TDWG 2011 Annual Conference

Astor Crown Plaza Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Sunday 16th October - Friday 21st October 2011

Conference Theme

The primary theme of TDWG 2011 is “Digitization Methods, Technologies, and Standards for Biodiversity Collections”.  The plenary lectures and many of the contributed talks, workshops and software demonstrations being planned for the meeting will specifically address standards for the global biodiversity collection digitization effort presently underway.  Additional themes, session titles, and workshops will be announced as they develop.


View the most current program.


Network Access Codes

Login to see wireless/wired access codes at the Astor Crowne Plaza

Program Committee

  • Rusty Russell – Chair – Smithsonian Institution
  • Nico Cellinese – Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
  • Cyndy Parr – Encyclopedia of Life
  • Richard Pyle – Bishop Museum & Global Names Architecture
  • Greg Riccardi – MorphBank
  • Joel Sachs – University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Hank Bart – Tulane Natural History Museum & Local Organizing Committee
  • Gail Kampmeier – Exec Committee liaison


 DateMember PriceNon-Member Price
Early registrationJuly 25th - Aug 29, 23:59 CDT$300$375
Normal registrationAug 30 - Sep 26, 23:59 CDT$350$425
Late registrationSep 27 or later$400$475


Registration is now open:


Travel Awards for African Participation in 2011 TDWG Conference

Biodiversity Information Specialists from developing African countries are invited to apply for travel support to participate in the 2011 Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)

The award will consist of airfare, lodging, conference registration and an allowance for meals and miscellaneous expenses. Awardees will be matched with TDWG members with similar interests, who will serve as mentors during the meeting, accompanying awardees to paper sessions and working group meetings, and helping them to get acquainted with other meeting participants. An informal session will be organized at the conference to allow each of the awardees to describe the biodiversity informatics projects they are involved with and to ask questions to TDWG mentors.

To apply, please send updated curriculum vitae describing your biodiversity informatics experiences, and a brief statement describing why you would benefit from participating in the 2011 TDWG conference.

Please email your application electronically to Hank Bart ( no later than 26 August 2011. The travel grants will be awarded by the end of August.

Call for Papers - Abstract Submission (CLOSED)

A call for abstracts and session proposals has been announced:

  • The program committee is soliciting contributions that address the primary theme or other topics in biodiversity informatics.
  • Abstracts could be presented for Contributed Papers, Symposia, Lightning talks, Posters, Computer demos, Interest Groups (IGs) and IG Task Groups.
  • Abstract should be submitted at your earliest convenience, as they will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until sessions are filled.

Program Schedule

Saturday, October 15

  • Arrivals
  • Committee Meetings
  • Interest Groups and Task Groups

Sunday, October 16

  • Arrivals
  • Committee Meetings
  • Interest Groups and Task Groups
  • Specify workshop @ Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bourbon Room (1-5pm)
  • Early Registration / Check-in (4-8pm)
  • Icebreaker @ Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel (7-10pm)

Monday, October 17

  • Plenary:  Dr. Michael Donoghue
  • Plenary: Mr. Chuck Miller
  • Parallel Sessions (Contributed Papers)
  • Interest Group Meetings
  • Welcoming Social @ Tipitina's (8-11pm)

Tuesday, October 18

  • Plenary: TBA
  • Poster Session
  • Parallel Sessions (Contributed Papers)
  • Symposium: TBA
  • Parallel Sessions (Computer Demos)

Wednesday, October 19

  • Plenary: Dr. Judith Skog
  • Symposium: TBA
  • Parallel Sessions (Contributed Papers)
  • Task Group Meetings
  • Excursions (depart in afternoon)

Thursday, October 20

Friday, October 21

  • Plenary Panel: TDWG's Role in Supporting Biodiversity
  • Interest Group Reports
  • Task Group Reports
  • Closing (Noon)

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Michael Donoghue

"As digitization comes on line, what's in store for research?"

Michael Donoghue joined Yale in 2000 as the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He served as Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from 2001-2002, and as Director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History from 2003-2008.  He also holds faculty appointments in Yale's Department of Geology and Geophysics and in the School of Forestry.  Donoghue earned his B.S. from Michigan State University in 1976 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1982.  He has served on the faculty of San Diego State University, the University of Arizona, and Harvard University where he served as Director of the Harvard University Herbaria from 1995-1999.  He has also served as President of the Society of Systematic Biologists.  In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2005, and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

Donoghue's research focuses on understanding the diversity and evolutionary history of plants, and he has been a leader in the international movement to reconstruct the Tree of Life.  He has published over 200 scientific papers, co-authored a popular textbook on plant diversity, and co-edited Assembling the Tree of Life.

