Nora Escribano Compains, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Navarra (UNAV), has been named as one of two recipients of the 2017 GBIF Young Researchers Award. Escribano and her co-recipient, Brazilian graduate student Itanna Oliveira Fernandes, will each receive a €5,000 prize and recognition at GBIF’s 24th governing board in Helsinki on 26 Sept 2017.
This year’s award specifically called for the mobilization and publication of exemplary sampling-event datasets from ecological research. Escribano’s submission comprises a portion of the dataset flowing from the Hydrographical Confederation of the Ebro (CHE: in Spanish, Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro), a network originally established to fulfill the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive.
CHE collected 266,400 occurrence records during 1,776 sampling events carried out at 473 sites between 2005 and 2015. The resulting data represents the largest and most complete collection of freshwater invertebrate samples in the UNAV Museum of Zoology (MZNA), containing 150 taxa belonging to 141 families, 31 orders, 14 classes and 9 phyla. While MZNA continues its work to digitize related freshwater collections, the data comprising Escribano’s submission appears in a dataset already available through both GBIF.org and GBIF.ES.
Escribano intends to prepare a data paper about the dataset soon, submitting it for peer-reviewed publication to earn additional scholarly recognition for the efforts required to prepare, curate and describe such data. Pensoft Publishers, who worked closely with GBIF to develop the biodiversity data paper concept, have agreed to waive publication charges for this year’s award-winning entries submitted to Biodiversity Data Journal.
“Exploring how the informative value of biological records degrades as they age is one of the goals of my Ph.D research,” said Escribano, a native of Pamplona who also served as an instructor at a recent workshop organized by GBIF Spain. “However, my research could not be possible without the long-term data provided by the Museum of Zoology of my university. It’s important to highlight the invaluable role that museums play as sources of biodiversity data and also as data publishers.”
“We are very proud of Nora and feel very attached to her work,” said Jesús Muñoz, Director of The Royal Botanic Garden and Node Manager for GBIF Spain, the GBIF national node from Spain, which nominated Escribano for the Award. “Her research represents the next in a long series of collaborations between the University of Navarra Museum of Zoology and GBIF Spain, as MZNA representatives have actively supported the activities of GBIF Spain and shared data through GBIF for many years.”
“We congratulate Ms Escribano on her award and are delighted to see the commitment that she and her colleagues from MZNA have made to open data,” said Donald Hobern, Executive Director of the GBIF Secretariat. “Well-curated sampling-event data like theirs represents the gold standard for GBIF to improve the measurement and monitoring of biodiversity.”
About the Award
Since its inception in 2010, the GBIF Young Researchers Award has sought to encourage innovation in the use and mobilization of biodiversity data shared through the GBIF network. The 2017 GBIF Young Researchers Award is funded by SBNO: Stichting ter Bevordering van Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek and supported by Pensoft Publishers. Learn more
About the Museum of Zoology, University of Navarra
The Museum of Zoology (MZNA) in Pamplona was founded in 1980 as a repository of zoological materials originating from research and instructional activities of the University of Navarra Department of Environmental Biology (previously known as the Department of Zoology and Ecology). MZNA stores several million specimens in its climate-controlled facilities and is open to researchers around the world, making loans and accepting deposits while curating and managing the Natural History Collections of the School of Science of the University of Navarra. Learn more
About the Royal Botanic Garden
Founded in the 18th century, The Royal Botanic Garden constitutes an important historical and cultural heritage, and a center for biodiversity research linked to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Located in the center of Madrid, it has hosted the Coordination Unit of GBIF Spain (GBIF.ES) since 2003. Learn more
About GBIF Spain
As the designated representative of one of GBIF’s founding members, GBIF Spain encourages and supports the country’s natural history collections, institutes, projects and other institutions to share their biodiversity data through GBIF. Learn more