Henry Engledow's research while affiliated with Meise Botanic Garden and other places

Publications (22)

Article
Full-text available
In this data paper, we present a specimen-based occurrence dataset compiled in the framework of the Conservation of Endemic Central African Trees (ECAT) project with the aim of producing global conservation assessments for the IUCN Red List. The project targets all tree species endemic or sub-endemic to the Central African region comprising the Dem...
Article
Full-text available
At present many herbaria and musea around the globe are digitising their natural history collections. Capturing the label information on these specimens is crucial to finding these specimens and using their data. To this end, Meise Botanic Garden chose to record minimal data as part of its second mass digitization project. The collections digitized...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The current data paper aims to interlink the African plant collections of the Meise Botanic Garden Herbarium (BR) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa Xylarium (Tw). Complementing both collections strengthens the reference value of each institutional collection, as more complete metadata are made available and it enables increased q...
Book
Full-text available
La classification et la dénomination des plantes et des animaux qui peuplent notre planète est une première étape cruciale de la science biologique. Les chercheurs du Jardin botanique ont réalisé qu'une telle introduction à la systématique des plantes (aussi appelée taxonomie des plantes) faisait défaut en français, mais, de plus, qu'elle n'était p...
Book
Full-text available
The classification and naming of the plants and animals occurring on our planet is a crucial first step of biological science. Researchers from the Botanic Garden realized that such an introduction to plant systematics (also known as plant taxonomy) was lacking in the French language, but, moreover, that it was hardly ever taught at universities an...
Article
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
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
Full-text available
Migrating from one database to another is always accompanied by challenges. Recently Meise Botanic Garden has migrated its Living Collections data from LivCol , a bespoke database, to BG-BASE , a commercial product. Differences in database structure, degree of atomisation and field definition increase the complexity of such a transfer of data. The...
Article
Full-text available
The Herbarium of Meise Botanic Garden is in the top 15 herbaria worldwide. The collection comprises some four million specimens, which are important for scientific research. Digitisation of specimens includes imaging, transcription of label information, linking data and making the results publicly accessible online. In addition to facilitating rese...
Article
Full-text available
Herbarium specimens hold a wealth of data about plants; where they come from, where they were collected and by whom. Once digitized, these data can be searched, mapped and compared. However, the information on specimens is often handwritten and even the best software systems cannot read it. This is where we get real value from citizen involvement....
Article
Full-text available
Mass digitization is a large undertaking for a collection. It is disruptive of routine and can challenge long-held practises. Having been through the procedure and survived, we feel we have a lot of experience to share with other institutions who are considering taking on this challenge. The changes that digitization has made to our institution are...
Article
Full-text available
The botanicalcollections.be website (http://www.botanicalcollections.be) is the culmination of the three year Digitale Ontsluiting Erfgoedcollecties (DOE!) project. Over this period we have digitally imaged 1.2 million African and Belgian herbarium specimens and much of their label data. All these data are freely available on our new virtual herbar...
Article
Full-text available
There are many ways to capture data from herbarium specimen labels. Here we compare the results of in-house verses out-sourced data transcription with the aim of evaluating the pros and cons of each approach and guiding future projects that want to do the same. In 2014 Meise Botanic Garden (BR) embarked on a mass digitization project. We digitally...
Article
Full-text available
Many, if not most, countries have several official or widely used languages. And most, if not all, of these countries have herbaria. Furthermore, specimens have been exchanged between herbaria from many countries, so herbaria are often polylingual collections. It is therefore useful to have label transcription systems that can attract users profici...
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
Full-text available
Background: Understanding the patterns of biodiversity distribution and what influences them is a fundamental pre-requisite for effective conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity. Such knowledge is increasingly urgent as biodiversity responds to the ongoing effects of global climate change. Nowhere is this more acute than in species...
Article
Full-text available
The tropical vegetation of Africa is characterized by high levels of species diversity but is undergoing important shifts in response to ongoing climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Although our knowledge of plant species distribution patterns in the African tropics has been improving over the years, it remains limited. Here we pr...
Article
Full-text available
The tropical vegetation of Africa is characterized by high levels of species diversity but is undergoing important shifts in response to ongoing climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Although our knowledge of plant species distribution patterns in the African tropics has been improving over the years, it remains limited. Here we pr...

