Jorrit Poelen

Freelance Software Engineer / Rubenstein Fellow 2013

About me

In spring 2011, Leigh Bernacchi invited me to participate in the Ecological Integration Symposium hosted by Texas A&M. There, I met marine ecologist James D. Simons, who sparked my interest in visualizing and analyzing complex species interaction networks, such as food webs. We have since collaborated on James's project GoMexSI, a Gulf of Mexico species interaction database, and I am excited to be working with James again as part of the EOL Rubenstein Fellows Program.

EOL Wish
My goal is to help EOL answer questions like "Which mammals does the great white shark eat near the San Francisco Bay Area?" or "Which butterfly species feed on the sour plum family in East Africa?" using existing species interaction datasets.

Rubenstein Fellows Program 2013
I am happy to share that my proposal "Unleashing EOL's Species Interaction Datasets—Integration, Visualization, and Analysis" was selected for the Rubenstein Fellows Program 2013. I am looking forward to working with James D. Simons, GoMexSI curator; Chris Mungall, a bioinformaticist; Robert Reiz, a software engineer; and the EOL community to provide easy access to the massive amounts of species interaction data that have already been collected. By combining these existing data collections, we are hoping to make it easier for scientists and enthusiasts to better understand species interactions as they happen over time and space. Follow our progress on our global biotic interactions (GloBI) blog.

Call for Species Interaction Data
In order to get an idea of what kind of species interaction datasets exist and how they can be integrated, I am looking for people that would like to share their species interaction collections, preferably in digital form. Using easy-to-integrate REST web services, a semantic web interface, and plain flat file downloads (e.g., csv files), we will make heterogeneous collections available in a homogeneous way. At the time of writing (January 2013), various researchers have already shared their datasets, including James D. Simons, José R. Ferrer-Paris, Joel Sachs, and Malcolm Storey, curator of and This preliminary combination of datasets amounts to about 250,000 distinct species interactions between about 30,000 distinct species across 9 datasets. I am also working with Jeff Holmes to integrate this preliminary aggregate dataset with the EOL Ecosystem Explorer. Please contact me if you would like to learn more or would like to share a dataset.

Professional Backgound
I am currently a freelance software engineer. In the last 10+ years, I have gained a background in experimental physics, visual neuroscience, medical informatics, financial risk management, multimedia technology, and visual performance art. See my LinkedIn profile for more information.

Email jhpoelen+eol at gmail dot com

My info

Full name
Jorrit Poelen