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Facilities & resources

In our research and education we promote and facilitate big-data and computationally intensive ecological analyses and complex theoretical modelling skills. This requires facilities and tools which can support our theoretical and advanced computational approaches.

GIS Studio

The GIS studio is a computer room with dedicated software for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Image Analysis. It is mostly used for education in biology and earth science at the BSc and MSc level and also for specific PhD projects. It facilitates working with high-end computers and up-to-date GIS- and remote sensing software.

GIS Studio
GIS Studio. Photo: Jan van Arkel

Virtual labs

Together with external partners (e.g. IvI, ESA, Netherlands eScience Center, and SURFsara) we have developed virtual labs for data archiving, management, exploration, visualization, and analysis and for high performance computation. Examples include (1) the Uva-BiTS virtual lab which allows tracking bird movement and behaviour and (2) the FlySafe Bird Avoidance Model which is a bird warning system to improve flight safety.

UvA Geoportal

The UvA Geoportal provides easy access to georeferenced spatial data such as satellite images, aerial photographs, and GIS layers.


We have a few high-end computer servers to run our macroecological analyses. We also use SURFsara facilities  such as the Cartesius supercomputer, the Lisa cluster and the HPC cloud.


 Our research on movement analysis requires specific bio-loggers. The development and miniaturisation of these tags is done in collaboration with the electronics workshop of the UvA Faculty of Science.

Bird migration radar network

In our research we use operational weather radars to measure bird migration across Europe. Over the years we have been working with diverse partners including the European Network for the Radar Surveillance of Animal Movement to improve ways of utilizing the OPERA weather radar network to study bird migration. KNMI and the Royal Netherlands Air Force are important Dutch partners in developing this infrastructure. Information on migration extracted from weather radars is being used to develop predictive models of birds migration to reduce aerial conflicts between migratory birds and human activities, such as military aviation and wind energy.

Animation of peak bird migration measured on two Dutch (KNMI) and three Belgian ( weather radars on the night of 3 October 2016.

Additional hardware for field work

We provide some additional hardware for field work. This includes mobile GIS fieldwork tablets, a drone, and a differential GPS (DGPS) station. More details are found here.