WoRMS Editorial Board

Data publisher. More info at: http://www.marinespecies.org/

Data publisher information

Full title

WoRMS Editorial Board


The aim of a World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. While highest priority goes to valid names, other names in use are included so that this register can serve as a guide to interpret taxonomic literature. The content of WoRMS is controlled by taxonomic experts, not by database managers. WoRMS has an editorial management system where each taxonomic group is represented by an expert who has the authority over the content, and is responsible for controlling the quality of the information. Each of these main taxonomic editors can invite several specialists of smaller groups within their area of responsibility to join them. This register of marine species grew out of the European Register of Marine Species (ERMS), and its combination with several other species registers maintained at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). Rather than building separate registers for all projects, and to make sure taxonomy used in these different projects is consistent, VLIZ developed a consolidated database called ‘Aphia’. A list of marine species registers included in Aphia is available below. MarineSpecies.org is the web interface for this database. The WoRMS is an idea that is being developed, and will combine information from Aphia with other authoritative marine species lists which are maintained by others (e.g. AlgaeBase, FishBase, Hexacorallia). Resources to build MarineSpecies.org and Aphia were provided mainly by the EU Network of Excellence ‘Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning’ (MarBEF), and also by the EU funded Species 2000 Europe and ERMS projects. Aphia contains valid species names, synonyms and vernacular names, and extra information such as literature and biogeographic data. Besides species names, Aphia also contains the higher classification in which each scientific name is linked to its parent taxon. The classification used is a ‘compromise’ between established systems and recent changes. Its aim is to aid data management, rather than suggest any taxonomic or phylogenetic opinion on species relationships.

Administrative contact
Jan Mees
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee
Custodian steward
Leen Vandepitte
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee


WoRMS Editorial Board Belgium



Endorsed by

Belgium Biodiversity Platform

Other Contacts

Mary Kennedy
Bedford Institute of Oceanografy; Ocean Sciences Division; Biological Oceanography
Tammy Horton
University of Southampton; National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems
Claude De Broyer
Royal Belgian Academies of Sciences; Belgian National Committee on Antarctic Research
Nicole De Voogd
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Sabine Stöhr
Swedish Museum of Natural History; Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Geoffrey B. Read
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research; Wellington
Gary Poore
Museum Victoria, Melbourne
Gustav Paulay
University of Florida; Florida Museum of Natural History
Andreas Kroh
Natural History Museum Vienna
Michelle Klautau
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Bert W. Hoeksema
Naturalis Biodiversity Center; Department of Marine Zoology
Serge Gofas
University of Málaga; Faculty of Sciences; Departamento de Biología Animal
Francisco Hernandez
Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee
Mark Costello
University of Auckland; Leigh Marine Laboratory
Geoff Boxshall
Natural History Museum; Department of Zoology

Georeferenced data


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Published datasets