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Soraya Sierra

S. (Soraya) Sierra, Research fellow - Taxonomy and Systematics

Contact

Email: soraya.sierra@naturalis.nl
Phone: (+31) 06 83 889 764
Room number: 3.13, Darwinweg 4
“International multidisciplinary collaborations are essential to foster scientific breakthroughs and creativity.”

My personal drive is contributing to make biodiversity data free and open for further re-use by disciplines beyond taxonomy. Taxonomists have produced large amounts of biodiversity data and information over the past 260 years that could become the source material for new, innovative cross-border research, applications and services. This wealth of data and information was not designed for the digital world, and, hence, it is now dispersed over a myriad of different documents, institutions, and locations; and in many cases it is not free and open for further re-use. Proof of concepts and prototype systems addressing these challenges are available, but production services intended for widespread use of biodiversity data and information in the digital world are still lacking.

Career

My MSc project was about the circumscription, taxonomy and phylogeny of a group of Asian orchids (graduated Cum Laude). In my PhD thesis I continued with a similar line of research but focusing on a different group of plants (Euphorbiaceae). Both degrees were obtained at the University Leiden (the Netherlands). Since 2007 I have been involved in various EC funded projects related to biodiversity. It has been very rewarding to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

Research

Research interest

I am interested in addressing knowledge gaps related to the use of standard plant vocabularies (ontologies) to enable participation of these data in the Linked Open Data Cloud, in particular, developing a standardised workflow to retrieve traits from Flora data.

Keywords

plant ontologies, e-infrastructures, e-taxonomy, e-floras, plant traits

Current research topics

NetBiome-CSA

Task leader in the EU FP7 “NetBiome-CSA” project. A Coordination and Support Action launched from 2013-2016 to strengthen research partnerships and cooperation for smart and sustainable management of tropical and subtropical biodiversity in outermost regions (ORs) and overseas countries and territories (OCTs). As a result of an ongoing multistakeholder dialogue the project has selected 4 pressing challenges to be addressed during its duration. Key outcomes to be produced are: (i) policy briefs and research recommendations related to these challenges, and (ii) Guidelines on Best Practices.

pro-iBiosphere

Project leader of the EU FP7 e-Infrastructure “pro-iBiosphere” project. A Coordination and Support Action launched from 2012-2014 to investigate ways to increase the accessibility of biodiversity data; improve the efficiency of its curation; and increase its user base, consumers and applications. The project identified various priorities in the biodiversity domain. One of these priorities refers to the importance of Linking data using agreed vocabularies. For additional outcomes produced by the project please see here.

 

Collaborations

Some of the most important patners I work with in my research projects include:

Adecal

Botanic Garden Meise

Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem

Fundo Regional para a Ciência

Museum für Naturkunde

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

Teaching

Courses

Available student projects

Publications

2016

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Hoehndorf R., Alshahrani M., Gkoutos G., Gosline G., Groom Q., Hamann T., Kattge J., Mota de Oliveira S., Schmidt M., Sierra S., Smets E., Vos R.. Weiland C. 2016. The flora phenotype ontology (FLOPO): tool for integrating morphological traits and phenotypes of vascular plants. Journal of Biomedical Semantics 7: 65.
Go to website (DOI)

2015

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Miller J.M., Agosti D., Penev L., Sautter G., Georgiev T., Catapano T., Patterson D., King D., Pereira S., Vos R.A., Sierra S. 2015. Integrating and visualizing primary data from prospective and legacy taxonomic literature. Biodiversity Data Journal 3: e5063.
Go to website (URI)

2014

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Vos R.A., Biserkov J.V., Balech B., Beard N., Blissett M., Brenninkmeijer C., Dooren T. van, Eades D., Gosline G., Groom Q.J., Hamann T.D., Hettling H., Hoehndorf R., Holleman A., Hovenkamp P., Kelbert P., King D., Kirkup D., Lammers Y., DeMeulemeester T., Mietchen D., Miller J.A., Mounce R., Nicolson N., Page R., Pawlik A., Pereira S., Penev L., Richards K., Sautter G., Shorthouse D.P., Tähtinen M., Weiland C., Williams A.R., Sierra S. 2014. Enriched biodiversity data as a resource and service. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: 1-15.
Go to website (URI)

