New AquaMaps Coordinator visits Q-quatics in the Philippines

Dr. Gabriel Reygondeau presenting Aqua-X.

“Can you help us?”–A simple request from FishBase pioneer Dr. Daniel Pauly to UBC Researcher Dr. Gabriel Reygondeau, led to a recent breakthrough for one of the cutting-edge databases of Q-quatics.

AquaMaps is the global species distribution modelling component of FishBase and SeaLifeBase. It creates predictive maps of the natural range of aquatic species based on species’ environmental tolerances. Marine AquaMaps first went online in 2006 with distribution maps for nearly 700 fishes and has since expanded to include over 33,000 species.

For years, the project has been keenly aware of the need to keep up with more recent developments in web design and the numerical methodology of species distribution modelling. To help address these challenges, Dr. Reygondeau, who succeeds project founder Dr. Rainer Froese as AquaMaps Coordinator, has developed a new workflow called Aqua-X – an ensemble modelling framework that will include the next-generation AquaMaps, nine other species distribution models, and a new website.

Dr. Reygondeau takes some time off to explore Mt. Makiling Trail.

To present these developments, Dr. Reygondeau visited the Q-quatics office in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines on February 15-17, 2023, to lay the groundwork for this new program, hand-in-hand with the AquaMaps lead at Q-quatics Ms. Kathleen Kesner-Reyes.

During his stay in Los Baños, Dr. Reygondeau gave a talk that touched upon the Aqua-X modelling platform and future plans for the project. The main goal was to inform the Q-quatics staff – the program’s workforce – about the new structure, workflows, and what’s to come in for the next few months.

“I am not going to break AquaMaps,” says Dr. Reygondeau. “What I’m going to bring is a new brick,” he added.


About Joann Glorioso

Events Coordinator / Communications & Public Relations Officer

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