e-Science and Biodiversity

LifeWatch is Europe's most ambitious undertaking in e-Science applied to the study of biodiversity and ecosystems. The vision is that the combination of data, models and tools, accessible through a collaborative e-Science infrastructure, will drive these sciences forward. It is a collaborative project involving researchers and engineers from across Europe. LifeWatch-NL is the Dutch branch of LifeWatch, and a driving force behind the project. In the Netherlands, many major players in the field of biodiversity and e-Science have joined the project. SURFsara is one of them.

Aim of the LifeWatch research infrastructure

The aim of LifeWatch is to construct facilities for all aspects of biodiversity research. It will provide tools for data generation, integration and processing. Likewise, it will build virtual laboratories offering a range of analytical and modeling tools. And next to that it will set up a Service Center providing trainings and support for students, scientists and policy makers. In short, LifeWatch is a one-stop-shop for all aspects of biodiversity research.

Current status

Between 2008 and 2010 LifeWatch has defined its visions and plans, together with the biodiversity and e-Science communities. By now it is preparing to enter the construction phase, backed by support of all major European biodiversity research networks. It is expected that it will be one of the first project to set up a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).


LifeWatch-NL is the Dutch sister project of LifeWatch, and plays a major role in European context. It is a Dutch task to set up the Virtual Laboratories, together with both national and international communities. All major computer science and e-Science institutes are represented; SURFsara, BiG Grid, the Netherlands e-Science Center and the National Center for Mathematics and Computer Science. The project is coordinated by Prof. Peter van Tienderen of the University of Amsterdam.