August 2019: Millennium Seed Bank Partnership Data Warehouse
The BRAHMS online Millennium Seed Bank Partnership Data Warehouse has been updated and now stores data on over 144,000 seed accessions with linked wild origin and germination test results. Also added are some 6000 x-ray images of seed, these contributing to the viability testing. Registration and login is required to explore these data. For information on gaining access to the Data Warehouse, please contact Naomi Carvey [N.Carvey @ kew.org]
Top: Xray images are used to assess seed viability. Lower: Interactive cluster map showing seed collection locations.
July 2019: Links to ArcMap and QGIS
You can now link directly to ArcMap/ArcGIS and QGIS, assuming you have access to these GIS packages, creating new map projects or open existing ones. If the saved project includes the BRAHMS map point output file as a data layer, this will plot the tagged or filtered data you have selected together with whatever other layers are saved to the map project. Note that the BRAHMS internal ArcGIS mapper requires no installation - but you do need to be online.
July 2019: Flora of the World Online
Dynamic links have been added to the World Flora Online website with the pages updating as you browse through your data grid.
June 2019: Version 8 updates
A range of new developments has been incorporated into BRAHMS v8 during the last month. 1. New data verification tools are available throughout the system. Unlike v7, a given record may have multiple verification entries, tracking verification status category, by who, when and optional comments. Records can be tagged based on their latest verification status, for example records where the map references require checking or those that have doubtful determinations. 2. The transfer of data from Excel to RDE has been speeded up. 3. RDE to BRAHMS imports now maintain the import log in the RDE manager itself as a permanent data transfer reference. 4. There are further configuration control options for data grids, for example, adding vertical grid lines. 5. The record Zoom window has been extended with options to show all fields or only those with data and to navigate to a column by double-clicking on a zoom window field name. 6. Living collection event records are now importing from RDE with options to update plant status, label requirements and annotations.
The Zoom option provides a handy summary of the entire record and also allows you to navigate to any column by double-clicking on the Zoom window field name
April 2019: BRAHMS v8 'Getting Started' guide
A new short guide Getting started with BRAHMS v8 has been prepared with some 25 illustrated tasks, many with video links. The tasks focus on topics such as opening and docking tables, sorting, lookups, defining data views, querying, exporting, editing data and a selection of mapping and reporting features.
March 2019: Access and Permissions settings in v8
BRAHMS v8 users can be assigned access and permission rights to a selected database project. Permissions are edited by the system administrator or database manager. A permission set can be created/saved and can subsequently be assigned to other users. Permissions influence the following features: A) The modules or components of modules that a user sees (modules can be completely hidden); B) Where access is provided, this can be set as Create, Read, Update and Delete (CRUD); Read and Modify; or Read Only. C) Additional non-module related access features can be edited such as the ability to merge records or edit map points.
Left, this permission set may be suitable for a transaction manager; right, an example for visitors with read-only access.
January 2019: New map point editor speeds up all geo-referencing activities
A new map point editor has been added to v8 allowing you to dynamically select map points for collection events, garden plants and the like - with great precision, speeding up all geo-referencing activities. The editor is available in RDE and in your main tables. With auto-save enable, a right click on the map auto-updates the data grid values. Various options are provided to control the map units used, zoom levels and base map selection.
October 2018: Improved coordination of multiple windows in v8
In BRAHMS v8, you can now open and coordinate multiple windows including grids, forms, dynamic weblinks and maps. These windows update as you change grid records.
August 2018: BRAHMS v8 first release published
The first full release of BRAHMS v8 was published on 21 August 2018. You can obtain a copy of the full system for evaluation together with an introductory guide from the OUI evaluation website. The guide provides a series of tasks with links to demonstration data. It introduces a range of topics for botanists, zoologists and others working with Natural History data explaining also how you can import your own plant or animal data.
August 2018: Powerful new reporting feature integrated with BRAHMS v8
Adding to the existing report features, we have connected BRAHMS v8 to a reporting suite that effectively replaces the functions of Text and Visual reporting in v7. As with the ArcGIS API, links to Stimulsoft Reporting have been fully embedded in BRAHMS v8. This new reporter, which comes licensed with BRAHMS, provides almost limitless power to generate lists, master detail reports, labels, charts, cross-tabs and more. You can print, send to documents, attach as email or publish online. Stimulsoft report wizards are provided and there are guides and videos available online for those wanting to stretch their report design legs. Some ready to use examples are provided with BRAHMS, together with some start up notes. For those familiar with v7 reporting, there are many familiar features such as a visual designer; report bands for headers, data, footers and summaries; and text formatting and style setting. Although not needed, you can refer to the full reporter user manual.
The new reporting features integrated with v8 include handy wizards to get you started.
June 2018: Some of the differences between v7 and v8
BRAHMS v7 users will quickly recognise many of the tools and functions in v8 as well as the broad layout of the menus - making it easier to upgrade. Some of the main differences between v7 and the new system are highlighted here: Changes_in_v8.pdf
Data grids have a handy filter row where you can enter values to filter on multiple columns.
May 2018: BRAHMS v8 update
BRAHMS v8 is now approaching publication as we add in the few key remaining core functions and features. One of these is RDE which we have left to the last. RDE (Rapid Data Entry) provides a very efficient mechanism to add to data - or to gather data from external sources such as Excel files. In V8, All RDE files can be editing after transfer to BRAHMS and then used to update your database.
