Andrea Kölzsch and Anne Scharf win the Heinz Billing Prize 2023

The Heinz Billing Foundation of the Max Planck Society awards the Heinz Billing Prize 2023 for the Advancement of Scientific Computing to to Dr. Andrea Kölzsch and Dr. Anne Scharf for the development of MoveApps: an open platform for the analysis of animal movement.

In the study of animal behavior animal tracking is of great importance, but produces huge data sets which continue to grow in both volume and complexity. Extracting knowledge from the resulting data requires increasingly complex analysis methods. Andrea Kölzsch and Anne Scharf have spearheaded the development of, a cloud computing facility that allows scientists to analyze animal movement data using community-supplied applications through a graphical interface. They have thus been instrumental in advancing computational science and its application in the field of animal ecology.

With their initiative, Andrea Kölzsch and Anne Scharf made data analysis accessible to users without prior programming experience. incorporates multiple programming languages and environments through containerized applications that can be seamlessly combined by the user. All applications are open source, and the workflows created can be published and cited with digital object identifiers for reproducibility.

Dr. Kölzsch’s and Dr. Scharf's efforts have fostered communication between the scientists who use data analysis tools and the programmers who develop them. The awardees’ work allows to accelerate scientific innovation in the field of animal ecology for more informed conservation efforts by providing researchers with the tools they need to analyze the ever-increasing amounts of data in the field.

Read more about the topic in this article by the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Konstanz.

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