CETAF working groups bring experts from our community together around questions of key relevance for our field.
Our 11 working groups are where CETAF professionals come together to share experiences, exchange perspectives and drive progress on the topics that make a difference to our community and its broader impact.
Driving digitisation for our collections
The CETAF Digitisation Working Group focuses on the fundamental questions relating to digitisation in natural science collections. Its goal is to increase the capacity of our community to digitise collections, including specimens, libraries and archives, and develop standards for this digitisation. It does this by sharing information and facilitating cooperation, promoting potential projects between CETAF members who are invited to join funding bids and ensuring continuity between projects.
Coordinator: Heimo Rainer (Natural History Museum Vienna, AUT)
Training and e-Learning Group
Capacity building for online education on taxonomy
The CETAF Training and e-Learning in Taxonomy Group works to develop a vision for e-learning within CETAF and to provide a Virtual Learning Environment in Taxonomy. It does this through exchanging experiences and good practices in internet-based education. The group also investigates the possibilities for developing a system of training certificates and recognition at EU level for the educational activities of CETAF members.
Coordinator: Iasmi Stathi and Katerina Voreadou (Natural History Museum of Crete)
A focus on collections management within CETAF
The CETAF Collections Group (CCG) aims to build a sustainable network of European natural history collections, curators and collection managers. It works to improve interoperability and harmonisation, training, efficiency, accessibility and preservation. The group also works to increase the visibility of European natural history collections and increase their impact within political decision making and development. To do so, it cooperates with other initiatives and activities including the projects within DiSSCo, SPNHC, SciColl, ICOM and GBIF.
Coordinator: Luc Willemse (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, NL)
Information Science & Technology Commission
Developing technical services for our community
The Information Science & Technology Commission (ISTC) facilitates dialogue and collaboration between the IT departments of CETAF member and non-member institutions to ensure institutional interoperability through the development of common infrastructures and standards. The group works towards compatibility of components for digital information exchange and sharing, through procedural changes and adaptations to IT systems. Members of the ISTC officially represent IT or Biodiversity Informatics departments of CETAF institutions. The group was established as a technical working group of the EU-funded project European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) and was integrated into CETAF in 2011.
Coordinator: Anton Güntsch (BGBM Berlin, DE)
Legislation and Regulations Group
A strong voice for policy in our community
The Legislation and Regulations Group gathers information on regulations and legislation potentially affecting CETAF members research activities or operations. The group maintains direct contact with the European Commission and other relevant stakeholders such as the CBD Secretariat. It takes action to ensure that the voice of CETAF members is heard at the European and on international level. The group also works on how our organisations can manage their legal obligations and offers training. In 2019, the group’s Code of Conduct and Best Practice for Access and Benefit-Sharing was officially recognised by the European Commission as the first best practice on access and benefit-sharing.
Coordinator: Dirk Neumann (SNSB Munich, DE) and Chris Lyal (NHM London, UK)
European Initiatives Advisory Group
Sourcing European funding opportunities for our institutions
The European Initiatives Advisory Group collates information on EU funding opportunities and coordinates its transmission to CETAF members in collaboration with CETAF’s General Secretariat. The group serves as a platform of information exchange to facilitate the development of joint projects including, but not limited to, research projects (i.e. through Horizon Europe, COST, Marie Curie actions), and environmental projects, among others.
Coordinator: Ana Casino (CETAF GS, Brussels, BE)
Earth Science Group
Bringing visibility to our earth science collections
The Earth Science Group (ESG) promotes the importance of earth science collections to understanding and forecasting current environmental and biodiversity issues. The work of the ESG is dedicated to outreach and increasing the visibility of these collections, in the form of fossils, minerals and rocks, as data resources useful for wider society and related science disciplines; and the data they hold through the improvement of data standards and collection databases. The group shares knowledge and best practices for collections regarding curation, legislation on imports and exports, fieldwork, preparation and restoration.
Coordinator: Rachel Walcott (NMS, UK)
European Biodiversity Monitoring Group
Putting our biodiversity expertise to use
The CETAF Biodiversity Monitoring Working Group (BiodivMG) contributes to the effort to continuously document biodiversity change and investigate determinants of population decline to halt biodiversity loss in Europe, as well as to develop solutions for ecological applications that are highly relevant for society. Through state-of-the-art technologies, the CETAF BiodivMG creates an inventory of our rich European biodiversity with a focus on individual species, and implements large-scale and fine-grained monitoring programs.
Coordinator: Livia Schäffler (ZFMK Bonn, DE)
e-Publishing Working Group
Supporting our online scientific publishing
The e-Publishing Working Group addresses the need to support scientific online publishing and open access. Its work plan aims to network and share experiences, to tackle CETAF strategic objectives in relation to publishing, and to organise joint workshops on relevant topics and technical developments. Key themes include impact factors, statistics that show the publishing activities of CETAF members, analysis of the institutional policies regarding open access, and proposals regarding exchange programs, print on demand solutions, and Open Access.
Coordinators: Laurence Benichou (MNHN Paris, FR) and Isabelle Gérard (RMCA Tervuren, BE)
Scientific Research Group
Coordinating the research agenda for our institutions
The main aim of the CETAF Scientific Research group is to develop the CETAF Research Agenda for Natural History Institutions. It works collaboratively and collectively with a focus on strategic issues and political positioning. The group promotes scientific research in natural history institutions and botanical gardens, including through the publication of statements and position papers, seeking funding for projects and initiatives, engaging in decision making and the representation of CETAF in sister or partner organisations.
Coordinators: Gila Kahila (NNHC HUJ Jerusalem, IL) and Thierry Bourgoin (MNHN Paris, FR)
A focal point for CETAF communication
This group is specially devoted to sharing expertise from across our community on communication in our field. Comms experts from our institutions discuss emerging topics, challenges and brainstorm together on how to better keep everyone informed. The group supports other CETAF working groups, brings visibility to CETAF initiatives and projects, promotes our work, develops our branding and shares good practices.
Coordinator: Alessandro Marchi (CETAF GS, Brussels, BE)