The video clip below shows how you can coordinate Tree Views with the in-built ArcGis mapper. The Tree View of taxa names is set to Filter on selection (lower screen). The map background switches from Dark Grey to World Imagery. Maps auto-update with filters and the current collection event record is highlighted in yellow. Clicking on map points locates the record in the grid, an excellent way to locate map errors. The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is easily calculated.
February 2018: BRAHMS v8 under trial at the Oxford University Herbaria
The new BRAHMS system v8 is now under trial at the Oxford University Herbaria. The data from v7 have been transferred in full to a MS SQL Server data store. We will test and adjust the system during February, adjusting as necessary and monitoring performance. Some of the new BRAHMS v8 features are documented on the Explore BRAHMS v8 page.
January 2018: BRAHMS 7.9.9
BRAHMS updated to 7.9.9. Most of the changes in this version concern the transfer of data to the upcoming V8 system. The transfer process has been enhanced to work with larger datasets and carries out more comprehensive data verification checks on v7 databases.
June 2017: Query your database online using mobile friendly forms
A form designer with new data display options capable of running on smart phones has been added to BRAHMS online. Once logged in to your website and with the form designer opened (option listed under your login options), you can set up one or more forms for the listed data categories (taxa, specimens, living collections, seed), choosing the form fields to include. The fields can be set to search on 'starts with', 'exact match', 'contains' and 'numeric ranges' - as appropriate. The form designer has a test facility within the designer itself. However, the idea is that you then copy the generated HTML code to a new page on your website and here, edit/refine the code to alter form appearance.
The results can be displayed as they are now in lists, grids and/or maps. But you can also choose to display the results as text in pages. These pages, formatted using knockout templates, can be edited by adding your own report templates. Pages can include images. You can set up several forms, each with different search fields and with a different audience in mind - and these pages can then be added to your website via BRAHMS WebConnect. It should be stressed that the sample output provided is only an example of what can be achieved. A little investment in learning to use knockout templates will pay dividends here. Both the form and the results are easily used/displayed on smart phone size screens. Results can be diverted to a new page on your website - or added below the search form.
The Hanoi herbarium BRAHMS online website on a mobile phone showing a search form and the results including options to zoom into images
May 2017: Strengthening the Botanical Infrastructure of Malawi
With support from a UK BBSRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant ‘Strengthening the Botanical Infrastructure of Malawi’, a one week BRAHMS training event with a focus on specimen imaging was held at the National Herbarium and Botanic Garden of Malawi (15 – 19 May).
Further documenting and improving the knowledge of the Malawi flora will make an important contribution to the management and conservation of its forest and agriculture base, as well as contributing to all aspects of taxonomic research. The font of this knowledge is held at the National Herbarium and Botanic Garden (NHBG) in Zomba. Through this project, NHBG will be better placed to provide reliable botanical information for research and natural resources management. The initial target is to barcode, image and enter data from all 80,000+ herbarium specimens and to publish these verified data online.
The database work builds on previous BRAHMS related training provided by Tim Pearce and computing equipment provided by the Shire River Basin Management Program. Donald Mpalika, IT specialist at NHBG, has already established a data network within the herbarium to optimise the efficiency of the data and image related activities, and Dr. Elizabeth Mwafongo, the Senior Scientific Officer at NHBG, is prioritising material for digitisation. Building on these activities, the current acting director of the NHBG, Dr. Zacharia Magombo is now assembling a package of related activity to further support and expand the role of the herbarium and botanic garden with support from the Malawi Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, Mining and Environment.
May 2017:The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) supporting plant conservation
The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), through its European Union (EU)-funded Biodiversity Program, held a 3 day BRAHMS data management workshop for the herbaria of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. This took place just before the annual African Botanical congress (AETFAT) which this year was held in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants from the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles were able to refine their knowledge in the use of BRAHMS and in particular, look at new ways of rapidly imaging their herbarium specimens.
The IOC project is supporting the development of a regional botanical network for the Western Indian Ocean region. The islands of this region are marked by a very high rate of endemism. BRAHMS Online will allow individual institutions to publish data online and make their herbaria visible to the wider botanical community, attracting both funding and researchers to their institutes. A pilot project gathering all data and images for the Orchid family has already been completed – this is now being extended to cover all plant families represented in the region’s herbaria.
May 2017: Imaging specimens in the horn of Africa region with IGAD
As part of the IGAD Biodiversity Management Programme, a regional conservation initiative covering seven countries of the Horn of Africa region, an intensive herbarium specimen imaging project has commenced at the East African Herbarium (EA), National Museums of Kenya (NMK) in Nairobi and in the key herbaria of Ethiopia. The EA herbarium is the largest in Tropical East Africa with some 1.2 million specimens. Specimen images are being captured at 4 imaging stations using high resolution Nikon D750 cameras with 50mm lenses mounted on Manfrotto tripods with NanGuang 3 LED photo lighting. Similar equipment is being used in Ethiopia at the National Herbarium (ETH), the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) and at the Haramaya University herbarium. Activities are soon to be extended to the University of Khartoum herbarium (KHU) in Sudan and at Makerere University herbarium in Uganda.
Lawrence Monda, NMK IT manager has set up a BRAHMS network operating from an NMK server allowing multiple users to log in using Remote Access. A similar set up is being implemented in Ethiopia by Fiseha Getachew. Approximate imaging speed is 3 specimens per minute per camera station. Data entry is supported using the new Rapid Data Entry ‘data from label images’ procedure with links to taxon and location dictionaries. The entire process including procedures for data capture from the label images is described in the BRAHMS support article Guidelines for specimen image capture and image based data entry.
