CETAF Events

CETAF, its Members and the worldwide taxonomic community are active players who organise many events of international relevance, in very wide variety of platforms and formats, including from conferences and lectures, seminars, workshops and training courses.

In addition, and complementing the range of events geared towards specialist scientists and policy makers, natural science, exhibitions of natural history and botany are keystone events that help disseminate science and knowledge of nature among the general public. In fact, exhibitions underline the necessity for the global society to commit and engage with science .

The Events presented here are classified into three different categories:

1. Exhibitions, which focus on current relevant issues, that are of interest and aim to motivate the general audience to get increasingly involved with the scientific process, and act upon its discoveries.

2. Trainings, that comprise all actions under which capacity and expertise are built, including seminars and workshops, among others.

3. Conferences, a generic identifier for all types of public sessions and meetings, on a certain subject, either accessible to an open audience, or restricted to a certain number of registered participants.

A fourth category of events, the General Assembly of CETAF, takes place twice per year and is exclusively restricted to CETAF Members and their staff.

The events below highlight the importance of our scientific work and its connection and synergies with other related fields. Please find below the event of your interest, in chronological order, within the field of taxonomy, systematic biology, and related disciplines.


  • WeDigBio Lite online event

    16th Apr, 2020 to 20th Apr, 2020
    Event type 

    Community scientists together to empower a global and collaborative digitization platform

    Join WeDigBio Lite event from 16 to 19 April 2020!


    The organizer, WeDigBio, is a global, collaborative digitization event where community scientists contribute transcriptions and annotations of natural history collection information via established online platforms. For this event, the platforms will include several Zooniverse projects (Notes from Nature, Reading Nature's Library, Castaway, and others), DoeDat, DigiVol, Les Herbonautes, and the Smithsonian Transcription Center.


    The annual 4-day WeDigBio event mobilizes participants to create digital data about biodiversity specimens. WeDigBio 2020 event will occur from October 15–18. However, in response to community requests, the online-only WeDigBio Lite will be held from April 16–19.  WeDigBio Lite will bring the excitement of our annual data campaign to a social-distancing world.


    This event will be a "Lite" version with online participation that is primarily sustained via social media and through targeted efforts by museum staff, educators, and researchers to contribute to a specific project.


    If you're interested in joining us, there are several ways to do so:


    ·if you have a community science natural history collections digitization project that is online, or will be by mid-April, we'd love to include it in our event;


    ·if you'd like to organize a virtual event with your community, e.g., gather museum staff for a block of time to collectively work on a digitization project, we'd love to share photos and highlights of it on social media;


    ·you can amplify our social media coverage, and we'd be happy to reciprocate;


    ·and lots of others -- organize your family to transcribe, work with a professor on a related course topic, or participate yourself!


    We hope you can join !


    More info: WeDigBio on twitter and/or feel free to reach out directly : ellwoodlibby@gmail.com





  • Empowering Biodiversity Research - postponed

    14th May, 2020 to 15th May, 2020
    Logo Belgian Biodiversity Platform
    Event type 



    COVID19 information 


    The Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference will be postponed! Stay tuned for more information!!




    Five years after the "Empowering Biodiversity Research" conference that we organised in May 2015, we would like to invite you for a new journey into the world of biodiversity data standards and tools. Projects that started five years ago are about to deliver what was promised and many new biodiversity informatics related projects were launched since then. Concepts such as Open Data, Open Access and Open Science are now increasingly known across disciplines and are changing the way science is being conducted. The time to find out what happened since our last conference has come! Let's also look together at what will happen next in the world of Biodiversity Informatics! Be ready for this fascinating conference which will take place at the AfricaMuseum on 14 and 15 May 2020.



    -Explore and discuss the opportunities and strengths related to Biodiversity Informatics and Open Data
    -Learn about Belgian research projects using biodiversity informatics tools to enhance their results



    The programme will soon be available on this website. 
    Note that a series of workshops will be organised before and after the conference. 



    The registration will soon be open. 



    This conference is co-organised by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, the AfricaMuseum, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the Meise Botanic Garden (Meise), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Université of Liège (ULiège), the VIB and the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo). 




    Our partners are CETAFDiSSCoELIXIR, GBIF, and Lifewatch






    The Empowering Biodiversity Research Conference 2 will take place at the Africa Museum - Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium. 
    Please refer to the Venue page for more information on access options. 


    Royal Museum for Central Africa
    Leuvensesteenweg 13
  • 2020 Digital Data Conference going Digital

    01st Jun, 2020 to 03rd Jun, 2020
    Event type 


    Indiana University in collaboration with iDigBio of the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the Natural Science Collections Alliance is pleased to announce the fourth annual Digital Data in Biodiversity Research Conference is being converted to digital format, still to be held 1-3 June 2020.


    The planning team is currently organizing the conversion and will share plans regularly. In the meantime, we continue to accept oral presentation abstracts and are less restricted in our acceptance rate than in previous conferences. Optional registration fees* will support the digital format technology, the editing and publication of abstracts, and keeping the conference sustainable. More information on fees below.


    To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4th-annual-digital-data-in-biodiversity-research-conference-tickets-86931098255



    For agenda and logistic information visit the conference wiki:    https://www.idigbio.org/wiki/index.php/4th_Annual_Digital_Data_Conference,_Indiana_University


    *Registration fees are optional but encouraged. The fee is $50.00 for students, post-docs, and emeritus faculty; $100.00 for professionals. When registering, those who wish not to make a financial contribution to the conference will have that option. Although registration is optional, your registration information, even if you opt out of the fee, will allow us to keep you updated about conference activities.


