Seminar „Towards a Digital Twin for Biodiversity” and a Networking Reception


The University of Tartu and the Estonian Research Council cordially invite you to attend the
Seminar “Towards a Digital Twin for Biodiversity”, which will take place on Thursday, 8 February 2024,
14:00 – 16:00 at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU, Rue Guimard 11/13, 1040 Brussels.
The seminar will be followed by a Networking Reception.
Please RSVP by 31 January 2024: Registration link.

With our planet facing accelerating pressures on its natural capital, it is of the utmost importance to
understand the forces shaping biodiversity for rational management of natural resources and key to
meeting the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy 2030 ambitions.

Digital Twin platforms offer novel ways to combine data, models, and interaction processes required to
predict dynamic changes, and offer solutions for biodiversity challenges in areas like species and habitat
loss, ecosystem services, invasive species, food security, and disease outbreaks.

The seminar aims to present the strategic approaches for sustainable biodiversity management from the
EU and leading R&D organisations’ perspective, and discuss the potential for using Digital Twins.


13.30 Registration & Networking Coffee

14.00 Welcome by Prof Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu
„European R&I for a Healthy Planet“– Mrs Signe Ratso, Deputy Director for Open Innovation
and Chief Negotiator for HEU Association, DG RTD
„EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030“ – Mr Robert Konrad, Adviser for Biodiversity, DG ENV
„Communicating Environmental DNA“ – Prof Urmas Kõljalg, Director, Natural History Museum
and Botanical Gardens, University of Tartu
„AI-driven Research in Ecology, Nature Conservation and Biodiversity“ – Prof Erik Kristiansson,
Professor in biostatistics and bioinformatics, Chalmers University of Technology
„Global Biodiversity Monitoring“ – Dr Jana Wäldchen, Project leader, Biod.AI.versity
Observation & Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry (via video)

15.30 Panel discussion: „What can AI and predictive modelling do for Biodiversity?“
Chaired by Dr Dimitris Koureas, Director, Distributed System of Scientific Collections, Naturalis
Panelists: EC Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity (KCBD) at the Joint Research Centre (JRC)
Assoc Prof Jesse Harrison, Project Manager, Horizon Europe BioDT, CSC (
Prof Urmas Kõljalg, Director, NHMBG, University of Tartu

16.00 – 18.00 Networking Reception

For further information, please email (Grant Office, University of Tartu) and (Liaison Officer, Estonian Research Council in Brussels)

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