March 2017: BRAHMS software progresses towards v8
A milestone has been reached with the first release of an entirely new generation of the botanical data management system known as BRAHMS. The alpha release, published today, 22 March, takes advantage of the latest data management technologies, creating new opportunities for curation and research for projects running in over 80 countries. For more information, refer to our preliminary guide at http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/Content/Software/v8/BRAHMSv8alpha.pdf . If you are interested in evaluating v8, please contact the BRAHMS project.
March 2017: Helping to document the flora of Vietnam
BRAHMS 7.9 includes a range of improvements and additions including querying living collections by garden transaction, improved EDITHIST track changes analysis and further options to restrict web uploads, for example redacting CITES taxa. v7.9 also includes a number of new features relating to v8 upgrading. For gardens, new fields added to main species file to indicate species value for taxonomy/evolution; conservation/biodiversity; heritage and landscape; and plants and people. RDE features for rapid barcoding and specimen imaging have been upgraded. News about v8 will be provided here by end of January.
December 2016: Morton Arboretum
A one week training course was held at The Morton Arboretum in Illinois. This was for staff working in garden curation and propagation and the herbarium team. During this visit, refinements and additions were made to BRAHMS, streamlining day to day garden curation procedures and the coordination between garden and herbarium data. The Morton Arboretum mobile garden app running on Android 7" tablets was demonstrated. The map-based application connects to BRAHMS v8, sending in plant details such as inventory, observations and management requests. The visit was organized by Sai Ravichandran and Matt Lobdell and the various courses were presented by Denis Filer. The visit was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. Following this visit, a revised BRAHMS system 7.8.5 has been published and can be downloaded.
October 2016: BRAHMS 7.8 published
BRAHMS 7.8 includes a host of new features and functions including extension to the living collections module for botanic gardens; BGCI data transfers; an updated Conservation Assessment module; a new tool to review and tabulate all track change entries by user; import and export functions for Symbiota; and new procedures for rapid image and barcode capture using RDE files. Further details will be posted here shortly.
July 2016: BRAHMS course in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan
In Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, from 19-22 July 2016 Jan and Marjo Wieringa (Naturalis, Leiden), Anneleen Kool and Hugo de Boer (NHM, Oslo) and Abdolbaset Ghorbani (Uppsala University) taught a basic Brahms course. This course brought together botanists from Tajikistan, including those working in the National herbarium (TAD) and some of the smaller regional herbaria. The TAD herbarium will start to digitise their entire herbarium, including images of all sheets, and eventually put their database online using a BOL website. The course was principally about imaging sheets and entering data in RDE files, but also on extracting and analysing data. An interesting challenge has been interpreting hand-written voucher labels in Russian from Soviet times and translating these through Tajik to English. In some cases we opted for transliteration only, and this helped to link collections to collectors. The workshop is a first step in reviving botanical research in Tajikistan and making the invaluable collections of Tajik biodiversity available to the international research community.
June 2016: BRAHMS v8 update posted
The next generation of BRAHMS software is well on the way. BRAHMS v8 is being developed for collection managers in herbaria, botanic gardens, arboreta and seed banks; researchers in plant taxonomy; and those working broadly on floristic work undertaking sample-based surveys or compiling checklists and floras. Further information and some screen shots are available on http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/brahms/Software/v8.
June 2016: BRAHMS for collection management and research in botanic gardens - APGA, Miami
Aspects of BRAHMS were presented at the APGA (American Public Gardens Association) meeting in Miami 6-10 June 2016 - the focus being how a BRAHMS database can be used in botanic gardens to encourage different types of research initiative as well as for day to day garden management tasks. The presentation was given by Michael Calonje (Cycad specialist, Montgomery Botanical Center, Florida); Eddy Dawson (IT manager, Red Butte Garden, Utah) Denis Filer (Oxford University Plant Sciences) and Matt Lodbell (Garden curator, The Morton Arboretum, Illinois). The presentation Powerpoint available here.
March 2016: Red Butte Botanic Garden, Utah, USA
A one week BRAHMS course was held at the Red Butte botanic garden, Salt Lake City, the principal botanic garden in Utah, with participants from their various Red Butte garden sections.
Red Butte run BRAHMS networked from Macs linking to a Cloud based Microsoft Virtual Server run by the University of Utah’s data center. The course was organised by Eddy Dawson, Red Butte IT manager and presented by Denis Filer from Oxford Plant Sciences. The course also provided an opportunity to add some new components to the Living Collection module for seasonal progagation (annual plants), perennial plant orders and plant sales. Utah has a high percentage of endemic plants and the garden represents this in their collection.
March 2016: BRAHMS in Bologna
Annalisa Managlia, curator of the Bologna herbarium (BOLO), Italy, spent 4 days in Oxford to review aspects of their BRAHMS databases and learn about the Oxford curation processes. The Bologna herbarium is one of the oldest in the world with much historical material dating back to the 16th century. Annalisa is currently developing several databases, desktop and online, for old and new material alike. An example: the collections of Ulisse Aldrovandi.
December 2015: BRAHMS 7.7 published
BRAHMS 7.7 published with a new standard key. Multi-users keys have not been changed. BRAHMS 7.7 includes a host of small improvements scattered system wide. There are also significant updates to the botanic garden, seed bank and online publishing modules. Upgrade notes will be added shortly.
