Mikrotax Introduction

mikrotax.org - a system for web-delivery of taxonomy

Introduction

The mikrotax.org website currently hosts three main databases - Acritax, Nannotax and pforams@mikrotax sharing the same system but with separate identities. We are interested to collaborate in development of other web-databases using the system.

Nannotax is a website which has been developed over several years, by Jeremy Young with Paul Bown, Richard Howe and Jackie Lees, in order to allow online documentation of the taxonomy of modern coccolithophores and calcareous nannofossils. To achieve this, and especially to make an interface that worked the way we wanted it to, we found we had to write a new web application (based on php, mySQL and Javascript). This has been a major project but it is suitable for application to other groups.

With the help of funding from the UK NERC we have now applied the same system to create the pforams@mikrotax website, this project is lead by Bridget Wade, Brian Huber, Paul Bown and Jeremy Young. The content is primarily based on the work of various planktonic foraminifera taxonomic working groups. As part of this project we have further developed the system so that site development can be entirely carried out via web-interfaces.

Acritax is our newest development, dealing with Acritarchs, a mostly Palaeozoic microplankton group. This website being developed by Brian Pedder assisted by Jeremy Young. It currently provides access to a colossal card index of data on acritarchs compiled by John Williams and it is intended to develop it as a broader database of information on Acritarchs.

Distinctive features of the mikrotax system

Possible applications

The feature set of the system was designed for handling microfossil taxonomy, in which there is a rather large number of taxa with relatively limited amounts of data per taxon, where images are of central importance to practical use, and where statigraphic range data is of critical interest. It should be suitable for other groups with similar priorities. If you are interested in either helping with our current projects or developing new applications please contact Jeremy Young

People Behind the Project

As the mikrotax project has expanded it has become increasingly important to involve more people in oversight, governance and promotion. We now have the following executive and advisory boards, providing a wide range of expertise. The executive board has responsibility for oversight of the project as a whole, whilst the advisory boards assist with development and promotion of the planktonic foraminiferal and nannoplankton sites.

Executive Board

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Haydon Bailey
Network Stratigraphic, UK
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Paul R. Bown
University College London, UK
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John Gregory
Petrostrat, UK
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Richard Howe
Morgan Goodall Palaeo Pty Ltd, Australia
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Brian Huber
Smithsonian Institute, Washington, USA
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David Lazarus
Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany
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Jackie Lees
Consultant, Houston, USA
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Bridget Wade
University College London, UK
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Jeremy R. Young
University College London, UK

Advisory Board - Calcareous nannoplankton

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Claudia Agnini
Università di Padova, Italy
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Kevin Cooper
RPS Group, UK
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Tom Dunkley Jones
University of Birmingham, UK
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Liam Gallagher
Network Stratigraphic, UK
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Matt Hampton
Network Stratigraphic, UK
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Emanuela Mattioli
Lyon University, France
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Dave Rutledge
Petrostrat, UK
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Jamie Shamrock
Exxon Mobil, Texas, USA
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David Watkins
University of Nebraska, USA

Advisory Board - Planktonic Foraminifera

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Tracy Aze
University of Leeds UK
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Heather Birch
RPS Group, UK
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Geert-Jan Brummer
NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, NL
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Robert Campbell
Shell, Texas, USA
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Kirsty Edgar
University of Birmingham, UK
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Isabel Fenton
Natural History Museum, London, UK
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Felix Gradstein
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway
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Mark Leckie
University of Massachusetts - Amherst, USA
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Lizette Leon-Rodriguez
Exxon Mobil, Texas, USA
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Maria Rose Petrizzo
Università di Milano, Italy
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Chris Poole
University College London, UK
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Silvia Spezzaferri
Université de Fribourg, Switzerland