Citations

... Unequivocal communication of knowledge about organisms requires unequivocal names by which to refer to them (Agnarsson & Kuntner 2007, Wägele et al. 2011. Hence the critical importance of adequate nomenclatural governance (Turland et al. 2018, Turland 2019, Sosef et al. 2020. When the same name is used to refer to very distinct groups of organisms, misunderstanding and problems are certain to follow. ...
... We are witnessing a new era of rapid development and improvement of methods and technologies for herbarium data gathering and management, and we now encourage the academic community to facilitate the conception of ways for the conservation community to learn about and utilize these advancements. Ongoing digitization, online publishing of specimens, collaborative networks for data management and cross-validation, and dataset building are the initial steps (Wang et al., 2009;Matsunaga et al., 2013;Dugenie et al., 2017;Yagui et al., 2017;Dormontt et al., 2018;Theeten et al., 2019), and these are followed by the development of scoring and data-sharing protocols (Yost et al., 2018), the addition of non-traditional digitized data fields, user annotation capabilities, and born-digital field data collection, including citizen-science applications (Heberling & Isaac, 2018;James et al., 2018;Powell et al., 2019). These advancements will make machine learning increasingly user-friendly (e.g. ...
... In 2015, the mass digitisation project "DOE!" (Digitale Ontsluiting Erfgoedcollecties -Digital Access to Cultural Heritage Collections) was funded by the Flemish Government and this allowed the digitisation of all the herbarium sheets of the African herbarium to be completed by the end of 2018. The Tervuren Xylarium Wood database was recently updated and completed with information from historical archives, thereby creating an optimised database which could be compared to the BR herbarium metadata maintained in BG-Base (Engledow et al. 2018). ...
... The Finnish Museum of Natural History (Tabelberg et al. 2012) is running mass digitisation programmes for their entire collections. Furthermore, major herbaria around the world -such as Harvard University (A, GH, NEBC), the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (E), the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K), the French Muséum national d'histoire naturelle vascular plant herbarium (P, Le Bras et al. 2017) and the Meise Botanic Garden (BR, De Smedt et al. 2018) -have also conducted digitisation. China (the Chinese Virtual herbarium [http://www.cvh.ac.cn/]) and the United States (Integrated Digitized Biocollections [iDigBio]; https://www.idigbio.org/) ...
... They might, at the same time, georeference specimens where coordinates are not already provided on the specimen label. Volunteers have often been recruited to help with this process and, in some cases transcription has been outsourced to companies specializing in document transcription (Engledow et al. 2018;Ellwood et al. 2018). ...
... During the last decade, research on the flora of D.R. Congo has received strong impetus under leadership of Meise Botanic Garden (Belgium), with important progress in the production of the Flore d'Afrique centrale (Sosef 2016). At the same time, digitisation of the rich plant collections from D.R. Congo in BR has made a huge number of materials easily available and searchable through a user-friendly portal (Vissers et al. 2017). Digitisation of Congolese collections in BR is now almost complete, with 490.000 images available online. ...
... Comprehensive inventories that catalogue the occurrence of components of biodiversity in any given geographical region remain fundamental, indeed, essential research tools for conservation planners and other users of biodiversity information (Figueiredo et al. 2009). For many parts of the world, sound data on biodiversity and thorough knowledge of plant species richness and distribution are still lacking (Sosef et al. 2017). In Burundi, these basic but crucial data on plants are extremely scattered, poorly documented, and often obsolete or even lacking (Reekmans and Troupin 1983). ...
... In addition, we extracted global occurrences of crop wild progenitors from 'A global database for the distributions of crop wild relatives', the BioTIME database [29] and GENESYS (https://www.genesys-pgr.org/). We downloaded further regional occurrences using the RAINBIO database, which contains records for Sub-Saharan African vascular plants [30] and speciesLink, a national database for plant and animal occurrences in Brazil (https://splink.cria.org.br/). Because occurrence data are often inaccurate [31], we removed records that were documented before 1950. ...