Ward Appeltans

Ward Appeltans
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization | UNESCO · Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Master of Science

About

100
Publications
74,861
Reads
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4,380
Citations
Citations since 2017
55 Research Items
3046 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
Additional affiliations
May 2012 - present
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Position
  • Project Manager
November 2002 - April 2012
Vlaams Instituut Voor De Zee
Position
  • Project Manager

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Taxonomy is the foundation of biodiversity science because it furthers discovery of new species. Globally, there have never been so many people involved in naming species new to science. The number of new marine species described per decade has never been greater. Nevertheless, it is estimated that tens of thousands of marine species, and hundreds...
Chapter
We review the current knowledge of the biodiversity of the ocean as well as the levels of decline and threat for species and habitats. The lack of understanding of the distribution of life in the ocean is identified as a significant barrier to restoring its biodiversity and health. We explore why the science of taxonomy has failed to deliver knowle...
Article
Full-text available
Marine Life 2030 is a programme endorsed by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade) to establish a globally coordinated system that delivers knowledge of ocean life to those who need it, promoting human well-being, sustainable development, and ocean conservation. It is an open network to unite exist...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining healthy, productive ecosystems in the face of pervasive and accelerating human impacts including climate change requires globally coordinated and sustained observations of marine biodiversity. Global coordination is predicated on an understanding of the scope and capacity of existing monitoring programs, and the extent to which they use...
Article
Full-text available
Marine biodiversity is a fundamental characteristic of our planet that depends on and influences climate, water quality, and many ocean state variables. It is also at the core of ecosystem services that can make or break economic development in any region. Our purpose is to highlight the need for marine biological observations to inform science and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper recommends best practice for the use of open nomenclature (ON) signs applicable to image-based faunal analyses. It is one of numerous initiatives to improve biodiversity data input to improve the reliability of biological datasets and their utility in informing policy and management. Image-based faunal analyses are increasingly common bu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The workshop aimed to identify coherent, collaborative, and scientifically robust solutions to addressing taxonomic knowledge gaps in various stages from collection, preservation and archiving of biological samples and taxonomic data to identification and description of species. Specifically, the workshop focused on: (i) identifying specific needs...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we outline the stakeholder-led approaches in the development of biological data products to support effective conservation, management and policy development. The requirements of a broad range of stakeholders and iterative, structured processes framed the development of tools, models and maps that support the FAIR (Findable, Accessibl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy (https://oceanpanel.org/) has commissioned a series of “Blue Papers” to explore pressing challenges at the nexus of the ocean and the economy. This paper is part of a series of 16 papers to be published between November 2019 and October 2020. It addresses how multiple human impacts will impact bi...
Article
Full-text available
The distributions of migratory species in the ocean span local, national and international jurisdictions. Across these ecologically interconnected regions, migratory marine species interact with anthropogenic stressors throughout their lives. Migratory connectivity, the geographical linking of individuals and populations throughout their migratory...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reefs are exceptionally biodiverse and human dependence on their ecosystem services is high. Reefs experience significant direct and indirect anthropogenic pressures, and provide a sensitive indicator of coastal ocean health, climate change, and ocean acidification, with associated implications for society. Monitoring coral reef status and tr...
Article
Full-text available
This mini-review paper analyses the achievements of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), as a distributed global data system and as a community of data contributors and users. We highlight some issues and challenges and identify ways OBIS is trying to address these with developing community standards, protocols and best practices, app...
Article
Full-text available
Better scientific knowledge of the poorly-known deep sea and areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is key to its conservation, an urgent need in light of increasing environmental pressures. Access to marine genetic resources (MGR) for the biodiversity research community is essential to allow these environments to be better characterised. Negoti...
Article
Full-text available
The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and its partners have worked together over the past decade to break down barriers between open-ocean and coastal observing, between scientific disciplines, and between operational and research institutions. Here we discuss some GOOS successes and challenges from the past decade, and present ideas for moving...
