Farewell to Christian Gendreau

The Canadensys team bids farewell to Christian Gendreau, the Lead Informatics Developer who has accepted a post at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Secretariat in Copenhagen, DK. He has been a pillar for our network for the last four years and he will be sorely missed. He will be a superb new addition to the GBIF family and we expect he will be a natural fit.

Christian was instrumental in building a public face to the Canadensys network. He refined and/or developed the code behind the Vascular Plants of Canada, the Explorer, tools and services to expose these in other creative ways, and participated in many workshops where he provided guidance to our community of curators and biodiversity enthusiasts. Christian also acted as the systems administrator for Canadensys, his unsung though no less critical duty. He kept our servers humming and updated our infrastructure to make use of virtual machine technology and Chef, an automation platform to provision servers.

Christian’s reach has been global, spawning a strong following in Colombia, Brazil, French Guiana, Uruguay, and France. Together with developers in SiBBr, they successfully launched the Brazilian government’s Explorer. The Uruguayan data portal will soon follow suit with their own national data portal that will use components of the original Canadensys Explorer. His generosity and collaborative spirit resulted in the abstraction of Canadensys code into a communal, openly licensed, and unbranded environment whereby organizations who desire a data portal for occurrence data have the freedom to share ownership and customize its presentation as they see fit. Christian has also been deeply interested in producing flexible and powerful solutions to assess occurrence data for quality and fitness-for-use. His enthusiasm in this space caught the attention of the GBIF Secretariat and he was invited to lead the overhaul of their DwC-A Validator.

Best of luck Christian in your new role. Great things are coming.