Patricia Mergen

Patricia Mergen
Royal Museum for Central Africa · Department of Biology

PhD in Biological Sciences

About

58
Publications
21,882
Reads
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623
Citations
Introduction
Freshwater Ecology 2002 -2005 Belgian GBIF node (www.gbif.org). 2005-2013 head of the Biodiversity Information services of RMCA. 2014 Liaison Officer and overall contact point for our EU projects. 2015 part-time consultant for Botanic Garden Meise Current activities are the coordination of the Museum's external scientific evaluation, representation of the Museum in international bodies such as CETAF (www.cetaf.org) , TDWG (www.tdwg.org) and CoL (http://www.catalogueoflife.org/)
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Meise Botanic Garden
Position
  • Liaison Officer
Description
  • Part-time consultant
December 2013 - present
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Position
  • Liaison Officer
May 2005 - December 2013
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Position
  • Head of Biodiversity Information and Cybertaxonomy

Publications

Publications (58)
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in molecular biomonitoring open new horizons for aquatic ecosystem assessment. Rapid and cost-effective methods based on organismal DNA or environmental DNA (eDNA) now offer the opportunity to produce inventories of indicator taxa that can subsequently be used to assess biodiversity and ecological quality. However, the integration o...
Preprint
The landscape of biodiversity data infrastructures and organisations is complex and fragmented. Many occupy specialised niches representing narrow segments of the multidimensional biodiversity informatics space, while others operate across a broad front but differ from others by data type(s) handled, their geographic scope and the life cycle phase(...
Article
Full-text available
BiCIKL is an European Union Horizon 2020 project that will initiate and build a new European starting community of key research infrastructures, establishing open science practices in the domain of biodiversity through provision of access to data, associated tools and services at each separate stage of and along the entire research cycle. BiCIKL wi...
Article
In an effort to characterise the various dimensions of activity within the biodiversity informatics landscape, we developed a framework to survey these dimensions for ten major organisations*1 relative to both their current activities and long-term strategic ambitions. This survey assessed the contact between these infrastructure organisations by c...
Article
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The Horizon 2020 project Bi odiversity C ommunity I ntegrated K nowledge L ibrary (BiCIKL) (started 1st of May 2021, duration 3 years) will build a new European community of key research infrastructures, researchers, citizen scientists and other stakeholders in biodiversity and life sciences. Together, the BiCIKL 14 partners will solidify open scie...
Article
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Many institutions harbor living collections in the form of living plants, animals, microrganisms or seeds. In the framework of the TDWG collections and specimen descriptions standards, it has become important to align exisiting standards for living collections and specimens or to identify where concepts or controlled vocabularies would be needed in...
Article
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The SYNTHESYS consortium has been operational since 2004, and has facilitated physical access by individual researchers to European natural history collections through virtual access to collections through digitisation, with two calls for the programme, the first in 2020 and the second in 2021. The Virtual Access (VA) programme is not a direct digi...
Article
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Several initiatives aim to map the diversity of Natural History (NH) collections and standardise their descriptions. The Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (GRBio) is the most recent global registry. Unfortunately the server has been down since mid-2018 but the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) recently "rescued" this data....
Article
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The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) and Meise Botanic Garden house more than 50 million specimens covering all fields of natural history. While many different research topics have their own specificities, throughout the years it became apparent that with regards to collection data mana...
Article
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The LinBi project aims to enhance the discoverability of digitized objects from natural history collections hosted by institutes all over Europe. This enhancement is achieved by publishing new and enriched content to the Europeana collections platform. The use of simple vocabularies and machine-readable metadata encourages reuse and has the additio...
Article
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Hazards and disasters have occurred throughout Earth's History and thus the geological record is an important resource for understanding future hazards and disasters and its Impact. The Earth Science Group (ESG) of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) carried out a “Hazard and Disaster Event Survey” to identify Earth Science coll...
Article
Full-text available
Imagine you are a scientist, working on collections. You have your pet taxon and you need information which is distributed in a number of books and publications but also in the specimens deposited in Museums or Herbaria. Instead of paying visits to these establishments, around the world, you wish there was a means to transform all the information y...
Article
Full-text available
Modern high-throughput sequencing technologies are becoming a game changer in many fields of aquatic research and biomonitoring. To unfold their full potential, however, the independent development of approaches has to be streamlined. This discussion must be fuelled by stakeholders and practitioners and, scientific results collaboratively filtered...
Article