October 2015: BRAHMS for botanic gardens and arboreta
Over the last two years, we’ve invested heavily in updating the Living Collections (LC) module in BRAHMS. This now provides a flexible management service for gardens and arboreta. Day to day curation activities typically include cataloguing new acquisitions, production propagation, planting out, plant maintenance, logging requests for future action, generating files for label etching and the monitoring of garden stock.
The LC module also links through to all the other available BRAHMS components providing a wide range of services and features for research and extension activities if these are wanted. In some cases, recording and calculating conservation status of garden species may be a priority, with reference to the known wild distribution of the garden species. This may involve species mapping and could extend to more formal ‘red listing’ and the use of the Conservation Assessment Module (CAM). Other projects may want to build up detailed profiles of species with taxonomic data, descriptive texts (distribution, name origin, common names, plant uses, etc.). Others may want to record results of propagation experiments on seed germination, cuttings and grafts.
The potential use for research is only limited by the data you have stored. A new initiative at the Oxford Harcourt Arboretum is the continuous recording of ground temperature across the entire site. Data loggers have been installed across the 140 acres, in the formal arboretum, semi natural woodland & meadow areas. The data, which will be linked to plant records in BRAHMS, will be used to look at how temperature influences plant growth and other phenological stages.
Image management is a key part of BRAHMS and as well as gathering and linking images of garden plants and specimens into the database, images can be assembled and published online together with garden catalogues creating a virtual botanic garden. BRAHMS has also teamed up with the Zegami software team in Oxford allowing you to present images using the cool Zegami search features. For example the Morton Arboretum garden plant and herbarium images.
The LC module is being fully integrated into BRAHMS v8 - using the latest technologies for desktop and online data management and presentation with options to store your data in SQLite, PostgreSQL or MSQL Server. Further storage options can be added to v8 by extending the v8 DB connection script.
October 2015: BRAHMS v8 well on the way
Development work on V8 started almost 2 years ago. As with a new large building complex, much of the initial work has been preparing the underlying foundations - with not so much to see above ground. But this is changing rapidly now as the presentation layer (user interface) is added.
The key challenge for us has been to develop a system based on the very latest .NET technologies which requires no IT expertise to install; retains all the flexibility and power of v7; and requires minimum learning for anyone familiar with BRAHMS v7. Needless to say, it also has to import everything from v7. A seamless upgrade. V8 is now running demo databases linked to SQLite, PostgreSQL and MSSQL Server. You can choose one or all of these. Our preferred default data source for small to medium sized databases is SQLite as it requires no installation and is completely portable. As with FoxPro, you can copy your database onto a memory stick and even run it from there. Enterprise databases can tap into the full power, speed and security of the larger DBMS options with no limit to size.
In v8, features that are widely used in v7 like record tagging, 2-step record deletion, Zoom, Sigma summaries and column selection are all back in place - but each significantly improved. Zoom windows can be used like custom forms, and their data edited and saved; visible column selections can be dynamically adjusted, saved and shared with others; sigma summaries automatically update as you move column. Record tagging in the main file is no longer ‘all for one and one for all’! Tags, even when viewed in the main files are user specific. One more much demanded improvement to mention here: RDE and extract files have the same structure. In fact, they are stored and managed in the same data table. A feature of BRAHMS 8 that drives home its flexibility is the ability to open multiple spreadsheets simultaneously, drag and dock these to separate areas your of screen or to a separate monitor. Back to that underground phase - we’ve invested heavily in ensuring window control and docking is as flexible as possible.
The current focus is adding in the new query options. These build on what we already have in v7 but are being developed to allow a more or less limitless range of custom queries, all of which can saved and re-used. And this leads us on to some of the more visible outputs such as mapping and reporting, both benefitting from substantial libraries of features within .NET or available via third party solutions.
July 2015: Regional training course – La Réunion
A BRAHMS training event was given 7–9 July with participants from the five African Indian Ocean nations: Comores, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion and Seychelles with an additional participant from Kenya. The event was sponsored by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Biodiversity Program - European Union fund with training provided by Benny Bytebier (Curator, Bews Herbarium, University of KwaZulu-Natal) and Denis Filer, Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. Course logistics were arranged by Chantal Andrianarivo (IOC) and Thierry Pailler (Université de La Réunion) and hosted at the Université de La Réunion Campus du Tampon. The overall project objectives are to facilitate collaboration and data sharing between the regional herbaria. A specific initial objective is to gather data and images of the Orchidaceae from all participating countries and to assemble these on a joint website.
Thierry Pailler, REU Herbarium, Uni. La Réunion; Nicole Benech, REU Herbarium, Uni. La Réunion; Jacqueline Lechevin, REU Herbarium, Uni. La Réunion; Ben Antoy Moussa, HKM Herbarium, Univ. Comoros; Andilyiat Mohamed, HKM Herbarium, Univ. Comoros; Harizoly Razafimandimby, TEF Herbarium, FOFIFA, Madagascar; Solo Hery Rapanarivo,TAN Herbarium, PBZT, Madagascar; Mijoro Rakotoarinivo, DBEV Herbarium, Univ. Antananarivo, Madagascar; Charles Morel, SEY Herbarium, Museum of Natural History, Seychelles; James Mougal, Seychelles National Park Authority/Plant Conservation Action Group (PCA), Seychelles; Claudia Baider, MAU Herbarium, The Mauritius Herbarium, Mauritius; B. Hansha Ramsahye, State House, Mauritius; Kersley Pynee, MAU Herbarium, The Mauritius Herbarium, Mauritius; Chandrajyotee Awotorsing, SSR Botanical Gardens, Pamplemousses, Mauritius; Prishnee Bissessur, Univ. Mauritius, Mauritius; Peris Wangari Kamau,EA Herbarium, East African National Herbarium, NMK, Kenya; Chantal Andrianarivo,Commission de l’Océan Indien (COI)/Biodiversity Programme, Mauritius.