Dr. Judith Skog

"Collections, Cooperation, Collaboration, Consequences"

Judy Skog was a professor of Biology at George Mason University and then professor (now professor emerita) in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.  She has been a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) and a Visiting Scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey.  During her tenure she also taught for a year at the University of Florida, was an associate at the Florida Museum of Natural History, a research professor at the University of Manchester (U.K.), and taught two summers at Mountain Lake Biological Field Station in Virginia.  Skog has served as joint Program Director in Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation in Environmental Biology and Biological Infrastructure, and as Division Director from 2007-2009.  Currently she is a consultant for the Biological Sciences Directorate.

Her research has focused on the evolutionary relationships of the pteridophytes as indicated by the fossil record and through molecular analyses in order to document times of appearance of groups, the role of pteridophytes in past environments, and the relationships of extant and extinct taxa.

Point of Contact

Please send your inquiries to:

Rusty Russell
TDWG 2011 Program Committee Chair

Travel & Accommodations


TDWG 2011 will be held at the highly-rated* Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel at the gateway to the French Quarter. A block of rooms has been reserved for TDWG participants at a special rate of:

  • $165 USD per night, single or double occupancy, plus $20.00 USD per additional occupant. Taxes will be added as 13% on the room rate, plus $2 per night. Now extended through October 5th.
  • A limited number of rooms are available for U.S. Government employees at the government rate. Please call the hotel directly to obtain this rate (1-888-696-4806), and be sure to mention that you are participating in the 2011 TDWG Conference.

To reserve a room at the Astor Crowne Plaza, click on the Hotel Registration link, below. This will take you to the hotel's reservations page with the meeting details already loaded. Enter the specific dates you plan to stay and press the ‘Check Availability’ button. Choose a room type, and complete the reservation by entering your credit card information. Reservations must be made before midnight October 5, 2011 (23:59 GMT-5) to secure the special rate. Reservations made after this date will be accepted on a space and rate available basis. A one-night deposit is required to guarantee your reservation. Deposits will be refunded in full if reservations are cancelled seventy-two (72) hours prior to the day of arrival.

  • Hotel Registration - Use this link to reserve your room for the conference and receive the TDWG group rate.  If you make your reservations over the phone, mention that you are participating in the 2011 TDWG conference. Our group code is "TDW".
  • Please be aware that the Astor Crowne Plaza is reporting that it is sold out on the Saturdays both before (October 14) and after (October 22) the conference.  If you include either of these dates in the online booking form, you might receive a message that no rooms are available.  If you narrow the date range to Oct 16-21, you should find rooms are still available, as the hotel is extending our hold until Friday, September 30.

 * The Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel is a AAA 4-Diamond property, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 (93% recommended) by customers who rated the hotel with The price of comparable New Orleans hotels during the meeting period is $159-$304 USD per night (average $240 per night). The room rate for the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel during the meeting period is $204 USD per night. Also, please be aware that fall is a busy time for conferences and tourism in New Orleans.



  • New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is the closest airport to downtown New Orleans and is approximately a 20 minute taxi or shuttle ride to the hotel.  Once at the hotel, all major attractions are within walking distance and all conference presentations will take place within the Hotel.
  • More travel information from Lonely Planet.


  • An informal, icebreaker social will be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel from 7-10 PM on Sunday, October 16th.  Details about location of the social will be provided shortly. 
  • The formal, welcoming reception will be held Monday, October 17th from 8-11 PM at Tipitina’s French Quarter on North Peters Street a few blocks walking distance from the meeting hotel (  This is an “after dinner” event and will feature a cocktail hour from 8:00-9:00 PM followed by live Zydeco music and dancing.
  • The TDWG 2011 Banquet will be held on Thursday, October 20th at Ernst Café’s, Chicory Room on South Peters Street, also within walking distance of the meeting hotel (   The banquet will feature seated dining with and open bar, passed Hors d’oeuvres, buffet-style meal service, music, and dancing.   We have assembled an outstanding menu of New Orleans cuisine that is certain to please vegetarians and meat lovers alike.  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions that are not met by this menu and we will do our best to accommodate them.  The cost of the banquet is $70 USD per person. 

Enjoying New Orleans

  • As a major tourist destination, New Orleans offers visitors a wide array of day and nighttime sightseeing and entertainment options - from paddle wheeling on the Mississippi River, touring the Historic French Quarter, shopping along Canal Street or the Riverwalk Market Place, and countless music and dining options along Bourbon Street and other locations within walking easy distance of the meeting site.  Meeting participants and accompanying persons can take advantage of these activities during any free time. 
  • On Wednesday, October 19th, we are allowing all participants to take a break from meeting activities to enjoy the city.  Your registration package will include a select list of tours and entertainment options recommended by the local arrangements committee, with information on how you can take advantage of them.  Additional options will be available at the Registration Desk and the hotel concierge.        


  • October is generally one of the most pleasant months in New Orleans.  Temperatures are typically mild ranging from 15-26°C  (60-80°F).  Occasionally we do get early cold fronts, so a light jacket is recommended, just in case.


  Last Modified: 19 October 2011