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Any one collection of objects never tells the whole story. Enabling access to natural history collections by users external to a given institution, has a long history–even that great stay-at-home, Linnaeus, relied on specimens in the hands of others. Neglecting collections outside one’s institution results in duplication and inefficiency, as can be...
Article
Full-text available
Hazards and disasters have occurred throughout Earth's History and thus the geological record is an important resource for understanding future hazards and disasters. The Earth Science Group (ESG) of the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) carried ‡ § | ¶ # ¤ «,» ˄ ˅ ‡ ¦ ‡ © Tilley L et al. This is an open access article distributed...
Article
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The collections of Meise Botanic Garden comprise extensive and varied documentation on the genus Rosa . The library collection contains valuable and often rare 19th century publications about the genus Rosa , frequently with annotations by François Crépin. In addition to this, the archives hold the unpublished manuscripts and thousands of letters f...
Article
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A simple, permanent and reliable specimen identifier system is needed to take the informatics of collections into a new era of interoperability. A system of identifiers based on HTTP URI (Uniform Resource Identifiers), endorsed by the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF), has now been rolled out to 14 member organisations (Güntsch et...
Article
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Several national and international environmental laws require countries to meet clearly defined targets with respect to the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. In Europe, the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) represents such a detailed piece of legislation. The WFD that requires the European member countries to achieve an at least...
Article
Assessment of ecological status for the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is based on "Biological Quality Elements" (BQEs), namely phytoplankton, benthic flora, benthic invertebrates and fish. Morphological identification of these organisms is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. Here, we assess the options for complementing and, perhap...
Article
Aquatic biomonitoring has become an essential task in Europe and many other regions as a consequence of strong anthropogenic pressures affecting the health of lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater. A typical assessment of the environmental quality status, such as it is required by European but also North American and other legislation, relies on ma...
Book
Full-text available
Aquatic biomonitoring has become an essential task in Europe and many other regions as a consequence of strong anthropogenic pressures affecting the health of lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater. A typical assessment of the environmental quality status, such as it is required by European but also North American and other legislation, relies on ma...
Article
Full-text available
The digitization of herbaria and their online access will greatly facilitate access to plant collections around the world. This will improve the efficiency of taxonomy and help reduce inequalities between scientists. The Botanic Garden Meise, Belgium, is currently digitizing 1.2 million specimens including label data. In this paper we describe the...
Article
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The protection, preservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and their functions are of global importance. For European states it became legally binding mainly through the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order to assess the ecological status of a given water body, aquatic biodiversity data are obtained and compared to a reference water...
Technical Report
Full-text available
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION The EU BON Training program is a comprehensive program to benefit biodiversity data providers and data users, and enhance the overall impact of EU BON products and tools. The training program is specifically dedicated to data and metadata integration strategies (including registration of data with GEOSS), use of stand...
Technical Report
Full-text available
SYNTHESYS3 consortium recognises the importance of the Societal Challenges identified by the Horizon2020 programme and relevance of natural history collections for solving problems outside the traditional and conventional fields. We have reviewed 26 Use Cases backed up by documentary evidence demonstrating how the collections, expertise and service...
Article
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A fundamental constituent of a biodiversity observation network is the technological infrastructure that underpins it. The European Biodiversity Network project (EU BON) has been working with and improving upon pre-existing tools for data mobilization, sharing and description. This paper provides conceptual and practical advice for the use of these...
Conference Paper
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Arthropods, among which insects, are used as food for human beings for centuries. After the Asian continent Africa is second, where insects are consumed in large quantities. They are part of traditional food in many African countries. Consumptions increases currently both in rural and urban zones. For example species of the orders Coleoptera, Isopt...
Article
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Today’s water sector is governed by some hot topics, and this is no different in Belgium. As for the International Water Association (IWA), the goal of its Belgian division (B-IWA) is to gather different stakeholders, i.e. academics, policy makers and people from industry active in the (Belgian) water sector and trigger the debate. In May 2015, a f...
Article
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In order to preserve the variety of life on Earth, we must understand it better. Biodiversity research is at a pivotal point with research projects generating data at an ever increasing rate. Structuring, aggregating, linking and processing these data in a meaningful way is a major challenge. The systematic application of information management and...
Article