June 2015: QGIS mapping from BRAHMS
For those lucky enough to have QGIS installed, if you have upgraded to BRAHMS 7.6.6, you can create distribution maps with one click. Not to mention all the analysis stuff on offer. When you map data points from BRAHMS, the files MYMAPFILE.DBF and MYMAPFILE.TXT are created in your mapping folder. The txt file can be added to a QGIS map project (together with your other map layers) using (in QGIS) Layer > Add a layer > Add a delimited text layer - or the equivalent toolbar option. If you then save this as a QGIS project, register the project in BRAHMS using Maps > Saved QGIS… projects, you can then select the saved project when mapping and this will always plot the contents of your current MYMAPFILE.
June 2015: meet Zegami - the visual search tool
The last decade has seen a vast increase in the use of images by research botanists and herbaria. Searchable online, producing field guides, identification keys, assisting with herbarium curation and more. A wonderfully flexible tool called Zegami has been developed to display, filter, sort, graph and analyse images with their metadata. We are currently exploring its use linked to BRAHMS and BRAHMS online. A couple of examples have been developed using images provided by The Morton Arboretum in Illinois:
For further information, visit the Zegami website or contact Stephen Taylor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 2015: BRAHMS training in Malaysia
A training course was held at and funded by the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Kepong, Kuala Lumpur on May 20 - 26. This was primarily for the combined staff of the KEP, SAN and SAR herbaria in Malaysia but also for representatives from Hanoi and Burma (those visits funded by NYBG/JRS Foundation). Amongst the topics covered were managing referenced species descriptive texts from multiple floras; conservation assessments and red listing; mapping to Quantum GIS; diversity analysis; publishing online (including regional networks); storing multiple enumerations for plot data; and managing botanic garden data. The training course, given by Denis Filer, was coordinated by Saw Lang Guan, Director of the Forest Biodiversity Division at FRIM.
March 2015: Seed Bank of Armenia training event
The Seed Bank of Armenian Flora hosted a one-week BRAHMS training course 23 - 27 March 2015 for Seed Bank and Herbarium staff at the Institute of Botany of the Armenian Academy of Sciences in Yerevan. The Seed Bank of Armenia Flora has been a Partner in the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership since 2011. Their priority is to collect and conserve ex-situ seeds from the endemic and endangered plants of Armenia. Tim Pearce from RBG Kew Millennium Seed Bank Partnership provided the training.
Left to right: Shushan Ohanyan; Astghik Papikyan; Gayane Shaboyan; Karine Janjughazyan; Arpine Achoyan; Yevgenia Navasardyan; Yekaterina Shcherbakova; Tim Pearce; Araksya Elbakyan; Anush Nersesyan
February 2015: Training course at The Morton Arboretum
A one week BRAHMS training event, 16 to 20 February, was held at The Morton Arboretum, Illinois. The event brought garden and herbarium staff together providing an opportunity to fine tune the BRAHMS living collections module and its linkages between garden accessions and plants, herbarium specimens, images and the literature module. Training sessions and discussions were held on file structures; the optimization of data capture for garden accessions, standard inventory data and observations (these also planning for the use of wireless portable devices); and on query, reporting and mapping requirements. Training was provide by Denis Filer and the event was coordinated by Sai Ravichandran who is their director of IT. The Morton Arboretum, together with the MOR herbarium, is one of the foremost botanical gardens in the USA. The Morton family who founded the garden in 1922 were the originators of USA Arbor day. The Arboretum library is a treasure trove of botanical and horticultural books, journals, prints, original art, letters, photographs, landscape plans and drawings. The Arboretum was recently recognized for excellence in ecological restoration.
February 2015: The World List of Cycads
The World List of Cycads, published under the auspices of the IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group, is a comprehensive reference for cycads including useful information related to cycad taxonomy. The list has a 30 year history in printed form and a continuously updated online version is now available at Cycadlist.org. The World List of Cycads database is managed using BRAHMS and the website is populated using tables exported directly from the BRAHMS database.
News entry provided by Michael Calonje, Cycad Biologist, Montgomery Botanical Center, Miami, USA.
January 2015: BRAHMS online updated
The BRAHMS online system (BOL) has been extensively updated with Version 5 published end of December. The revised online system provides a greater range of options to explore and present data as browsable data grids, reports, richness and point maps and images. BOL now uses bootstrap for all web pages. Websites are responsive and can be used on devices such as tablets and mobile phones. The categories of data that can be uploaded are: taxa; botanical records and their specimens; living collections; seed accessions with their seed test data; and botanical survey plots with their associated data. All categories of data can include images.
December 2014: The first training events in Korea
A BRAHMS training event (18 - 19 December) was held at the Korea Forest Training Institute. The course was for researchers and graduates, providing general support for botanical research and collection management. The course covered installation, basic DB handling, data entry using RDE, and report template design. The course was organized by the Herbarium (KH) of Korea National Arboretum and was given Prof. Hui Kim, Mokpo National University.
