Medical Internet applications are a second field of interest and expertise, this field is now known as "E-health". Several projects were accomplished regarding the introduction of electronic medical records, physiotherapy registers and the exchange of medical data via the Internet, currently his main project consists of the introduction of electronic medical prescriptions for ambulatory care in Belgium: the Recip-e project, as project leader. He is also founder of the ICT4D group at VUB.

As National Secretary, he represents Belgium in the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing (IFMBE), of which he is a board member and officer. His is also co-founder and Secretary General of the Belgian National Committee on Biomedical Engineering within the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts.

David J. Patterson

School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

David J. Patterson is a taxonomist turned biodiversity informatician with interests in the diversity of protozoa, the evolution of protists, and embedding taxonomic practices in the management of on-line biodiversity information. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, Bristol, UK in 1976 and his D.Sc. from Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK in 1990. He has held appointments at Bristol University (UK), University of Sydney (Australia), Brown University (Rhode Island), Arizona State University, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He led the implementation team for the Encyclopedia of Life project, and continues to work with the Global Names team in developing innovative taxonomically intelligent web-based management systems for biodiversity resources. He has been awarded the Thomas Henry Huxley prize and the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London; has been President of the British Section of the Society of Protozoologists; President of the International Society for Evolutionary Protistology; and Vice-President of the (International) Society of Protozoology. He has been a member of the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature and of the steering committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS). He currently manages the 'Unifying Biology through Informatics' programme of IUBS. He has published approximately 190 peer-reviewed papers and several books throughout his career and is currently based in Australia as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney.

Popescu.jpgIoana Popescu

Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance, IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands.

Dr. Ioana Popescu holds a PhD in Computational Hydraulics and has worked in the field of hydroinformatics for the past 31 years. She is Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics at IHE Delft -Institute for Water Education in Delft, The Netherlands. Her research focuses on computational methods, flood modelling and flood related vulnerability, lakes and reservoir modelling, river systems modelling and optimisation. Ioana has been involved in several large European collaborative research projects related to the field of ICT and water management (IceWater, lenvis,EnviroGRIDS, Floodsite, SCENT). These projects involve various partners both from academia and industry. Lately, her research is also focused on incorporating data generated by citizen observatories in flood models. This aims at better flood prediction and flood risks management. Furthermore, she is involved in educational and capacity development projects carried out with academic and research partners from Asia, Africa and Latin America. These projects are related to development and application of modelling systems for water related domains.

Ioana is an active member of the International Association for Hydro-Environmental Engineering and Research (IAHR), currently being a member of the IAHR Council.

Alfredo TolmasquimAlfredo Tolmasquim

Museum of Tomorrow, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Alfredo Tolmasquim is a Full Researcher at the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences and Director of Scientific Development of Museum of Tomorrow, both in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was Director for 8 years of the Museum of Astronomy, Head of Department of Teaching and Research of the Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology, and a member of the National Council of Archives and National Council of Cultural Policy. Tolmasquim is visiting scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, in Berlin. He was the creator of the Brazilian Bibliography of History of Science and adviser of the World History of Science On-line Project.

He has studies related to the process of constitution and differentiation of the field of astronomy and the absorption of Theory of Relativity in Brazil. He has also dealt with archives and bibliographic repertoires for science and technology, especially for its history. In addition, he has developed research on the relationship between science and society in the constitution of modernity and on the challenges that faces societies based on knowledge and its relation to sustainability.

Fremand.jpgWDS ECR Network Representative: Alice Fremand

Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre, Strasbourg, France

Alice Frémand is a research data manager working at the Data Center for Deep Geothermal Energy at Strasbourg University. She is curating geoscientific (including old) data in order to make them FAIR (Finadable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable). She obtained her degree in Geophysics Engineering in 2015 from the School and Observatory of Earth Sciences (University of Strasbourg, France).

As Co-chair of the WDS-Early Career Researchers and Scientists (collectively ECRs) Network, she is promoting state-of-the-art of data stewardship among young scientists, organising teleconferences and activities targeting ECR interests and concerns.

Ex officio:

Heide Hackmann (ICSU)

Executive Director, International Council for Science (ICSU)

Yasuhiro Murayama (IPO host)

Director, Integrated Science Data System Research Laboratory (ISDS) at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

Benoît Pirenne (ITO host)

Executive Director, User Engagement at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC)