TDWG 2017 Ottawa, Canada Logo

TDWG 2017 Annual Conference

1-6 October 2017, Ottawa, Canada

Data Integration in a Big Data Universe: Associating Occurrences with Genes, Phenotypes, and Environments

Program and Media

The mobile-friendly Sched version can be found at

(1.4MB, prepared September 24, 2017)


A welcoming reception with light fare and on-site registration will take place at the conference hotel, Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre by Marriott the evening of October 1. Conference activities will be fully underway the morning of October 2. You can also register for a public, pre-conference Data Carpentry Workshop September 30 - October 1 in addition to or separately from the TDWG conference registration.

Register Now

About the Meeting

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature will host the 2017 Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conference in Ottawa, Canada, October 1 - October 6. Use #TDWG17 to stay informed.

Standards for the description and exchange of biodiversity information help promote research, support decision-making for conservation and planning, and provide a means of communicating observations across taxa, sub-disciplines, and political boundaries.

The annual TDWG conference serves two purposes:

  • it is is a forum for extending, refining, and developing standards in response to new challenges and opportunities; and
  • it is a showcase for biodiversity informatics - much of which relies on the specifications provided by TDWG and other standards organizations.


The theme this year is Data Integration in a Big Data Universe: Associating Occurrences with Genes, Phenotypes, and Environments.

Associating genotypes with phenotypes has been the subject of previous TDWG symposia, and remains one of the great ongoing challenges of biodiversity science. It is complicated by our increased (but still nascent) understanding of the role played by microbiomes in phenotype expression. As Bob Robbins pointed out in his 2012 keynote, some microbial genes, due to inter-species horizontal gene transfer, are better understood as attributes of a particular ecosystem than of a particular species. Meanwhile, "habitat" remains one of the most over-burdened of Darwin Core terms, conflating climate, geology, taxonomic association, and other environmental variables. Our theme is intended to provoke discussion around questions such as: Can current systems, methods, and schemas be used to capture and understand patterns of association amongst occurrences, genes, phenotypes, and environments? If so, how? If not, what gaps need to be filled?

Keynotes and Scientific Program

We are excited to announce that keynote addresses will be delivered by Pam Soltis, Rod Page, Javier de la Torre, and Anne Bowser. The scientific program includes a diverse and ambitious collection of workshops and symposia.

Welcome to Ottawa!

The meeting will take place at the Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre by Marriott at 101 Lyon Street North, Ottawa, Ontario. It is a 10min walk to Canada's gothic Parliament Buildings, which stand above the banks of the Ottawa River, a major tributary of the St. Lawrence River.

One of the reasons that we are very excited to host TDWG 2017 in Ottawa, is that Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday! Many events and celebrations are planned throughout the year. Learn more about the celebrations at Canada 150 and Ottawa 2017.

As a result of this year-long celebration, Ottawa is going to be very busy all year and thus hotels and other accommodations are going to be fully booked well in advance. Most Canadian hotels have very flexible cancellation rates, and reservations can typically by cancelled with no charges or fees up to days before the booking (varies by hotel). This means that you should BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION NOW! Booking early also helps us plan better to make sure accommodation and conference facilities are appropriately sized.


We are grateful to our sponsors.

To be a sponsor of TDWG and this meeting, please contact to discuss opportunities.