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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 2015–2018

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”.

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.

Wim HugoVice-chair: Wim Hugo

South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), South Africa

Wim Hugo is the Chief Data and Information Officer for the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and part of its executive management. He is responsible for provision of Earth and Environmental research data and decision support infrastructure in South Africa, working with a large number of stakeholders.

Current projects include the development of Global Change Risk and Vulnerability decision and policy support, evidence-based feasibility assessments of renewable energy, development of Spatial Data infrastructure for South Africa, and establishment of Research Data Management Infrastructure for the South African National Research Foundation. He also leads projects processing of increasingly automated long-term environmental observation data streams - utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Recent achievements include the publication of a BioEnergy Atlas for South Africa, contributing chapters to The GEO Data Management Principles Implementation Guide, and the GEO BON Handbook.

Major interests include the development of integrated guidance and best practice for e-Infrastructures, extension of metadata through graph databases and linked open data, formulation of ‘Benefit Frameworks’ to assist with translation of evidence into policy support, and the establishment of an open brokering framework for registration of interoperable services and components. Within WDS and CoreTrustSeal, he hopes to advance the principle of trust to extend to other elements of scientific activity - code, algorithms, protocols, samples, and the like.

Wim has a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering, and has over 30 years experience in engineering and management consulting, decision modeling, and digital systems engineering. He specializes in Research Data Infrastructure Architecture and in development of policy and decision support systems based on distributed Research Data Infrastructures.

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.

Alex de SherbininAlex 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).

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.

Claudia I. Emerson

Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation, and Department of Philosophy, McMaster University, Canada. 

Dr. Claudia Emerson is the founding Director of the Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation at McMaster University, and Associate Professor of Philosophy.  Her work in applied ethics considers ethical issues and policy gaps in global health research, and she has been working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners for over a decade examining issues that arise along the discovery-to-delivery pathway for potential lifesaving interventions.  She is especially interested in ethical issues related to data sharing and models of data governance, particularly with respect to the introduction and adoption of novel technologies, and the management of infectious disease.   

Dr. Emerson serves in several advisory capacities related to public health and innovation, including the national Advisory Committee on Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Expert Working Group on Field Testing of Modified Mosquitoes Driving Transgenes, and the Legal, Ethical, Environmental, Dual-Use and Responsible Innovation (LEEDR) panel of the Safe Genes Program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  She holds an Hons B.Sc. in Biomedical Science, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy. 

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

(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 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.

Guoqing LiGuoqing Li

Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), China

Dr. Guoqing Li is a Professor of RADI at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has worked at ESA and Purdue University as a visiting professor. He has been the Head of the Data Technology Division in RADI since 2007. His favourite research areas concern high-performance remote-sensing image-processing technology and the spatial information grid. His main focus is currently on next-generation spatial data infrastructure and nature disaster data management and infrastructure. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the China Computer Federation. He has also been involved in the national committees of ICSU's Committee on Data for Science and Technology and Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme.

Sanna SorvariSanna Sorvari

Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Sanna Sorvari has a doctorate degree in natural sciences and her scientific background is in climate and Arctic research and paleoecology. Sorvari is research manager at the Finnish Meteorological Institute and works mainly with environmental research infrastructures, research data management and international collaboration.

Sorvari has over 15 years’ experience in initiating, coordinating and implementing international, European, Nordic and national research and research infrastructure (RI) projects, programmes and initiatives. She leads ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, Trace gases research infrastructure) implementation in Europe, previously Sorvari has been involved in establishing ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System). Sorvari also leads the strategic work of the European environmental RI communities on setting-up common data operations (ENVRI cluster) and participates in the international data infrastructure developments. She serves as a member for many data and e-infrastructure related committees and boards, such as in H2020 Expert Advisory Board for research Infrastructures and e-Research Infrastructures; National Committee for Research Data management; and ICSU-WDS Scientific Committee.

For the WDS Scientific Committee, Sorvari brings insights on the latest European developments in the field of environmental data, particularly on observational data. In addition, Sorvari has strong links to different env RI communities (including atmospheric, marine, terrestrial ecosystem and solid Earth communities) and thus can enhance the participation of these communities to WDS's activities.

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.

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)

 Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation, and Department of Philosophy, McMaster University, Canada.