    More info: https://www.idigbio.org/content/digital-data-2020-harnessing-data-revolution-and-amplifying-collections-biodiversity




  • SPNHC & ICOM NATHIST 2020 - postponed to 2022

    07th Jun, 2020 to 13th Jun, 2020
    Event type 


    SPNHC and ICOM

    RBGE and NMS are jointly hosting a conference from the 7th – 13th June 2020 of two major Natural History Collection organisations, SPNHC and ICOM NATHIST. Information relating to these organisations is provided below.
    The conference will be held over several days and is expected to attract approximately 700 participants in total. The main venue will be the McEwan Hall in the centre of Edinburgh, with Evening events held within NMS and RBGE.
    Conference planning committee:
        NMS: Sankurie Pye (Chair), Nick Fraser, Chanté St Clair Inglis
        RBGE: Suzanne Cubey, Elspeth Haston, Rob Cubey
    The additional organising committees comprises members of staff, students an volunteers from both RBGE and NMS.

    The legacy for RBGE and NMS following the conference would include:
    • Stronger collaboration between NMS and RBGE.
    • NMS/RBGE recognition as ‘Centres of Excellence’ for collections & research.
    • Academic publications (including a special edition of a journal).
    • Increased use of the collections (from an international perspective).
    • Keeping up with advances in best practice in natural science collections.
    • Information gathered on how to make processes relating to collections more environmentally sustainable.
    • Building relationships with key partners and sponsors.

    Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC)

    RBGE and NMS are currently members of SPNHC.

    The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) is an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. These include not just specimens, but also supporting documentation, such as audio-visual materials, labels, library materials, field data and similar archives.

    SPNHC was formed in 1985 and is recognized as a non-profit organization {501(c)(3)} in the United States. The Society’s objectives are:
      •  To provide and maintain an international association of persons who study and care for natural history collections
      •  To encourage research on the essential requirements for preserving, storing, studying and displaying natural history collections
      •  To publish a professional journal, Collection Forum, and encourage the dissemination of information about natural history collections
      •  To hold annual meetings and sponsor symposia and workshops to foster the exchange of ideas and information

    The Society hosts annual meetings and maintains an active roster of publications, including Collection Forum, a journal that accepts submissions on all aspects of natural history collections management and conservation, a bi-annual Newsletter, and books that examine various aspects of natural history collections care, development and management. SPNHC is led by a talented group of individuals who are elected by the membership. Much of the work is accomplished through committees, which form the backbone of the Society.
    There are currently over 600 members worldwide.

     International Council of Museums (ICOM)

     NMS is a member of ICOM.

     An organisation created in 1946 by and for museum professionals.
    • A unique network of more than 37,000 members and museum professionals who represent the global museum community.
    • A diplomatic forum made up of experts from 141 countries and territories to respond to the challenges museums face worldwide.
    • A consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
    • 115 National Committees and 30 International Committees dedicated to various museum specialties.
    • A leading force in ethical matters.
    • One of the founding members of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS).
    • A Public Interest Organisation.
    • 3 official languages: English, French and Spanish.

    International Committee for Museums and Collections of Natural History (NATHIST)

    NATHIST is concerned with the conservation of biological diversity in museums collections as well as in the natural environment, the scientific study of the world’s natural heritage and the education of the wider public through museum displays, conferences, field trips, etc. A newsletter ensures contacts between members of the committee which should be increasingly called upon considering the ever-increasing interest in nature and its protection
    Registration for the event will open on 28 October 2019
    National Museums Scotland / Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
  • International Congress of Entomology

    19th Jul, 2020 to 24th Jul, 2020
    Event type 


    The International Congress of Entomology returns to Europe in 2020, for the first time in 24 years! The Finnish capital Helsinki is proud to host the ICE2020 – the ICE congress with latitude! The venue is the world-famous Finlandia Hall, situated in a beautiful park right in the heart of Helsinki.

    ICE2020Helsinki collaborates with the “International Year of Plant Health 2020”

    See the link: https://www.ippc.int/en/iyph/

    See the promotional video»

    Plenary speakers for ICE2020 Helsinki have been selected. We are excited to announce the following plenary speakers:
    Gene E. Robinson, Segenet Kelemu, Alexey Polilov, Louise E.M. Vet, Janet Hemingway and Jianghua Sun!
    Please click here for details.

    Registration is now open.



    Finlandia Hall
    Mannerheimintie 13e
  • Biodiversity Summit 2020 - postponed

    20th Sep, 2020 to 25th Sep, 2020
    Event type 

    Recognizing that the effects of the current health and travel restrictions will linger—and that peaks are likely to occur at different times around the world—we have decided to postpone the event previously planned for Alexandria, Virginia, from 20-25 September 2020 until next year. Dates and details for the 2021 event will follow shortly.

    Join GBIF, iDigBio, The National Museum of Natural History and TDWG for Biodiversity Summit 2020. Planning is currently underway. A brief agenda of the week's events can be found below.

    Conference location: The Westin Alexandria Old Town Alexandria, Virginia‎
    Booking information: A block of rooms has been reserved at the discounted rate of $159 USD per night. Book early to take advantage, space is limited. Offer expires August 21, 2020.

    The Westin Alexandria Old Town
    400 Courthouse Square
    Alexandria, VA
    United States