A word from Nicolas MOUQUET, CESAB’s scientific director
The year of 2022 has been particularly prosperous for the CESAB. We have:
- Gained in maturity. After the move to Montpellier in 2019, we’ve explored several patterns for the synthesis groups with news partners. This has enabled us to considerably increase the number of active groups from 8 in 2019 to 28 in 2023. We are now working on consolidating this model to make it self-sustaining in the long-run.
- Started up again with in person meetings. The COVID period has allowed us to improve our ability to guide groups in their online work, but also to see the limits of what is conceivable online. Biodiversity data synthesis is a human adventure above all, made of contacts and surprises, which mostly take place when groups gather and live together during an entire week!
- Renewed the scientific council of the CESAB, which has very quickly been involved in the assessment of the applications for the call for proposals.
- Finally, we’ve experimented the setup of a new call for proposals, the Datashare, which focuses on the gathering of biodiversity data and should be reconducted in 2023.
I am convinced that 2023 will be a pivotal year for us to reach another stepping stone in our development, with initiatives already in preparation, and, I hope, the realisation of a joint call for proposals with several synthesis centres supported by Biodiversa+.
In the past four years since the arrival of the CESAB in Montpellier, more than 6 million euros have been secured for the synthesis of data on biodiversity, thereby allowing 474 academics to work in the best possible conditions.
In addition to the synthesis groups, we organise three annual workshops from which 115 PhD students and post-docs have benefitted. In 2023, a new workshop will be introduced on artificial intelligence and biodiversity.
This enthusiasm is possible thanks to the unconditional support of the FRB, its founding members, our partners and the FRB staff involved in the CESAB, whose professionalism and efficiency most often go hand in hand with benevolence and cheerfulness! I thank them dearly for what they bring to the CESAB with its scientific community in particular and biodiversity in general.
Happy new year 2023!