Bees Conference

Please have a look at the provisional programme of the LifeWatch ERIC BEeS Conference. 

Abstract Submission

Bees Conference

Call for abstracts

The challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis and the threats posed by biodiversity loss, calls for a deeper understanding of ecological phenomena to identify patterns and underlying mechanisms of biodiversity organisation and ecosystem functioning at different scales while designing scenarios of future change. Science is changing, informatics and data are becoming ever more prominent and are opening up new opportunities to advance our knowledge and provide science-based solutions to society’s needs.

The call for abstracts of the LifeWatch ERIC BEeS 2023 is now open. The conference offers a selected range of topics for which abstracts for oral presentations can be submitted. We aim at collecting contributions exploring the drivers and mechanisms of biodiversity loss, the macroecology and biogeography of biodiversity, ecosystem and habitat mapping for the potential identification of biodiversity hotspots and the optimisation of the current restoration strategies, animal biology and behavioural traits, biodiversity observation and bio-monitoring, the effects of climate change on biodiversity, the potential of natural capital and the One Health approach for a sustainable transition. For further information, please have a look at their detailed description before submitting an abstract.

How to submit an abstract

Click on the button below, create your profile and activate your account. After logging in, you will be redirected to your personal area, where you can click on “+ New Abstract” and fill in the form. Each abstract should not be longer than 250 words.

Submission opening: February 2023

Submission deadline: 30 April 2023

Session topics

Biodiversity loss is the most pervasive change occurring within ecosystems, since it affects all ecosystem processes and functions (Cardinale et al., 2012).  Moreover, biodiversity loss appears to increase the risk of human exposure to both new and established zoonotic pathogens (Keesing at al., 2020). Therefore, understanding the drivers and mechanisms of biodiversity loss is a major scientific research challenge. To this aim, and in order to support scientists, LifeWatch ERIC has developed key services for the standardisation of taxonomic and species-related information across distributed biodiversity data repositories and operating facilities.

Macroecology and biogeography of biodiversity are currently advancing quickly owing to an unprecedented accumulation of biodiversity data. LifeWatch ERIC has developed thematic services supporting macroecological and biogeographical research on biodiversity change at local to global scales through the LifeWatch Species Information Backbones. These include mapping of hidden and dark biodiversity and biodiversity ignorance, patterns of biodiversity change in model ecosystem types, such as mountain ecosystems, analytical tools assessing the strength of abiotic drivers of biodiversity change, such as essential biophysical variables.

All ecosystems are exposed to gradual changes in their abiotic and biotic components. Currently, strong drivers of change, such as human demographic increase, habitat pollution and consumption, resource over-exploitation and changes in climate are triggering ecosystem level changes and within-ecosystem changes, highlighting real tipping points (Scheffer et al., 2001; Carrier-Belleau, 2021). Besides mapping the actual habitat, it is of paramount importance to identify biodiversity hotspots as well as potential components of the ecological networks in order to optimise restoration strategies. LifeWatch ERIC thematic ecosystem and habitat mapping services support scientific research in this area of interest through remote sensing approaches and modelling tool developments.

The understanding of both community assembly rules and coexistence mechanisms, at both intra-population and interspecific levels, is largely based on differences within and between species in animal biology and behavioural traits. LifeWatch ERIC has developed thematic services to address hypothesis testing on individual reproductive, space use and resource use behaviour in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. More efforts in this direction are planned for the next 5-year period, following the requirements of the scientific community of practice in this area of interest, following a bottom-up approach.

Scientific research on biodiversity monitoring and conservation has an unprecedented potential availability of data, collected by different types of sensors and by sampling activities of researchers worldwide. Harmonising and achieving interoperability of the impressive flows of data collected and improving data organisation and analysis are major challenges which are receiving high levels of attention from LifeWatch ERIC, which is continuously building new and more effective tools as thematic services. These include semantic, bioinformatic, modelling and AI services, addressing both niche shift opportunities for many species, changes in species distribution and metabolic rate changes among individuals, impacting on overall standing biomass and potential species loss.

Impacts of climate change and global warming are likely to have a significant effect on the species and ecosystems global distribution and service provision. Addressing biodiversity and ecosystem responses, and particularly mitigation responses, to climate change and global warming is a major priority and challenge for the scientific community. LifeWatch ERIC is searching to support global research on this issue through the development of thematic services, as VREs designed to address ecological responses to global warming. Further developments are also planned over the coming years.

Provisioning of data resources and services connecting the conceptual framework of ecosystem health to the “One Health” conceptual framework. These components will assist society’s transition towards restoring the balance between nature assets/natural capital and anthropic activities, agroecosystems and ecosystems. LifeWatch ERIC is investing in this area with services to monitor the impact of the agriculture and fisheries sectors on biodiversity and ecosystems. In particular, the focus is on web services designed to integrate satellite data into the biodiversity and ecosystem service monitoring, and to collect and manage big and real-time data coming from networks of sensors located in various locations, using multiple dataset protocols, and from autonomous vehicles and intelligent irrigation platforms, as well as from other sources.

BEeS 2023

Bees Conference

The LifeWatch ERIC BEeS Conference will feature keynote speeches from scientists in the community and a round table on the theme of World Biodiversity Day. Additionally, there will be seven different topic plenary sessions, for which abstracts may be submitted.

