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Invasive Species Data and Information Specialist

Member of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

3/5 Lambeth Rd. Sandringham.

Auckland 1041, New Zealand.

Michael Browne


  • BA, Geography, Geographic Information Systems, University of Auckland
  • Ongoing - Development of tools and services for the exchange of invasive species data and information, including the Global Invasive Species Information Network
  • 2000 to 2009 - Manager, Global Invasive Species Database
  • 1999 - Researcher for the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

My interest in Geographic Information Systems led to role as a Researcher for the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG). In 2001, I took up my position as the manager of the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). My activities included design and maintenance of the GISD and its supporting infrastructure, developing invasive species data exchange standards, and integrating the GISD with other invasive species information exchange initiatives. I contributed to the collection, synthesis and expert review of invasive alien species (IAS) information, and developed new information tools and services. My project management activities also included securing funding for ISSG information services and marketing them to potential users, managing contracts, financial administration and establishing and managing strategic partnerships.

My role required close cooperation with other invasive species programmes and experts as well as a strong focus on the needs of end users such as natural resource managers, biosecurity agencies, governments, educators and interested individuals. I continue to contribute to the development of standard terminologies for the exchange of invasive species data and information, provide support and advice in construction of IAS databases, and have developed data-capture tools and supporting documentation for gathering IAS information. I have lead development of a CD-ROM version of the GISD, a Management Project Register and a prototype Global Register of Invasive Species. I have co-authored a number of papers on IAS bioinformatics and have participated in many related workshops. I am fluent in French and Italian, and am familiar with Maoritanga and Te Reo Maori.


  • Project management
  • Developing invasive species information systems
  • Contributing to development of an invasive species data exchange standard
  • Understanding of the information needs of scientists and practitioners
  • Familiarity with the availability, accessibility and quality of invasive species information
  • Developing and maintaining IAS expert and information networks
  • Establishing and managing strategic partnerships
  • Fundraising
  • Liaison and cooperation with others in the IAS community
  • Participation in the Conservation Commons


Research Title Principal outcome Principal end user and contact
GISIN web services protocol A data exchange standard for IAS data and information IAS database owners, plus researchers and practitioners
Providing Marine IAS data to OBIS Names of marine IAS and annotated records of their invasions are available at OBIS Visitors to the OBIS website
Case Studies of IAS Impacts and Management (2007-2008) Narratives and technical information made widely available in case studies Practitioners, communities, educators and decision makers
Global Register of Invasive Species (2006-ongoing) A tool to identify species with a history of invasiveness Defenders of Wildlife (in the first instance)
Facilitation of data entry to the Global Invasive Species Database (2006) French and English language information on invasive species in in French Overseas Territories uploaded to the Global Invasive Species Database IUCN-French Committee
Global Biodiversity Indicators for Invasive Species (2006) Advice on indicator development and data availability IUCN SSC Biodiversity Indicator Sub-committee
Enhance and Maintain the Pacific Component of the GISD (2005-2006) GISD profiles of Pacific IAS updated, new profies added and a CD-ROM version of the GISD produced and distributed Critical Ecosystems Partnership fund for the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot
CBD species profile schema contract(end date, June 2005) A universal invasive species profile schema GISIN
Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) Successful working partnership on further population of the GISD with species profiles of mutual interest Natural resource managers, biosecurity agencies, governments, educators and interested individuals.
TFBIS Programme Project 145 (in progress, end date, October 2005) Globally sourced information, including best management practice, for the creation of 40 new profiles of IAS present in NZ Natural resource managers, biosecurity agencies, governments, educators, and interested individuals.
Development of an infrastructure for information sharing Standards, vocabularies and structures to facilitate IAS data sharing for use by biosecurity agencies, environmental and primary sector agencies, field-based managers, researchers and academics. International and national. GISIN
Providing standard terminology for the IABIN Thesaurus Standard terminology developed in consultation with stakeholders. IABIN
Capacity-building databases Support and advice in construction of a number of IAS databases based on the GISD, which was developed by ISSG. Provision of specific advise on preliminary database development requirements (e.g. user analysis, collection of baseline information, engaging experts' support, etc) as well as database design. Conservatoire Botanique National Méditerranéen de Porquerolles, Levantamento Nacional de Espécies Exóticas Invasoras, Brazil, Southern Africa Biodiversity Support Programme (SABSP), Nordic-Baltic Network on Invasive Species, Polish IAS database, and others.
Develop data-capture tools and supporting documentation for gathering IAS information Data capture tools and guidelines for their use. All of the programmes mentioned above, plus Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech, USA, University of California, Berkley, USA, Centre for Biodiversity Informatics, National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, India, and others.