Article
Full-text available
The productivity of marine ecosystems and the services they provide to humans are largely dependent on complex interactions between prey and predators. These are embedded in a diverse network of trophic interactions, resulting in a cascade of events following perturbations such as species extinction. The sheer scale of oceans, however, precludes th...
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of life in the sea is critical to the health of ocean ecosystems that support living resources and therefore essential to the economic, nutritional, recreational, and health needs of billions of people. Yet there is evidence that the biodiversity of many marine habitats is being altered in response to a changing climate and human acti...
Article
Full-text available
Development of global ocean observing capacity for the biological EOVs is on the cusp of a step-change. Current capacity to automate data collection and processing and to integrate the resulting data streams with complementary data, openly available as FAIR data, is certain to dramatically increase the amount and quality of information and knowledg...
Article
Full-text available
Research Infrastructures (RIs) are facilities, resources and services used by scientists to perform research and support innovation. A number of EU research infrastructures [e.g. e-Science and Technology European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (LifeWatch) European Research Iinfrastructures Consortium (ERIC); The European lif...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we review the technologies available to make globally quantitative observations of particles in general-and plankton in particular-in the world oceans, and for sizes varying from sub-microns to centimeters. Some of these technologies have been available for years while others have only recently emerged. Use of these technologies is cr...
Article
Full-text available
To account for progress towards conservation targets, monitoring systems should capture not only information on biodiversity but also knowledge on the dynamics of ecological processes and the related effects on human well-being. Protected areas represent complex social-ecological systems with strong human-nature interactions. They are able to provi...
Article
Full-text available
Developing enduring capacity to monitor ocean life requires investing in people and their institutions to build infrastructure, ownership, and long-term support networks. International initiatives can enhance access to scientific data, tools and methodologies, and develop local expertise to use them, but without ongoing engagement may fail to have...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research Infrastructures (RIs) are facilities, resources and services used by the scientific community to conduct research and foster innovation. LifeWatch ERIC has developed various virtual research environments, which include many virtual laboratories (vLabs) offering high computational capacity and comprehensive collaborative platforms that supp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research Infrastructures (RIs) are facilities, resources and services used by the scientific community to conduct research and foster innovation. LifeWatch ERIC has developed various virtual research environments, which include many virtual laboratories (vLabs) offering high computational capacity and comprehensive collaborative platforms that supp...
Article
Full-text available
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) began in 2000 as the repository for data from the Census of Marine Life. Since that time, OBIS has expanded its goals beyond simply hosting data to supporting more aspects of marine conservation (Pooter et al. 2017). In order to accomplish those goals, the OBIS secretariat in partnership with its Eu...
Article
Full-text available
Measurements of the status and trends of key indicators for the ocean and marine life are required to inform policy and management in the context of growing human uses of marine resources, coastal development, and climate change. Two synergistic efforts identify specific priority variables for monitoring: Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) through th...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Sustained observations of marine biodiversity and ecosystems focused on specific conservation and management problems are needed around the world to effectively mitigate or manage changes resulting from anthropogenic pressures. These observations, while complex and expensive, are required by the international scientific, governance and policy commu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research Infrastructures (RIs) are facilities, resources and services used by the scientific community to conduct research and foster innovation. LifeWatch ERIC has developed various virtual research environments, which include many virtual laboratories (vLabs) offering high computational capacity and comprehensive collaborative platforms that supp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Millions of marine species occurrences and abundances can be accessed through the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), which are then often combined with data from additional sources such as GBIF, citizen science projects, scientific literature and personal communications. However, the quality of the available data is variable and it thus...
Preprint
Full-text available
Millions of marine species occurrences and abundances can be accessed through the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), which are then often combined with data from additional sources such as GBIF, citizen science projects, scientific literature and personal communications. However, the quality of the available data is variable and it thus...