2012

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Pecnikar Z.F., Kulju K.K.J., Sierra S.E.C., Baas P., Welzen P.C. van 2012. Leaf anatomy of Mallotus and the related genera Blumeodendron and Hancea (Euphorbiaceae sensu stricto). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 169: 645-676.
Go to website (DOI)

2011

Journals non-SCI, peer-reviewed

Roos M.C., Berendshohn W.G., Dessein S., Hamann T., Hoffmann N., Hovenkamp P., Janssen T., Kirkup D., Kok R. de, Sierra S.E.C., Smets E., Webb C., Welzen P.C. van 2011. e-Flora Malesiana: state of the art and perspectives. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 63: 189-195.

2010

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Welzen P.C. van, Kulju K.K.M., Sierra S.E.C., Slik J.W.F. 2010. Key to the Malesian species of Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 55: 285-290.
Go to website (DOI)

Sierra S.E.C., Kulju K.K.M., Fiser Z., Aparicio M., Welzen P.C. van 2010. The phylogeny of Mallotus s.s. (Euphorbiaceae) inferred from DNA sequence and morphological data. Taxon 59: 101-116.

2009

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Welzen P.C. van, Kulju K.K.M., Sierra S.E.C. 2009. How to tackle revisions of large genera: lessons from Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 54: 25-28.
Go to website (DOI)

2007

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Kulju K.K.M., Sierra S.E.C., Welzen P.C. van 2007. Re-shaping mallotus [part 2]: Inclusion of neotrewia, octospermum and trewia in mallotus s.s. (euphorbiaceae s.s.). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 52: 115-136.

Kulju K.K.M., Sierra S.E.C., Draisma S.G.A., Samuel R., Welzen P.C. van 2007. Molecular phylogeny of Macaranga, Mallotus, and related genera (Euphorbiaceae s.s.): insights from plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data. American Journal of Botany 94: 1726-1743.

Sierra S.E.C., Kulju K.K.M., Veldkamp J.F., Welzen P.C. van 2007. Resurrection of Hancea and lectotypification of Adisca (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 52: 361-366.

Sierra S.E.C., Aparicio M., Gebraad N.J.H., Kulju K.K.M., Welzen P.C. van 2007. The morphological range in Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) and a taxonomic revision of its section Rottleropsis (including Axenfeldia) in Malesia, Thailand and Africa. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 52: 21-113.

Chapters in books

Welzen P.C. van, Sierra S.E.C, Slik J.W.F., Bollendorff S. 2007. Mallotus. 8, 2: ISBN 9789747627435.

2006

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Sierra S.E.C., Welzen P.C. van 2006. Mallotus kongkandae (Euphorbiaceae): New record for China. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 51: 365-366.

Welzen P.C. van, Sierra S.E.C. 2006. The Mallotus wrayi complex (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 51: 373-388.

Welzen P.C. van, Sierra S.E.C., Gebraad M.J.H., Kulju K.K.M. 2006. The distinction of five Mallotus species formerly in section Hancea (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 51: 367-372.

Sierra S.E.C., Aparicio M., Kulju K.K.M., Fiser Z., Welzen P.C. van, Ham R.W.J.M. van der 2006. Re-shaping Mallotus [Part 1]: Expanded circumscription and revision of the genus Cordemoya (Euphorbiaceae). Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 51: 519-540.

2005

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Sierra S.E.C., Welzen P.C. van 2005. A taxonomic revision of Mallotus section Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) in Malesia. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 50: 249-274.

Welzen P.C. van, Sierra S.E.C. 2005. Lasiococca brevipes (Euphorbiaceae): A new combination. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 50: 275-277.

Sierra S.E.C., Welzen P.C. van, Slik J.W.F. 2005. A taxonomic revision of Mallotus section Philippinenses (former section Rottlera - Euphorbiaceae) in Malesia and Thailand. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 50: 221-248.

2000

Journals SCI, peer-reviewed

Sierra S.E.C., Gravendeel B., Vogel E.F. de 2000. Revision of Coelogyne section Verrucosae (Orchidaceae): A new sectional delimitation based on morphological and molecular evidence. Blumea: Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Plant Geography 45: 275-318.

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