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The University of Geneva was founded in 1559 and is a world-class university, made up of 7 faculties, and is one of the 20 members of the League of European Research Universities.

It has a distinguished academic record in very diverse fields of natural sciences, social sciences, medicine, the arts, law and psychology. Because of its geographic proximity to the UN and other international organizations, the University has privileged links to bodies such as the WMO (in particular the IPCC and WCRP Secretariats), the GEO secretariat, the WHO, and the European offices of UNEP. The domain of climatic change and climate impacts is a relative newcomer to the University, which has rapidly closed the gap by appointing the coordinator, Martin Beniston, in October 2006 Full Professor and head of C3i (Climatic Change and Climate Impacts Research), and his research team.

The enviroSPACE group is dedicated to spatial analyses within the Institute for Environmental Sciences, under both the Climatic Change and Climate Impacts group and the Forel Institute. The laboratory aims at promoting interdisciplinary research based on spatially explicit information and indicators on the present and future state of our changing and complex environment.

The project will essentially be implemented by:

  • Dr. Anthony Lehmann Dr. Anthony Lehmann is the EnviroGRIDS project initiator and coordinator. He holds a Masters Degree and a PhD in Aquatic Biology from the University of Geneva, and a Postgraduate Master in Statistics from the University of Neuchâtel. He specialized during his career in combining GIS analyses with statistical models. At the University of Geneva he is in charge of the enviroSPACE laboratory exploring Spatial Predictions and Analyses in Complex Environments.

    He is sharing is working time at a 50% rate with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Resource Information Database (GRID) under a special agreement between the University of Geneva and UNEP. At GRID, Dr. Lehmann is responsible for organizing research activities by leading the “environmental monitoring and modelling” unit. With the EnviroGRIDS project, his personal objective is to motivate all the partners to give their best in order to create a great observation system for the Black Sea Catchment. He will be specially involved in WP3 and WP5.
    Personal page : http://www.unige.ch/climate/Team/Lehmann.html
    will insure the project coordination and the liaison with the GRID team.
  • Dr. Nicolas Ray Dr. Nicolas Ray is the enviroGRIDS project manager. He holds a Master in Environmental Sciences, a PhD in Biology from University of Geneva in the field of Human Population Genetics, and a postgraduate certificate in Computer Sciences. Nicolas’ research activities focused on the modeling of animal movement and habitat, with the development of several spatial and statistical analysis tools to integrate various data types (genetic, environmental, demographic). Through his research and various consultancy works, Nicolas acquired solid competencies in GIS, spatial analysis, software development, and grid computing integration. After six years of postdoctoral research in Australia, UK and University of Bern, he recently joined the Institute of Environmental Science at University of Geneva and UNEP/GRID-Europe to dedicate his time to the enviroGRIDS project.

    In addition to managing the daily activities of the project and ensuring high quality deliverables, he will take an active part in WP2 with all tasks related to the integration of grid computing and SDI.
    Personal webpage : http://www.unige.ch/climate/Team/Ray.html
    will ensure the project management and the liaison with administrative bodies at University of Geneva.
  • Dr. Stéphane Goyette will coordinate activities related to climate change
  • Prof. Martin Beniston will coordinate activities related to climate change
  • Dr. Douglas Cripe (M.Sc. in Atmospheric Science and Ph.D. in Physical Geography) is a Project Officer within the Group on Earth Observation Secretariat, working primarily on the administration of Tasks in the Water and Agriculture Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs), as well as the Data and Architecture Transverse Area.. He also occupies a position as senior scientists at the University within the C3i group.

Role in the project

UNIGE is coordinating the EnviroGRIDS project and leading WP1 and WP2. UNIGE is involved in many tasks and deliverables across the project in order to keep the best possible overview on the entire project. Its main tasks are however linked to the management of the project (WP1), the development of the grid-enabled spatial data infrastructure (WP2), remote sensing data integration (WP2), scenarios of demographic and climate change over the Black Sea Catchment (WP3), sustainability and vulnerability assessment of the BSC (WP5), and finally development of the after-life plan for EnviroGRIDS (WP7).


The Global Resource Information Database (GRID) is a worldwide network of 15 environmental data centres managed by the Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Based in Geneva’s International Environment House, GRID-Europe has a scientific and administrative partnership with University of Geneva (UNIGE).

GRID-Europe specialised in handling and analysing spatial and statistical data on environmental and natural resource issues through computerised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remotely-sensed imagery. Over the years, GRID-Europe has compiled an archive of global and European geospatial and tabular databases, and makes them accessible to the global community through Internet-based applications.

Grid-Europe has expertise in Geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and modelling to provide: better insights to decision-makers, sustainable use of natural resources, analysis of emerging environmental problems and threats. Recent applications in this domain include:
- Lake Balaton Integrated Vulnerability Assessment, Early Warning and Adaptation Strategies project1.
- IMOS: Evolution of the Mesopotamian marshlands ecosystem.

The group specialised also in the integration, dissemination and communication of geographic information visually on the World Wide. GRID-Europe is responsible for the complete design, data gathering and formatting, and on-line interface of several data portals and map servers such as:
- FP6 METAFUNCTIONS project, is pooling expertise in bioinformatics, computer science, geographical information systems and marine sciences to develop a data-mining system that correlates genetic patterns in genomes with contextual environmental data.
- The GEO Data Portal, the authoritative source for data sets used by UNEP and its partners in the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report.
- FP7 ACQWA project data warehouse and spatial direct interface.

The project will essentially be implemented by:

  • Dr. Anthony Lehmann was trained as an aquatic biologist who specialized in GIS and statistical analyses. He is the Project Coordinator (see link in the UNIGE article above for more details).
  • Ron Witt is the Director of UNEP/GRID-Europe and will coordinate the project with UNEP activities in this field and region.
  • Dr. Nicolas Ray is a biologist specialized in GIS and spatially-explicit modelling. He is the Project Manager (see link in the UNIGE article above for more details). He will contribute to all tasks related to grid infrastructure support and gridification of applications.
  • Gregory Giuliani After obtaining a degree in Earth Sciences, he went on to complete a master in Environmental Sciences, specializing in remote sensing and GIS. He previously worked as a GIS Consultant for the World Health Organization, as a University tutor in remote sensing and GIS and as a GIS Developper in a local Swiss GIS company. He works at UNEP/GRID-Europe since 2001 and is the focal point for Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI). In 2008, he also started to collaborate closely with the enviroSPACE laboratory where he begins a Ph.D thesis and works also for the FP7 ACQWA project. In enviroGrids, he is involved as WP2 leader where his objective is to coordinate SDI and Grid technology researches.
    Personal page: http://www.unige.ch/climate/Team/Giuliani.html
    is a geologist and environment scientist who specialized in GIS analyses and Internet map server. He will be Work package leader of WP2 on SDI.
  • Dr. Hy Dao is a geographer who will coordinate the task on demographic scenarios.
  • Dr. Andrea de Bono is a geologist specialized in GIS analyses who will contribute to the demographic and climatic scenarios.
  • Karin Allenbach is a geologist specialized in remote sensing who will contribute to task on this topic.