Article
Full-text available
The biodiversity and high productivity of coastal terrestrial and aquatic habitats are the foundation for important benefits to human societies around the world. These globally distributed habitats need frequent and broad systematic assessments, but field surveys only cover a small fraction of these areas. Satellite-based sensors can repeatedly rec...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recognition of the threats to biodiversity and its importance to society has led to calls for globally coordinated sampling of trends in marine ecosystems. As a step to defining such efforts, we review current methods of collecting and managing marine biodiversity data. A fundamental component of marine biodiversity is knowing what, where, and when...
Article
Full-text available
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) aims to integrate smaller, isolateddatasets into a larger, more comprehensive picture of life in our oceans. Therefore, OBIS provides a gateway to many datasets containing information on where and when marinespecies have been observed. The datasets within OBIS are contributed by a network ofhundreds...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity and conservation data are generally costly to collect, particularly in the marine realm. Hence, data collected for a given—often scientific—purpose are occasionally contributed toward secondary needs, such as policy implementation or other types of decision-making. However, while the quality and accessibility of marine biodiversity and...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity and conservation data are generally costly to collect, particularly in the marine realm. Hence, data collected for a given—often scientific—purpose are occasionally contributed towards secondary needs, such as policy implementation or other types of decision-making. However, while the quality and accessibility of marine biodiversity an...
Article
Full-text available
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the world’s most comprehensive online, open-access database of marine species distributions. OBIS grows with millions of new species observations every year. Contributions come from a network of hundreds of institutions, projects and individuals with common goals: to build a scientific knowledge...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides baselines on what is currently known about the taxonomic, biogeographic, and conservation status of marine species using the world’s largest marine biodiversity database, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS; iobis.org). The ocean may be home to one million or more species, with 230,000 so far described by science....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Reliable taxonomy underpins communication in all of biology, not least nature conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem resources. The flexibility of taxonomic interpretations, however, presents a serious challenge for end-users of taxonomic concepts. Users need standardised and continuously harmonised taxonomic reference systems,...
Article
Full-text available
Species commonness is often related to abundance and species conservation status. Intuitively, a “common species” is a species that is abundant in a certain area, widespread and at low risk of extinction. Analysing and classifying species commonness can help discovering indicators of ecosystem status and can prevent sudden changes in biodiversity....
Article
Full-text available
Ocean acidification (OA) refers to the general decrease in pH of the global ocean as a result of absorbing anthropogenic CO2 emitted in the atmosphere since preindustrial times (Sabine et al., 2004). There is, however, considerable variability in ocean acidification, and many careful measurements need to be made and compared in order to obtain scie...
Article
Ocean acidification, often referred to as “the other carbon dioxide problem,” is the progressive increase in ocean acidity that has taken place since the onset of the industrial revolution. Biological and ecological studies of ocean acidification impacts only began in the late 1990s, but the field has evolved rapidly, with exponential growth in the...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction-The African Register of Marine Species (AfReMaS) is recently launched taxonomic database of marine species found along the African coasts. The database was originally developed as the Marine Species Database for Eastern Africa (MASDEA). It was extended thereafter to include species from the entire African coast. Currently it has 24,016...
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/63/111) expressed its serious concern over the current and projected adverse effects of climate change, pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction on the marine environment and marine biodiversity. As a result, the UN established a Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the...
Article
Full-text available
The World Register of Marine Species is an over 90% complete open-access inventory of all marine species names. Here we illustrate the scale of the problems with species names, synonyms, and their classification, and describe how WoRMS publishes online quality assured information on marine species. Within WoRMS, over 100 global, 12 regional and 4 t...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists should ensure that high quality research information is readily available on the Internet so society is not dependant on less authoritative sources. Many scientific projects and initiatives publish information on species and biodiversity on the World Wide Web without users needing to pay for it. However, these resources often stagnate wh...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The question of how many marine species exist is important because it provides a metric for how much we do and do not know about life in the oceans. We have compiled the first register of the marine species of the world and used this baseline to estimate how many more species, partitioned among all major eukaryotic groups, may be disco...