Organisation of Species 2000

Species 2000 provides the residual legal body for the global Catalogue of Life programme, holding its Intellectual Property Rights, copyright, domain names, access licences, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), taking responsibility for continuity between major projects and providing the ongoing governance of the global programme. It is structurally a federation, owned and governed by the participants that become its members.

Species 2000 is a member of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) and has MoU’s with the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), The Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) and the Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL). It is a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) registered in the United Kingdom with the Secretariat at Naturalis in the Netherlands, and offices in the USA and Philippines. Species 2000 is governed by a Board of Directors that is responsible for legal and financial matters, and is advised by the Catalogue of Life Global Team on scientific policy.

Species 2000 Secretariat

The Executive Secretary (ES) is responsible for day to day running of Species 2000 as an organisation and its projects, products and services. The ES appoints and supervises the Secretariat staff, represents Species 2000 at international meetings and in contract negotiations. The ES reports to the Board of Directors and attends their meetings ex officio. The ES interacts with the Catalogue of Life Global Team on scientific policy, prepares project/grant proposals agreed by the Board of Directors and the Catalogue of Life Global Team, develops partnerships and seeks core funding for the organisation as a whole. The ES liaises with Catalogue of Life partners, proposes and implements IPR agreements, is responsible for the website content, and oversees product manufacturing including quality control. The Executive Editor and Strategic Partnerships Officer liaise at various levels with taxonomic databases and members. An Editorial Board is responsible for data quality/standards and oversees the peer review programme for contributing databases. The ICT Systems Officer is responsible for overseeing systems and services, advised by the Information Systems Group. The Financial and Administrative Officer oversees (project) finances and acts as office manager.

In 2014 a distributed secretariat was impIemented with the Executive Editor and a Catalogue of Life Database Manager working from the Illinois Natural History Survey in the USA, a Catalogue of Life Database Manager at Q-quatics (Quantitative Aquatics Inc.) in the Philippines. The Executive Secretary, the ICT Systems Officer and Administrative and Finance Officer are based at the secretariat that is hosted by Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands, where it has its office and e-infrastucture. The Secretariat consists of the following members:

  • Executive Secretary, Dr Peter H. Schalk, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NLD
  • Executive Editor, Dr Yuri Roskov, Illinois Natural History Survey, USA
  • ICT Systems Officer, Wouter Addink, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NLD
  • Catalogue of Life Database Manager, Geoff Ower, Illinois Natural History Survey, USA
  • Administrative and Finance Officer, Mil de Reus,Naturalis Biodiversity Center, NLD


Since 2013 a long term sustainability plan has been put in place for the Catalogue of Life with a distributed model of roles and responsibilities farmed out in the community under the coordination of a ‘light’ Secretariat. There is a hosting agreement with Naturalis in the Netherlands for the Species 2000 secretariat covering the Executive Secretary, Administrative & Finance Officer and facilitation of CoL e-infrastructure and basic services. The University of Illinois is funding a permanent position for the Executive Editor. There is funding (under the hosting contract with Naturalis) for the Database Manager position in the Philippines where the Catalogue of Life is put together. Further to this, there are services hosted by third parties such as the Cross Mapping Tool at Cardiff University. Finally, ongoing collaboration with regional hubs underpins content development.