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Scientific Committee 2012–2015


Bernard Minster

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, San Diego, USA

Bernard Minster is a Professor of Geophysics at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. A civil engineer from the Ecole des Mines de Paris, and a petroleum engineer from the Institut Français du Pétrole (1969), he obtained a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the California Institute of Technology (1974) and a doctorate in Physical Sciences from the Université de Paris VII (1974).
Prof. Minster's research interests are centred on seismotectonics, large-scale numerical modelling of earthquakes, and the use of space-based active remote sensing techniques to study the Earth. He is also interested in global data exchange problems.
Prof. Minster has chaired various National Research Council (NRC) committees. He chaired the NRC study on Scientific Accomplishments of Earth Observations from Space, and currently chairs the NRC study on Precise Geodetic Infrastructure. He currently serves as Chair of the WDS-SC, as well as on the Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee.


Michael Diepenbroek

(Director of WDS Regular Member: PANGAEA)
Institute for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany

Michael Diepenbroek studied Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin, before obtaining a Ph.D. in Geology from the Free University of Berlin. His geological research fields included sediment transport processes, statistics, and image analysis of sediment particles. He worked at the computer centre of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. He conceptualized and implemented the scientific information system Publishing Network for Geological and Environmental Data (PANGAEA). Until 2001, he was Managing Director of the ICSU World Data Centre (WDC) for Marine Environmental Sciences. Since 2011, he has been coordinator of PANGAEA.

Françoise Genova

(Director of WDS Regular Member: CDS)
Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), France

Françoise Genova has spent most of her career at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. From 1990 to 1993, she was in charge of space astronomy experiments at the French space agency, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales. She then joined Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory, and became the Director of CDS in 1995. Created in 1972, CDS provides the international astronomical community with widely used, value-added reference services. Françoise managed the data centre's transition to the Internet era, and has been one of the pioneers of the so-called international astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO), which aims at providing seamless access to the wealth of online astronomical resources. She has coordinated or participated in several projects funded by the European Commission to set up the European Virtual Observatory, Euro-VO, which is the European implementation of this idea. She is also Chair of the French VO Scientific Council, and an active participant in the International VO Alliance (IVOA), an alliance of all VO projects around the world that, in particular, coordinates the definition of disciplinary interoperability standards. She is President of Division XII (Union-wide activities) of the International astronomical Union (2009–2012).


Kim Finney (Until March 2014)
(Director of WDS Regular Member: AADC) 

Manager Australian Antarctic Data Centre: AADC

Kim Finney is the Manager of the Australian Antarctic Data Centre and current Chief Officer of the SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SC‐ADM). She has over 20 years experience in applying information management technologies to both small and large‐scale scientific data management problems. In 2007 she served on the Prime Minster’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council Expert Working Group that developed a national strategy for managing data in science. In the same year she was also appointed to the International Council for Science (ICSU) ad‐hoc Strategic Committee for Information and Data (SCID), which was charged with recommending future directions for ICSU’s activities in relation to scientific information and data. She is also a member of the Australian Academy of Science, National Committee For Data in Science (NCDS). In 2004 Ms Finney was instrumental in establishing an Australian Ocean Data Centre Joint Facility (AODC JF), a consortium of 6 federal government agencies (i.e. Defence, Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia and the Australian Antarctic Division). The AODC JF is working towards establishing a virtual national marine data centre. She is a member of the AODC JF Board and in 2005 was responsible for gaining funding for an AODC JF spin‐off entity called BlueNet.
BlueNet, in conjunction with Australian universities is developing technologies for large‐scale data sharing and data integration. Between 2001 and 2004 Ms Finney worked as the Chief Information Officer for the federal executive agency, the National Oceans Office and prior to that managed the CSIRO Marine Division’s Data Centre and computing support for the National Research Facility ‐ RV Franklin. She holds B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from Sydney and Macquarie Universities respectively and has a post graduate diploma in Environmental Studies. She is also currently studying for her doctorate in the field of semantic technologies at the University of Tasmania.

