The University of Geneva was founded in 1559 and is a world-class university, made up of 7 faculties and one of the 20 members of the League of European Research Universities. The Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) is an inter-faculty entity of the University of Geneva created formally in March 2009. The Institute’s main objectives are to undertake research and teaching activities in the numerous inter-connected domains of the environment, such as climate, water, biodiversity, health, energy, urban ecology and environmental governance.
GRID-Geneva (Global Resource Information Database) is a UNEP office that exists through a tri-partite partnership among University of Geneva, The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and UNEP. UNIGE/GRID-Geneva has the mandate to bring geospatial technologies (GIS, remote sensing, geospatial databases) into the heart of the UN system; to develop numerous global and regional databases for analytic purposes and for use in UNEP's integrated environment and other assessments; and to develop capacities at the national and regional levels for applying such technologies in developing/transitional countries.
GRID-Geneva is an acknowledged leader in the application of cutting-edge spatial data and related technologies, including applied geospatial modelling, interactive on-line databases, map server applications, brokering and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) development, application of international (meta)data standards (e.g., ISO, OGC) and involvements in international initiatives (e.g., GEOSS, INSPIRE). Capacity building in OGC web service standards and GEOSS-related issues is also a key asset of the team. GRID-Geneva has vast experience in the realms of climate change adaptation and mitigation studies, including ecosystem-based studies, and research in the realm of disaster risk reduction including development of the Project for Risk Evaluation, Vulnerability and Early Warning (PREVIEW, which the UNISDR has adapted as the "Global Platform for Disaster Risk". GRID-Geneva has also been involved in a broad number of FP7 European projects).
UNIGE/GRID will participate in WP7 with methods and data applied for assessing disaster risk globally and locally (e.g. the RIVAMP methodology) or economic losses from global biomass fires, and by contributing to the development of spatially explicit demographic, land-use and climatic scenarios based on the most accurate data available at global and regional scales, as well as on downscaling (spatial disaggregation) methods.
UNIGE/GRID will participate in WP10 in designing, elaborating functional requirement, and developing the ECOPOTENTIAL platform.
Nicolas Ray earned a MSc in Environmental Sciences in 1999 and a PhD in Biology in 2003, both at University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland. His 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). With solid competencies in GIS, spatial analysis, Spatial Data Infrastructure and software development, he is now Senior Lecture at UNIGE and Head of the “Environment Modelling & Geoprocessing” Unit at UNEP/GRID-Geneva. He was the manager of the FP7 enviroGRIDS project, and he coordinated the FP7 EOPOWER project.
His role in Ecopotential is to lead the UNIGE team working essentially in WP10.