Nature lovers and researchers can refer to the developments of animals and plants in the Netherlands throughout the centuries at one central point as of today, specifically ATHENA.
ATHENA is a portal in development in which an enormous amount of information on biodiversity in the Netherlands is compiled. The goal of ATHENA is to simplify and encourage interdisciplinary research into biodiversity. ATHENA is a collaboration between Utrecht University (Jan Luiten van Zanden and Thomas van Goethem), Radboud University (Rob Lenders) and Wageningen University (Joop Schaminée).
DECREASE IN BIODIVERSITY
“In the news, we hear many reports about the decrease in biodiversity. This leads to various questions: What drives this development? Has nature preservation been effective today and in the past? Why are some species doing better than others? With the help of ATHENA, researchers can come closer to answering these questions,” says project coordinator Van Goethem.
ATHENA compiles historical sources, archaeological sources and footage, and ecological data files such as countings. For the first time, it is possible to study a wide range of data on specific species of animals and plants. This is achieved in part thanks to contributions made by Dutch species organisations, such as SOVON and FLORON, the Cultural Heritage Agency, the Dutch Language Institute and the Rijksmuseum. The project is financed by CLARIAH, a national project that is designing a digital infrastructure in order to connect large amounts of data and software from various Humanities disciplines and make them digitally searchable.