December 2014: National Herbarium of Malawi
During 2014, some 75,000 voucher records held in a PRECIS database at the National Herbarium of Malawi were transferred into BRAHMS. As a result of this development and in order to strengthen the supply of plant diversity and distribution data to the World Bank-funded Shire River Basin Management Programme, 10 staff from the National Herbarium & Botanic Garden of Malawi and the Forestry Research Institute of Malawi underwent BRAHMS training. The SRBM Project funded the 1 week course (15-19 December) which was hosted by the NHBG at their headquarters in Zomba. It is envisaged that further BRAHMS training will be undertaken as well as the installation of the BRAHMS Online software on the NHBG server and the establishment of the first online herbarium resource for Malawi.
December 2014: Training courses for botanic gardens in South Africa
BRAHMS training events (1 – 4 December) were held in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, introducing the BRAHMS Living Collections module to staff from the Harold Porter, Karoo Desert, Kirstenbosch, Kwelera, Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria and Walter Sisulu National gardens. With some 30 staff on each of the 2 day courses, there was plenty of debate as how best to fine tune BRAHMS to meet all the needs of the South African gardens. During 2015, SANBI will integrate their herbarium and living collections data in to a single, networked database. The courses were organized by Brenda Daly, supported by SANBI and given by Denis Filer.
October 2014: Naturalis database clocks up over 3 million specimens
The Naturalis BRAHMS national herbarium database in the Netherlands now has over 3.3 million specimen and some 540,000 species and infraspecific taxa entries. Funded by a Dutch Government project, they are aiming to upload a total of 4.5 million specimens by the end of 2015. Almost all of the specimens are imaged and the images are linked in BRAHMS using media library URLs. The database is accessed daily by between 10 and 20 users simultaneous using a remote access system on a virtual server located in Leiden. Naturalis are also involved in current developments with BRAHMS v8.
September 2014: Morton Arboretum wins IMLS award
The Morton Arboretum near Chicago, currently migrating their Living Collections and Herbarium data to BRAHMS, has been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) in the US. The grant will help The Morton Arboretum further integrate and cross reference their living collections and herbarium specimens, images and species data. In particular, the grant will be used to develop a mobile application for use on the grounds that will help staff to enter and check data and images and as well as provide mobile devices to access the mobile app developed for field data entry. They will also be developing in BRAHMS a new plant propagation module to monitor requests and tasks received and performed by The Morton Arboretum's propagation team. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the United States' 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Their grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.
Entry provided by Sai Ravichandran, Director, Information Technology, The Morton Arboretum.
August 2014: BRAHMS course at CONABIO, Mexico
BRAHMS course for 15 participants during 18-22 August held at the facilities of the "Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad" (CONABIO), in D.F., México. given by Jeanine Vélez Gavilán from MAPR, Puerto Rico. Topics discussed: installation, standard tools, RDE files, RDE to BRAHMS transfers, query, text and visual reports, specimen imaging, mapping and the development websites using BRAHMS Online.
June 2014: Korean Vascular Plant Checklist
A provisional Checklist of Vascular Plants for the Korea Peninsula Flora (KPF, Chang et al. 2014 edition) published by TB Lee Herbarium, Seoul and Korea National Arboretum, Pocheon, Korea. This checklist is a compilation of the native and naturalized pteridophytes, conifers and flowering plants recorded in the Korea peninsular. It represents an updating of the floral listings in Lee (1976; TB Lee 李昌福). Since then numerous taxonomic (and resultant nomenclatural) changes have been proposed by recent revisionary studies, often with molecular data inputs reinterpreting classification. ISBN 978-89-968648-3-7 (PDF). This checklist was developed using BRAHMS.
June 2014: National Botanical Resources Institute, Namibia
BRAHMS training and system review 14 – 21 June at the National Botanical Resources Institute (NBRI) in Windhoek, Namibia. NBRI has an impressive herbarium (ca. 90,000 specimens), already mostly catalogued in their central database together with official species list. This is now being extended to incorporate images, living collections, conservation assessment work, plot data and possibly their gene bank data. The visit was or Organized by Esmerialda Klaassen and funded through NBRI. Training sessions with Denis Filer from Plant Sciences, Oxford.
June 2014: BRAHMS Version 7.5 published
BRAHMS Version 7.5 published. Update notes can be viewed or downloaded here. The upgrade includes extensions to the Living Collection and Sample Plot modules; improved controls for data grid field views; a new Plant Uses module and improvements with the management of common names; the ability to reference images as URLs; improvements with linking literature references to species names; and more...
May 2014: Imaging specimens - two approaches
Imaging specimens with BRAHMS – two very different approaches. A Short article in the Oxford Plant Systematics newsletter OPS 20 by Denis Filer & Jan Wieringa. Typing in data from specimens is not the most exciting part of any botanical project. Nevertheless, for those wishing to take advantage of what a database can offer for curation and research, a minimum set of data fields must be entered and given that projects spend enormous amounts of time on this task alone, choosing the right approach is vital...