  • 2009
    • GISIN representative at the International Congress on Biological Invasions in Fuzhou, China and the TDWG conference in Montpellier, France.
    • Present invasive species information tools and services to the Ornamental Aquatic Industry in Singapore, April.
  • 2008
    • Organise and lead 3 invasive species sessions at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, October
    • Strategies to counter climate change and biodiversity loss, July, Reunion Island
    • GISIN provider's workshop, June, University of Georgia Athens
    • Animal imports workshop, April, Notre Dame, Indiana
    • DAISIE final meeting, January, Portoroz, Slovenia
    • IAS Indicators partners meeting, March, UNEP-WCMC, Silwood
  • 2007
    • PILN 2007 Annual Meeting, September, Moorea
    • SBSTTA 12, July, Paris
    • European Weed Research Soc-Symposium, June, Hamar
    • Species Model workshop, April, Copenhagen
    • Ad hoc Meeting of Invasive Alien Species Indicators for 2010BIP, January, Silwood.
  • 2006
    • Annual Meeting and Symposium of the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) Missouri Botanical Garden, USA 15 - 22 October 2006
    • ALARM (Assessing Large scale Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods) Fifth invasion module workshop, Monday 25th September 2006, Vienna, Austria
    • Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe (DAISIE). Fourth Project Workshop Tuesday 26th to Wednesday 27th September, 2006. Vienna, Austria.
    • Pacific Invasives Learning Network, Launch and First Annual Meeting, Palau. 22 to 26 May 2006
    • Experts Meeting to Discuss an Invasive Species Profile Schema and
    • Meeting of the Global Invasive Species Information Network Steering Committee. Agadir, Morocco, 19-24 February 2006
  • 2005
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Workshop to develop a joint global work plan on invasive alien species in terrestrial and freshwater environments. Montreal, Canada, 23-25 November 2005
    • The fourth international marine bioinvasions conference. Wellington, New Zealand. August 23-26, 2005.
    • The New Zealand Biosecurity Inc. National Education and Training Seminar (NETS) Christchurch, New Zealand. 25-27 July 2005
    • International Workshop "Invasive Plants in the Mediterranean Type Regions of the World, Montpellier, France 25-27 May 2005
    • Building Species Banks: How Shall We Shape the Future? GBIF, Amsterdam, 2-4 March 2005
  • 2004
    • 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress, Bangkok, Nov. 2004
    • 2nd Global taxonomy initiative regional workshop 9-10 October 2004
    • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand
    • Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum(PBIF) workshop, Wellington. Oct. 2004
    • IUCN 3rd Oceania Regional Forum, Jamberoo, June 2004
    • Biodiversity Commons, Supporting a global community of informed conservation practice - A meeting of experts in IUCN Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland. 25-26 May 2004
    • Technical Workshop on the Implementation of a Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN), Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 6-8 April 2004
  • 2001-2003
    • Introduced Species Database Workshop, Mfish, Wellington, 5 December 2003
    • IPINAMS Invasive Weeds conference in Ft. Lauderdale Florida on the 3rd Nov 2003
    • Red Imported Fire Ant Workshop, ISSG. 1-4 September, 2003 Auckland, New Zealand
    • Biodiversity Information Cooperation--Pacific Rim, Hawaii 2002
    • GISP Phase I Synthesis, Cape Town 2001


  • International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives, Feb 2001
  • Biosecurity Summit & ISSG Workshop, Waipuna Wednesday 17 November 2004
  • Three invasive species sessions, at the World Conservation Congress, October 2008, including two Knowledge Cafes and a Learning Opportunity.


  • Simpson, A., Jarnevich, C., Madsen, J., Westbrooks, R., Fournier, C., Mehrhoff, L., Browne, M., Graham, J., and Sellers, E. (2009) Invasive species information networks: collaboration at multiple scales for prevention, early detection, and rapid response to invasive alien species. Biodiversity 10 (2&3) 5-13.
  • Draft final report from the Expert Workshop on Preventing Biological Invasions: Best Practices In Pre-Import Risk Screening For Species Of Live Animals In International Trade. University Of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, 9-11 April 2008. Prepared by Maj De Poorter and Michael Browne (Invasive Species Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN) and David Lodge (University of Notre Dame), with major contributions from Junko Shimura (Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity), Peter Jenkins (Defenders of Wildlife) and Stas Burgiel (Global Invasive Species Programme).
  • M. BROWNE AND M. DE POORTER, 2008. Some tools for international exchange of information about prior invasiveness, and why they are critical to pre-import screening. Conference proceedings available at
  • M. BROWNE; S. PAGAD AND M. DE POORTER, 2008. The crucial role of information exchange for effective responses to biological Invasions. Weed Research (in press)
  • JUAN PABLO GALVÁN, GREGG HOWALD, ARACELI SAMANIEGO, BRAD KEITT, JAMES RUSSELL, MICHEL PASCAL, MICHAEL BROWNE, KEITH BROOME, JOHN PARKES, BERNIE TERSHY. A Review Of Commensal Rodent Eradication On Islands. Accepted for presentation at the Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, 2-6 May 2006).
  • BROWNE, M (2005). Consultant's report to the Convention on Biological Diversity on development of a Draft Species Profile Schema for the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN)
  • MICHAEL BROWNE (unpublished) Discussion paper: Developing a species profile schema for the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN)
  • 2005, DE POORTER, M, MN CLOUT. Biodiversity conservation as part of Plant Protection: the opportunities and challenges of risk analysis. Accepted for presentation at "Introduction and Spread of Invasive Species", Berlin, Germany, July 2005
  • 2005, M BROWNE, M DE POORTER. The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) and international information exchange: using global expertise to help in the fight against invasive alien species. Accepted for presentation at the International Workshop "Invasive Plants in the Mediterranean Type Regions of the World, Montpellier, France. To be published in Edited Proceedings in the Council of Europe Series.
  • LOWE S., BROWNE M., BOUDJELAS S., DE POORTER M. (2000) 100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species A selection from the Global Invasive Species Database. Aliens 12, December 2000. Published by The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).

Updated: 16 October, 2009

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