Claudia Emerson (From December 2012)

Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada

Claudia Emerson is Principal at the Centre for Ethical, Social, and Cultural Risk (CESCR) and Scientist in the Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH) in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, and is appointed Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University, Canada.
Dr. Emerson specializes in the ethics and policy of research involving human subjects. Since 2006, she has been a core investigator and senior advisor with CESCR (formerly the Ethical, Social, and Cultural (ESC) Program for Global Health) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she provides ethics consultation across the Global Health and Global Development programs of the Foundation. Her research is primarily focused on developing governance models to facilitate data access in global health for data driven decision-making, and she led the development of the Gates Foundation Global Health Data Access Principles and Grand Challenges Canada Data Sharing Policy. She is also active in public health ethics research and has written on the moral case for polio eradication, the eradication investment case for neglected infectious diseases, and the ethics of tracking technologies to improve immunization coverage in low and middle income countries.

Dr. Emerson serves in several advisory capacities related to public health activities, including the National Ethics Committee for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, the Ethics Advisory Committee of the Ontario Health Study, the largest community-based longitudinal cohort study in Canada, the Data Standards and Integration Working Group for the Critical Path to TB Regimens initiative, and the Taskforce Methodology Group for the Eradication Investment Cases (EIC) for Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, and Human African Trypanosomiasis. She has advised the World Health Organization (WHO), and currently serves on the Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science -World Data System (ICSU-WDS).
Dr. Emerson holds a B.Sc. in Biomedical Science (Biochemistry) and M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy (Bioethics).

Sandy HarrisonSandy Harrison (From May 2014)

Centre for Past Climate Change at the University of Reading, United Kingdom and Macquarie University, Australia

Sandy Harrison is a Professor of Palaeoclimates and Biogeochemical Cycles and Director of the Centre for Past Climate Change at the University of Reading in the UK, and also a Professor in Ecology and Evolution Centre for Research Excellence at Macquarie University, Australia. She studied geography at the University of Cambridge, did her Masters in Geomorphology at Macquarie University and a PhD 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 President of the Palaeoclimate Commission of the International Quaternary Association (INQUA) and Co-Chair of the Palaeoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project (PMIP), where she leads the effort to evaluate climate models.

Wim Hugo

South African Earth Observation System (SAEOS), South Africa

Wim Hugo is the systems architect for a number of interdependent data portals in South Africa: the South African Environmental Observation Network Data Portal, SAEOS, and the Risk and Vulnerability Atlas. New initiatives also fill out his portfolio such as WDC for Biodiversity and Human Health in Africa, extensions to other science disciplines, an Operational Oceanography initiative, and the African BioEnergy Atlas. He represents the South African Global Earth Observation (SAGEO)  community in the Data Subcommittee of the Committee for Spatial Information—charged with establishing a South African Spatial Data Infrastructure—and works with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to disseminate South African state-funded data sources through their 'System of Systems', GEOSS. As well as being a member of the WDS-SC, he is a member of the EuroGEOSS Advisory Board.
He obtained a B.Eng (Chem) from the University of Potchefstroom in 1983, and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1985. After graduation, Wim worked in the synthetic fuels industry in the fields of catalytic research, operations and logistics optimization, technical marketing management, and subsequently as an independent consultant specializing in feasibility studies and techno-economic optimization. Increasing interest in systems for optimization and decision support led to a career change in 1998. Wim joined MBV Consulting Group—a formal systems engineering company—in 1999 as a Director, specializing in planning and decision support systems. This specialization expanded to include systems for scientific data dissemination, with a focus on spatial data, and on network-based spatial analysis techniques.

Jane Hunter

e-Research Group, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE), University of Queensland, Australia

Jane Hunter is Professor of e-Research at the University of Queensland and Director of the e-Research Group in the School of ITEE. She is also Deputy-chair of the Australian Academy of Science's NCDS and Vice-president of the Executive Committee of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, and has published over 100 papers in the fields of scientific data management, e-Science, data interoperability, and the Semantic Web. She is currently the Chief Investigator on a wide range of projects (that include biomedical sciences, environmental sciences, and materials sciences) in which she is leading the development of software services for managing, analyzing, and visualizing large-scale scientific datasets.

