Ebbe Nielsen Challenge

This annual incentive prize seeks to inspire innovative applications of open-access biodiversity data by scientists, informaticians, data modelers, cartographers and other experts

The GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge is an annual incentive prize that seeks to inspire innovative applications of open-access biodiversity data by scientists, informaticians, data modelers, cartographers and other experts.

The call for submissions for the 2021 GBIF Ebbe Nielsen Challenge is now closed—look for an announcement of this year's winners the week of 4 October during GB28

Like the Ebbe Nielsen Prize it replaced, the Challenge honours the memory of Dr Ebbe Schmidt Nielsen, an inspirational leader in the fields of biosystematics and biodiversity informatics and one of the principal founders of GBIF, who tragically died just before it came into being.

While the focus of the competition has evolved from year to year, Challenge entries manifest a variety of forms and approaches—new analytical research, richer policy-relevant visualizations, web and mobile applications, or improvements to processes around data digitization, quality and access.

Ebbe Nielsen Challenge winners


Prize Project Recipient(s) Country(s)
1st ShinyBIOMOD
An R application for modelling species distribution
Ian Ondo
Alexandre Antonelli

Wilfried Thuiller
Maya Gueguen
Samuel Pironon
United Kingdom
United Kingdom / Sweden
United Kingdom
2nd Linking nomenclature to type specimens Maarten Trekels Belgium
2nd InteractIAS
A Jupyter notebook to support expert risk assessment on invasive species
Quentin Groom South Africa
3rd DNA barcode browser Roderic Page United Kingdom
3rd Voyager Ivvet Abdullah-Modinou
Ben Scott
United Kingdom

United Kingdom
3rd Mass Georeferencing Tool Luis J. Villanueva United States


Prize Project Recipient(s) Country(s)
1st WhereNext
A recommending system to identify sampling priorities based on generalized dissimilarity modeling
Jorge Velásquez-Tibatá Colombia
2nd occCite
Tools to Enable Comprehensive Biodiversity Data Citation
Hannah L. Owens
Cory Merow
Brian S. Maitner
Vijay V. Barve
Robert Guralnick
Denmark / United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
2nd Organella Andrea Biedermann
Diana Gert
Dimitar Ruszev
Paul Roeder
2nd Rapid Least Concern
Automated assessments of lower risk plants for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Red List)
Steven Bachman
Barnaby Walker
Justin Moat
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
3rd Agile GBIF Publishing Evgeniy Meyke Finland
3rd Biodiversity Information Review and Decision Support
the BIRDS package for R
Debora Arlt
Alejandro Ruete
Anton Hammarström
3rd GB Sifter
A GBIF to GenBank Data Sifter
Luis Allende United States
3rd naturaList Arthur Vinicius Rodrigues
Gabriel Nakamura
3rd GeoNature-atlas: Publish an online biodiversity atlas with GBIF data of your area Camille Monchicourt
Théo Lechémia
Gil Deluermoz
Jordan Sellies
Amandine Sahl


Prize Project Recipient(s) Country(s)
1st Checklist recipe
A template for reproducible standardization of species checklist data
Lien Reyserhove
Damiano Oldoni
Peter Desmet
1st Ozymandias
A biodiversity knowledge graph
Roderic D. M. Page United Kingdom
2nd The bdverse Tomer Gueta
Yohay Carmel
Vijay Barve
Thiloshon Nagarajah
Povilas Gibas
Ashwin Agrawal
United States
Sri Lanka
2nd GBIF Issues Explorer Luis J. Villanueva, Smithsonian Institution United States
2nd Smart mosquito trap to DwC pipeline Connor Howington
Samuel Rund
United States
United States
2nd Taxonomy Tree Editor Ashish Singh Tomar Spain


Prize Project Recipient(s) Country(s)
1st Exploring ignorance in space and time Alejandro Ruete Sweden
2nd sampbias Alexander Zizka
Alexandre Antonelli
Daniele Silvestro, University of Gothenberg
2nd GBIF Coverage Assessment Tools Walter Jetz
Jeremy Malczyk
Ajay Ranipeta
Luis J. Villanueva
Carsten Meyer
Michelle Duong, Map of Life Consortium
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
United States
3rd BioGeoBias Laurens Gefferts Netherlands
3rd Towards global-scale species distribution models Aafke Schipper
Jasmijn Rost
Daniela Remenska
Valerio Barbarossa
3rd crowdgap Jesus Orozco


Prize Project Recipient(s) Country(s)
1st GBIF dataset metrics Peter Desmet
Bart Aelterman
Nicolas Noé
2nd BioGUID.org Richard Pyle United States
3rd #myGBIF Tom August United Kingdom
3rd ecoSpace 2 Miguel Porto Portugal
3rd GBIF Soundscape Ben Raymond
Peter Neish
3rd Wallace
A Web App to Harness Biodiversity Data
Robert P. Anderson
Matthew Aiello-Lammens
Bob Muscarella
Bruno Vilela
Jamie Kass
United States, Denmark and Spain

Past Prize winners

Prior to its 2014 reboot, GBIF awarded the Ebbe Nielsen Prize to recognize an individual who demonstrated excellence in combining biodiversity informatics and biosystematics research.

Year Project Recipient(s) Country
2014 Video presentaion Tony Rees Australia
2013 Video presentation Miguel Bastos Araújo Portugal
2012 Nathan Swenson United States
2011 Jens-Christian Svenning Denmark
2010 Sujeevan Ratnasingham Canada
2009 Andy Jarvis Colombia
2008 Vince Stuart Smith United kingdom
2007 Paul Flemons Australia
2006 John Wieczorek United States
2005 Pablo Goloboff Argentina
2004 Johan Nilsson Sweden
2003 Stefan Schröder Germany
2002 Nozomi Ytow Japan