March 2014: BRAHMS export to Scratchpads
Working in collaboration with Katherine Bouton and the Scratchpads Team at the Natural History Museum in London, a Scratchpads export function has been added to the BRAHMS online publishing menu. Testing has been conducted with the Solanum PBI database developed by Sandy Knapp et al. Documentation on how to export from BRAHMS to Scratchpads can be found on:
March 2014: BRAHMS Version 7.4 published
Amongst the updates are: a new plant uses and common names module; improved literature reference handling including rapid reference linking to species records; a completed Conservation Assessment Module (CAM); improved tree view access for file navigation; image file with tree views to locate and view images by taxa and geography; revised image management tools; a revised sample plot module with options to register sample headers and data in the main database; improved forms for botanical records and living collections.
February 2014: Short BRAHMS article in Oxford Univ. magazine
A Resource of Rare Value - a short article published about the BRAHMS project in the University of Oxford Blueprint magazine, pages 12-13.
February 2014: Digistreet specimen imaging and digitization at Naturalis
Picturae in the Netherlands have developed a highly efficient process for bulk imaging of herbarium specimens. The process is being used by Naturalis to capture images from some 40,000 herbarium sheets per day. Matrix barcodes are added to all boxes, cover folders and specimens. Read more and watch video.
The Digistreet camera software captures all barcodes together with the specimen images. The data and images are auto-imported to BRAHMS RDE files where tools options are used for processing. Specimens already databased with existing and older format barcodes are located and updated with the new barcodes – old barcode numbers are maintained. At this stage, the RDE files are opened by a data entry project located in Surinam where the data are entered based on the specimen images. In this large scaleproject, some 50 staff have been trained to capture the data each with two monitors, one for the RDE spreadsheet, the other to display the linked image. Using an RDE tool, cover sheet data (i.e. geographic region and taxon name) are typed to the RDE file and are cloned down to all specimens within that folder reducing typing. Further data are then typed in from the images, where possible, using RDE lookup options linked to the main Naturalis database.
February 2014: Caribbean Biodiversity Congress, Dominican Republic
Two BRAHMS posters prepared by Jeanine Velez Gavilan (MAPR herbarium) for the VIII Caribbean Biodiversity Congress at Dominican Republic can be downloaded here. The meeting, 28 Jan - 2 Feb, was hosted by the UASD with some 200 participants from various countries:
a) EVOLUCIÓN DE LOS HERBARIOS, DESDE SUS USOS HISTÓRICOS HASTA EL ROL EN LA CONSERVACIÓN DE ESPECIES: HERBARIO MAPR. download
b) BRAHMS: UNA BASE DE DATOS QUE APOYA EL INVENTARIO, CONSERVACIÓN E INVESTIGACIÓN DE PLANTAS. download
January 2014: BRAHMS 8 development starts
BRAHMS upgrading started in earnest at the start of January. We are developing the foundations of the new system as broadly as possible in a .NET environment. By the end of March, we aim to have the core framework developed with additional support from NERC and BBSRC accelerating the initial developments. Longer term partnership and collaborative development with Kew and Naturalis in the Netherlands is being formalised over the coming weeks.
November 2013: Senior Developer - BRAHMS 8 Project at Kew
A BRAHMS software development position is being advertised by RBG Kew. Details are provided on the Kew website for Job Opportunities. Closing date 9 December 2013.
November 2013: An Atlas of the World’s Conifers
An Atlas of the World's Conifers. An Analysis of their Distribution, Biogeography, Diversity and Conservation Status published by Brill, Netherlands. Aljos Farjon, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and Denis Filer, University of Oxford. The first ever atlas of all known conifer species. It is based on locality information of ca. 37,000 collected herbarium specimens held in scientific institutions. Conifer diversity is analysed and presented with a taxonomic and geographic perspective. Distribution patterns are interpreted using the latest information on continental drift, dispersal and phylogeny. The entire dataset supporting the Atlas can be consulted and verified using the Conifer Database online.
November 2013: Launch of Embrapa Amazônia Oriental herbarium website
Supporting botanical research in the Eastern Amazon region of Brazil. The official launch of the online herbarium database for Embrapa Amazonia Oriental. The Embrapa herbarium (IAN) was the first project to use BRAHMS in Brazil and has been closely involved in its on-going development. The herbarium with over 190,000 specimens, at least 2000 types, a library of 30,000 type photos and a Xylarium with over 8000 wood samples, has excellent facilities for and welcomes visiting researchers. The launch event was also reported on Portal Brasil.
November 2013: Brazilian National Botanical Conference
A 2-day training course entitled 'Herbarium data curation with an emphasis on BRAHMS' will be held at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, just before the Brazilian National Botanical Conference (10-15 Nov/2013). The course is offered by INCT Virtual Herbarium of Plants and Fungi and taught by Flávia Pezzini (CRIA/INCR-HVFF) and Marina Melo (Herbarium UB). The course aims to train curators, technicians and interns about data curation best practises, in order to improve quality of the data available to present to the SpeciesLink network in Brazil.
October 2013: BRAHMS network in South Africa launched
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) have moved their botanical data into BRAHMS over the last year and this system is now networked over terminal services linking the main SANBI herbaria in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. The system will be officially launched 24 October in Pretoria. A number of short workshops and training courses have been organised 23 - 28 October, coordinated by Brenda Daly, and these will be run by Denis Filer (Plant Sciences, Oxford) and Jan Wieringa (Wageningen/Naturalis, Netherlands).
August 2013: University of Waikato, New Zealand
A 2-day training course was held at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato in New Zealand offered by Matt Buys from the New Zealand National Forestry Herbarium (NZFRI). The university herbarium (WAIK) houses about 20000 specimens mainly from the Central North Island. The herbarium has recently installed BRAHMS and staff and volunteers are busy transferring data to BRAHMS.
