Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?

An IEEE OES event
16-18 December 2019 – Brest, FRANCE

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Background Material
IEEE OES Initiative
Cascais 2020 Workshop
Oceans 2019 Town Hall
Brest 2018 Workshop

Marine debris pose a mounting threat to life in the oceans and on land, including human life, and technologies to observe, measure and monitor the flow of debris into, and within, the oceans are urgently needed in support of mitigating the threat.

Brief Biography

Pier Luigi Buttgieg

I'm a Data Scientist at the Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung.

My work focuses on the application of bioinformatics and multivariate statistics in microbial ecology. To help connect marine microbes to societal needs, I lead the development of the Microbial Biomass and Diversity Essential Ocean Variable (EOV) on behalf of the UNESCO/IOC Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS; I also coordinate the Global Omics Observatory Network (GLOMICON; to help synchronise international research effort around global questions and needs.

Concurrently, I research and develop knowledge representation (KR) technologies to bridge human and machine intelligence. I lead the Environment Ontology (ENVO) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology (SDGIO) in support of semantically consistent data standardisation across the sciences and global development agenda. I serve on the Operations Committee of the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO; Foundry and Library and co-chair the Semantic Technology Committee of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP; To use KR to support the future of ocean science, I lead the technical development of the UNESCO/IOC-IODE Ocean Best Practices System (

Specialties: multivariate statistical analysis. exploratory data analysis, ecogenomics, comparative genomics, ontology development

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