Registration and abstract submission opening
Abstract Submission Closing
Draft Programme Publication
Registration closing
Final programme publication
February 2023



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It focuses on providing and integrating modelling and remote sensing techniques to monitor and control the spread of the invasive species Ailanthus altissima.
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It is a data chaining pipeline that uses both community composition and community metabarcoding data produced by a network of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS).
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It aims at highlighting where the incidence of invasive alien species is the strongest and which areas (or habitats) are the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of invasive alien species.
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It operates as an analysis pipeline for isotopic data aiming at protecting the distribution of an invasive crustacean species.
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It aims at developing an analytical pipeline to detect NIS in freshwater samples using metabarcoding techniques.
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The SOPPHY vLab is currently used in Oostvaardersplassen (OVP), a large wetland area and an important Natura2000 nature reserve in the Netherlands. The OVP is an important bird breeding area and acts as a winter-feeding site for large numbers of the Barnacle and Greylag goose. Several species of large herbivores (including Red Deer and Konik Ponies) have been introduced to regulate the habitat structure and biomass via grazing. The introduction of the alien invasive plant Jacobaea vulgaris in the OVP has changed the habitat structure and food availability for geese because the plant is toxic for mammalian herbivores, who therefore avoid it in their food. To analyse the invasion of Jacobaea vulgaris, LifeWatch ERIC – VLIC currently explores how physiological traits of Jacobaea vulgaris (e.g., chlorophyll, nitrogen and leaf area index) can be derived from high resolution and multi-spectral satellite imagery, potentially improving the monitoring of this invasive species from space.

  • The monitoring of the Jacobaea vulgaris invasion is so far mostly performed using airborne observations. Because such imagery is only acquired once per year, the temporal dynamics of spreading cannot be assessed properly. Mapping the distribution of this species using phenological patterns of plant physiological traits (acquired from frequent multi-spectral observations) promises to solve this limitation and allows us to investigate the effect of environmental drivers on the spreading of this invasive species. The objective is to utilise the plant species trait products from the SOPPHY vLab to identify and map Jacobaea vulgaris over the whole OVP area (56 km2).
  • The showcase focuses first on classifying Jacobaea vulgaris using spectral classification (from the Ailanthus species detection workflow) to identify their fractional cover in the study area. We will then use previously measured ground-truth data on foliar chlorophyll, nitrogen and leaf area index (available from the literature) with these cover maps to simulate different multi-spectral remote sensing observations using radiative transfer models. After comparing actual satellite imagery against the simulations, we will perform a radiative transfer inversion (using the MULTIPLY retrieval framework) to detect Jacobaea vulgaris by using species physiological traits from satellite observations (chlorophyll, nitrogen and leaf area index).

Publications and software

For the development of this virtual research lab, we are documenting its progress through technical reports, scientific papers, and background information.
Scientific manuscripts

  • Timmermans, J., Kissling, W.D.: Scientific opportunities for developing terrestrial essential biodiversity variables from satellite remote sensing in the context of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, submitted in 2022 to Ecological Indicators, preprint

Technical reports

  • Timmermans, J. (2021): Deployment tool for the MULTIPLY Multi sensor framework.  Internal technical report available from LifeWatch ERIC – VLIC.
  • Timmermans J. (2021): Initial design of the SRS enabled Species Trait EBV Workflow. Internal technical report available from LifeWatch ERIC – VLIC.
  • Timmermans, J. (2021): Analysing remote sensing approaches and models to retrieve traits for species trait essential biodiversity variables. Internal technical report available from LifeWatch ERIC – VLIC.
  • Timmermans, J. (2020): Reviewing existing essential biodiversity variables and remote sensing global data products. Internal technical report available from LifeWatch ERIC – VLIC.

Software packages

Extra materials




Zhao, Z., Koulouzis, S., Bianchi, R., Farshidi, S., Shi, Z., Xin, R., Wang, Y., Li, N., Shi, Y., Timmermans, J., & Kissling, W.D. (2022) Notebook-as-a-VRE (NaaVRE): From private notebooks to a collaborative cloud virtual research environment. Software: Practice and Experience.

Wang, Y., Koulouzis, S., Bianchi, R., Li, N., Shi, Y., Timmermans, J., Kissling, W.D., & Zhao, Z. (2022). Scaling Notebooks as Re-configurable Cloud Workflows. Data Intelligence, 4, 409-425.

Meijer, C., Grootes, M.W., Koma, Z., Dzigan, Y., Gonçalves, R., Andela, B., van den Oord, G., Ranguelova, E., Renaud, N., Kissling, W.D. (2020). Laserchicken — A tool for distributed feature calculation from massive LiDAR point cloud datasets. SoftwareX 12, 100626.

Coordination team

Yifang Shi

Lead scientific developer

LifeWatch ERIC – Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre (VLIC)


Daniel Kissling
W. Daniel Kissling

VLIC Scientific Coordinator

LifeWatch ERIC – Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre (VLIC)


Zhiming Zhao

VLIC Technical Manager

LifeWatch ERIC – Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre (VLIC)


Riccardo Bianchi_v3
Riccardo Bianchi

VLIC Developer for Cloud-based Virtual Research Environments

LifeWatch ERIC – Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre (VLIC)


Spiros Koulouzis
Spiros Koulouzis

Virtual Research Environment Developer

LifeWatch ERIC – Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre (VLIC)