Forecasting Biodiversity Change (FORBIC) began with Emmanuel Macron’s initiative Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA), an opportunity for a selected group of scientists in France and abroad to combine efforts to anticipate the impacts of global change. The FORBIC initiative builds from advances in biodiversity synthesis from the labs of James Clark (Duke University), Benoit Courbaud, Georges Kunstler, and Wilfried Thuiller (IRSTEA and LECA at Univ. Grenoble Alps).
FORBIC aims to make available to scientists, decision-makers, and the general public a comprehensive synthesis of changes happening now and those expected for coming decades. Objectives include i) the assimilation of biodiversity and habitat data, remotely-sensed ecosystem attributes, and regional soils and climate data for habitat prediction under climate change, ii) modeling for synthesis of multiple types of evidence, and iii) web-based forecasts of climate vulnerability, together with a workflow for timely updating that will be available for applications by scientists, managers, and decision makers.
Foundations for the collaboration include Predicting Biodiversity with Generalized Joint Attribute Modeling (PBGJAM) and MAST Inference and Forecasting (MASTIF), both funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US government. Collaborators for those efforts include PIs Roland Kays and Jen Swenson, postdocs Christoph Hellmayr and Amanda Schwantes, and graduate students Christopher Kilner, Taylor Minnich, Chase Nunez, Lane Scher, Shubhi Sharma, Brad Tomasek, and lab manager Jordan Luongo.
MOPGA support extends these efforts to a more global reach. From IRSTEA, Courbaud and Kunstler bring backgrounds in forest dynamics and management under climate change. Thuiller has a background in biodiversity analysis and synthesis from a number of interdisciplinary studies.