Project groups


Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Georg Zizka

Biological data is very complex and of most value when integrated with other relevant data groups (e.g. climate data). Because of the richness and the amount of existing biodiversity data, biodiversity research depends on hardware and software infrastructures for management, integration and analyzes of biological data using emerging biodiversity informatics tools and recently developed biological data standards.
Hence, the Data and Modelling Centre aims to provide an IT infrastructure for storage, analyses, integration and distribution of biodiversity and climate data. We commit to facilitate access to and exchange of data while observing data owner rights and standards for data exchange.
In order to achieve this, we have developed a data portal to inform researchers about internal and external data products. BiK-F main model types are described here . We are working on implementation of a flexible platform for storage and analyses of various datasets as well as developing databases to better organize and preserve biological information. In addition, we provide support regarding climate data analyses and visualization. Online biodiversity databases, such as the ‚Flora von Frankfurt am Main‘ or the Tropical African Plants Databases combine citizen science with international science infrastructure including GBIF, Map of Life and EOL. Collection and observation based distribution data and inventories are contributed to the knowledge base Map of Life (MOL), a web-based platform for species distribution maps, along with a set of tools for querying, accessing, downloading and summarizing them. Map of Life has been developed by the university of Yale in cooperation with several other international research institutions along with BiK-F and the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum.  
Finally, the Data and Modelling Centre has established collaborations with various computing resources, in particular LOEWE-CSC and Frankfurt cloud, to efficiently develop and run climate, niche and vegetation models. The Data and Modelling Centre functions also as an interface to our partners such as DWD and EUMETSAT.

Service (see data portal for more details):

1.) Environmental drivers of biodiversity dynamics
Present and future climate data, DWD data: Niamir
Paleoclimate: Liakka
Non-climatic drivers of biodiversity dynamics: Niamir

2.) Data collection and archiving
Data archiving: Niamir, Weiland
Map of Life, botanical archives: Schmidt
Metacat: NiamirWeiland

3.) Computing facilities
Massive RAM and BiK-F cluster: Weiland
Cluster Computing (LOEWE CSC): Weiland, Forrest
Frankfurt Cloud: Forrest
General IT support: Weiland

4.) Advanced statistics consulting and species distribution modeling: O’Hara, Niamir

What we can do for you: service tasks. 


Dr. Eva-Maria Gerstner, scientific programming
Dr. Matthew Forrest, Researcher
Dr. Johan Liakka, Researcher
Dr. Aidin Niamir, Researcher
Dr. Robert O'Hara, Researcher
Dr. Marco Schmidt, Researcher
Dr. Claus Weiland, Researcher


Brunken, U., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Janssen, T., Thiombiano, A. & G. Zizka (2008) : - An image-based identification tool for West African Plants. - Taxon 57 (3), 5-6.

Janßen, T., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Hahn, K., Hien, M., Konaté, S., Lykke, A.M., Mahamane, A., Sambou, B., Sinsin, B., Thiombiano, A., Wittig, R. & G. Zizka (2011) : Addressing data property rights concerns and providing incentives for collaborative data pooling: the West African Vegetation Database approach. - Journal of Vegetation Science 22: 614-620. 

Judith, C., Schneider, J., Schmidt, M., Ortega, R., Gaviria, J. & G. Zizka (2013) : Using high resolution remote sensing data for habitat suitability models of Bromeliaceae in the city of Mérida, Venezuela. - Landscape and Urban Planning 120: 107-118.

Liakka, J., Colleoni, F., Ahrens, B. & T. Hickler (2014) : The impact of climate-vegetation interactions on the onset of the Antarctic ice sheet. - Geophysical Research Letters 41: 1269-1276.

Schmidt, M., Janssen, T., Dressler, S., Hahn, K., Hien, M., Konaté, S., Lykke, A.M., Mahamane, A., Sambou, B., Sinsin, B., Thiombiano, A., Wittig, R. & G. Zizka (2012) : The West African Vegetation Database. - Biodiversity and Ecology 4: 105-110.

Schmidt, M., Brunken, U., Dressler, S., Janssen, T. & G. Zizka (2008) : – Eine Fotodatenbank zu westafrikanischen Pflanzen. - Natur und Museum 138 (9/10), 247.

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