Vasily Kopylov

(Director of host organization for three WDS Regular Members: WDC–Rockets, Satellites and Earth Rotation; WDC–Oceanography, Obninsk; and WDC–Meteorology, Obninsk)
All-Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information–WDC, Russian Federation

Kopylov has been the Director of the AII-Russian Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information–WDC of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring since March 2011. The main purpose of the Institute is development of information technologies for creating and maintaining the State Fund of data on the environmental situation in Russia. The State Fund of the Institute includes data about the environment of the Soviet Union and Russia over the entire period of instrumental observations. Kopylov is a member of the interdepartmental commission of Russia in the functioning of the unified state system of information on the oceans.
Kopylov is an expert in the receiving, processing, storing, and disseminating of satellite remote sensing data. He is also a specialist in the development of Global Information System technologies for monitoring the environment using integrated terrestrial and satellite data. Under his leadership, and with his active participation, were established modern regional centres for receiving, processing, and disseminating satellite data in Novosibirsk and Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. Since 2005, he has been actively working in this area with both the European Space Agency (ESA) and the International Association for the Northern Regions 'Northern Forum'. For the past 14 years, he was Professor of Novosibirsk and Ugra (Khanty-Mansiysk) state universities, where he lectured on Programming Techniques, Remote Sensing, and Geoinformatics.

Guoqing 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.

Ruth Neilan

(Director of WDS Network Member: International GNSS Service)
Central Bureau of the International Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service (IGS), USA

Ruth Neilan serves as the Vice-chair of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS). GGOS collectively provides fundamental geodetic observables and their variations to ensure long-term, precise monitoring as the basis to maintaining the stable, accurate, global reference frame that is crucial for all Earth observations and many practical applications.
Since 1993, she has served as the Director of the Central Bureau of IGS, formerly the International GPS Service. This bureau is responsible for the executive management and coordination of IGS, an organization committed to providing the highest quality data and products as the standard for GNSS in support of Earth science research, multidisciplinary applications, and education.
IGS consists of greater than 200 international organizations in 80 countries, with a worldwide 380-station Global Positioning System (GPS) ground tracking network, and multiple data and analysis centres. IGS collectively produces the highest precision GPS orbits available.

Lesley Rickards

Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), National Oceanography Centre, United Kingdom

Dr. Lesley Rickards, Deputy Director of the British Oceanographic Data Centre, has over 25 years of experience in marine data management. Following on from her role as the UK National Coordinator for Marine Environmental Data, she has worked with others to set up the UK Marine Environmental Data and Information Network. She has also been involved in a number of EU-funded data management projects (currently, this includes SeaDataNet, Humboldt, ECOOP, EuroArgo, and MyOcean) and is a member of the European Commission’s Marine Observation and Data Expert Group. 
She has recently completed two terms as Chair of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, and has represented IODE on the Joint IOC/World Meteorological Organization Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) Management Committee. She has also been a member of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Study Group on Management of Integrated Data and for many years chaired its predecessor, the ICES Working Group on Marine Data Management.
Lesley was appointed Director of PSMSL in April 2007. PSMSL is the international mean sea-level data bank, whose prime objective is the acquisition, analysis, and distribution of sea-level data. For many years, she has been a member of the IOC/JCOMM Group of Experts on the Global Sea Level Observing System. During the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), she managed the WOCE 'Delayed-mode' Sea Level Data Assembly Centre, and in recent years, has been a member of the Governing Board of the European Sea Level Service.

Ryosuke Shibasaki

Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Japan

Ryosuke Shibasaki is a Professor at the Center for Spatial Information Science (1998–present; Director 2005–2010), the University of Tokyo. His research interests cover moving object tracking with sensors, human behaviour understanding and modelling, analysis of mobile telephone data, semantic data interoperability and integration, and data assimilation of discrete objects.
He obtained a Ph.D. in remote sensing/Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Tokyo in 1986. His previous work experience includes Associate Professorships at the Department of Civil Engineering (1988–1991) and the Institute of Industrial Science (1991–98), the University of Tokyo. He was a former President of both the Asian GIS Association and GIS Association of Japan. In addition to being a member of the WDS-SC, he is currently a Board member of the Japanese Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and Infrastructure Implementation Board of GEO.

Ariel Troisi

(Co-Chair of WDS Network Member: International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Programme of the Intergovernmental Oceangraphic Commission of UNESCO)
Oceanography Department, Navy Hydrographic Office, Ministry of Defense, Argentina

Ariel Troisi is one of the two Co-chairs of IODE. In this capacity, he has an excellent knowledge of current oceanographic data and information management and exchange arrangements at the international level. In addition, he is Director of the Argentinian National Oceanographic Data Centre, and thus provides a national perspective on both data exchange and user needs, and how these are addressed. 

Ex officio members:

International Council for Science (ICSU)

  • Howard Moore (until April 2014, Senior Advisor at ICSU Secretariat)
  • Orhan Altan (from April 2014, IVSU Executive Board member)

National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

  • Yasuhiro Murayama (Director, Integrated Science Data System laboratory at NICT)