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Edible insects have been consumed for a long time by the inhabitants of various countries in West Africa. Data has been collected in Niger, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo and a number of different species recorded. Among the identified species, winged termites, crickets, locusts and caterpillars are the most commonly consumed. I...
Conference Paper
Overall, the digitalization of herbaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has already reached a high level. All herbaria in the country have begun to digitize their holdings for long term conservation of information and images on African plants. About 20,000 plant specimens have already been scanned and their associated metadata encoded...
Conference Paper
Due to its historical past, Belgium has and is still indeed very active in collaborative and capacity building activities with Africa and particularly Central Africa. The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), build in 1910, has always been one of the key actors here. For several decades teams of the RMCA have offered different types of Biodiversi...
Conference Paper
Lake Albert, situated between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, is fed by the delta of a large river, Semuliki. It is considered one of the richest fishing lakes in the world. In 2013, 41 species of fish were identified in the lake and 15 in the delta. The author has digitized this information, including spatial distributions, ecological...
Article
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The Aichi Biodiversity Targets of the United Nations’ Strategic Plan for Biodiversity set ambitious goals for protecting biodiversity from further decline. Increased efforts are urgently needed to achieve these targets by 2020. The availability of comprehensive, sound and up-to-date biodiversity data is a key requirement to implement policies, stra...
Conference Paper
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The forests worldwide play an important role as biodiversity reservoirs, as an essential component in the management of carbon intake and global change including climate and habitat degradation. The trees themselves are revenue generating products for timber or fire wood production, however within the forests the Non-timber forest products (NTFPs)...
Conference Paper
Overall, the digitization of herbaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has already reached a very high level. Across all institutions there are currently more than 18,000 updated and scanned images that are posted on the website of Journal Storage (JSTOR). Nevertheless, there are still about 400,000 specimens to be scanned across the c...
Conference Paper
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In recent years, major international data portals or aggregators have conducted large-scale studies on the expectations of their data providers and uses in terms of Intellectual Property Rights. One can cite here EUROPEANA, GBIF, but also the European Commission itself with its public surveys on OpenAccess and OpenScience. In order to enable large...
Conference Paper
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Via the project LINCAOCNET financed by the Fonds francophone des Inforoutes and the Belgian Cooperation, information on edible insects from 10 Western and Central African Countries were collected. The results show that between 7 to 23 species are eaten in the different countries. The preferred taxa also differ largely between countries and regions....
Conference Paper
The edible insects, among others belonging to the order Lepidoptera, gain a huge economic and societal interest since they can significantly improve diets of humans and feed of livelihood at present and in the future. On the other hand the museums and their insect collections for centuries were the headquarters of taxonomic efforts trying to achiev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a wide diversity in terms of forest and agricultural wild food. Several field works to inventory non-wood forest products have been carried out in the Congo Basin, yet researchers can access none or only a few of them. We have studied the edible insects of Lower Congo (Bas-Congo) that have been consume...
Conference Paper
The CABIN project is a five year project financed by the Belgian Cooperation, which aims to increase and enhance access to and sharing of Biodiversity information in Central Africa. During the last four years, several training sessions have been organized following the GBIF data providers program. In collaboration with the French GBIF node, the GBI...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
More than 1700 insect species are part of the human diet in Africa, Asia and America. The worlds demand for meat consumption is increasing. It is important to look for alternative solutions and to meet the need to reduce malnutrition. Insects, which are consumed since a long time in many regions of the world, represent an important source of animal...
Article
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The following text presents some personal ideas about the way (bio)informatics(2) is heading, along with some examples of how our institution - the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) - is gearing up for these new times ahead. It tries to find the important trends amongst the buzzwords, and to demonstrate how these will benefit the biological an...
Article
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International Symposium, "The Origin and Evolution of Natural Diversity". 1–5 October 2007. Sapporo, Japan. The policy of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), located at Tervuren, near Brussels, in Belgium in taxonomy and in biodiversity informatics in general is presented, in order to show how early taken choices concerning collaboration we...
Article
Full-text available
The implementation of world wide data networks for interchange of and access to biological collection information was hindered by the diversity of collection management systems using a variety of different operating systems, database management systems, and underlying data models. Several initiatives have tackled this problem by defining data stand...

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