The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Workshop: Semantic Data Models in Anatomy - 2019

Morphological data are essential to a lot of research in the life sciences. They are usually published in form of unstructured texts. As a consequence, morphological data are neither FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) nor computer-parsable, often hidden behind pay-walls, and struggle with the immanent semantic ambiguity of morphological terminology. Semantic technology such as knowledge graphs (e.g., ontologies, data graphs) provides a solution to these problems. However, in order to guarantee interoperability and comparability of morphological data, the morphological community must agree on common semantic data models for morphological data. Our experience with developing a semantic module for morphological descriptions for the morphological data repository Morph∙D∙Base ( has shown that it is not easy to find such data models in the published literature. There is a need for publications that cover data models relevant to morphology. Currently, respective information is still scattered and not easy to find.

Anatomy knowledge graph
An example for an anatomy knowledge graph

            The invited speakers will give an introduction to different approaches and data models for documenting anatomy in form of knowledge graphs. The workshop is intended to leave sufficient time for intensive discussions of the presented approaches and of new ideas brought up during the workshop. One of the goals of the workshop is to provide a starting point for collaboratively writing a paper that describes current approaches and models and discusses a comprehensive list of recommended concrete models together with rules when to apply them for semantically documenting various aspects of anatomy. Such a publication will help application developers to apply appropriate data models, help morphologists to produce reusable data, and will in general contribute to the overall integratability of morphological data.


James Balhoff, University of Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA;

Meghan Balk, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA;

Hong Cui, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA;

István Mikó, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA;

Lars Vogt, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany;

Matthew Yoder, University of Illinois, Champaign, USA.

Workshop Information

VenueZoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Seminarraum (seminar room), Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn, GermanyStart9th of May, 9amEnd10th of May, 4pmRegistrationemail to one of the workshop organizers (lars.m.vogt [at]; p.grobe [at];
no registration fee applies

Reference to a preceding workshop: On 8th of May, a workshop on "An Introduction to Anatomy Ontologies" will be held at the same venue (see:


We are looking forward meeting you in Bonn,

Lars Vogt & Peter Grobe

Contact person

Head of Section
+49 228 9122-342
+49 228 9122-212
p.grobe [at]