August 2013: University of Panamá and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
A short course/meeting was held at the University of Panamá and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute offered by Jeanine Vélez Gavilán (MAPR, Puerto Rico) to upgrade the database Brahms and provide training. The University of Panamá holds the largest Herbarium at Panamá (PMA), with important collections from the country and the rest of Central America. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI) in Panamá, is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution based outside of the United States, is dedicated to understanding biological diversity and hosts the Herbarium (SCZ). Course foto...
August 2013: Using BRAHMS In taxonomic botany studies
The postgraduate course in Botany at the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA) in Manaus Amazonia, Brazil is running a five day course entitled: “Using BRAHMS In taxonomic botany studies”, 12-16 August, taught by Mike Hopkins, curator of the INPA herbarium. The course includes importing taxonomic and specimen level data from BRAHMS databases and national and international sites, methods of organization of the data and cleaning tools, and mapping using DIVA-GIS. Each of the ten students will produce a draft of a monograph of a selected genus using the BRAHMS’s text reporting tools.
June 2013: BRAHMS Version 7.3 published
BRAHMS Version 7.3 published. Update notes can be viewed or downloaded here. Faster operation for multiple user systems on local networks; Enhanced living collections module for botanic gardens; Much improved Text Reporter; New tools for formatting taxonomic revisions and similar outputs; Improved control over extract files; Copy/save as exports now respect field views; Revised saved files manager; Conservation assessments; Latitude gradient calculations for species and genera; Storage of host plant details for bryophytes, lichens, parasitic plants and similar; Ability to update records (rather than add new) from RDE botanical record files; Match with and optionally update records from a second BRAHMS database.
May 2013: Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil
BRAHMS course for 24 participants 6-10 May held at Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil given by Karine Massia Pereira (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande - FURG). The course objective is to introduce and advance knowledge about BRAHMS for students and botany professionals. Topics include installation, standard tools, RDE files, RDE to BRAHMS transfers, query, text and visual reports, specimen imaging, mapping and the development websites using BRAHMS Online. Funded by the Jardim Botânico de Santa Maria, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas (CCNE), Universidade Federal de Santa Maria.
May 2013: BRAHMS partnership meeting
A two day meeting (1 - 2 May) held at Plant Sciences, Oxford to discuss the formation of a BRAHMS partnership group/consortium. The specifications of Version 8 were presented and the sustainable resourcing of BRAHMS for the next 5 years were discussed. Attending were representatives from Oxford, RBG Kew, Naturalis (Netherlands) and the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
April 2013: The Flowering Plants Endemic to Brunei Darussalam 2012
On Thursday 11 April 2013, the book ‘The Flowering Plants Endemic to Brunei Darussalam 2012.’ was
launched in Bandar Seria Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The book outlines the approach taken for short-lifting the endemics, discusses their endemic status, proposes conservation approaches and presents the 65 endemics. BRAHMS was a strong support for this research: a.o., access to herbaria holdings via BRAHMS Online (L, SING), production of lists of excisates and distribution map. J.Henrot, Joffre A.A. & K.M. Wong. 2013. Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam, 119 pages. ISBN: 978-99917-31-08-7. The book should become shortly available on line as pdf on the site of the Brunei Forestry Department http://www.forestry.gov.bn/ . Contact: Brunei.email@example.com
March 2013: Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG)
11 - 23 March. Training course and technical help on the advanced use of BRAHMS for technical staff and researchers at the Herbário João Murça Pires do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém, Brasil. Arranged under the "Programa de Capacitação Institucional (PCI) do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) Plano para Bolsa modalidade BEV (PESQUISADOR VISITANTE)". Visit coordinated by Dr Ely Simone Gurgel, Pesquisadora, Coordenação de Botânica.
March 2013: Gobabeb Research and Training Centre, Namibia
The Gobabeb Research and Training Centre is an internationally recognized institution focusing on research and training in arid environments and is situated south-east of Walvis Bay in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia.
The staff of the National Herbarium of Namibia (WIND) have recently spent time at the Gobabeb facilities, to support the centre to resurrect the herbarium, a modest yet valuable collection of Namib Desert plants. The services they rendered included the introduction and setting up of BRAHMS, and training in using this tool; physical maintenance of the collection and repair of herbarium specimens; as well as rearranging the collection to be in line with the updated checklist of indigenous and naturalized plants of Namibia. Staff trained included Gobabeb interns as well as students from the University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Polytechnic of Namibia currently doing in-service training. Read more...
March 2013: Rafael M. Moscoso Botanic Garden, Dominican Republic
A short course offered by Jeanine Vélez Gavilán (MAPR, Puerto Rico) to the JBSD Herbarium at the Rafael M. Moscoso Botanic Garden, Dominican Republic to install Brahms and provide training. The Rafael M. Moscoso Botanic Garden is very well recognised in the region for the beauty of their areas and living collections, but also for its research, actively working on the conservation of their native species and documentation of the Flora of the country. Course foto...
February 2013: preliminary BRAHMS v8 upgrade meeting
A two meeting held in Oxford (13/14 February) attended by representatives from RBG Kew, Naturalis (National Herbarium of the Netherlands), the BRAHMS team in Oxford and Isis Innovation (University of Oxford technology transfer). This meeting reviewed some of the key technical issues concerning the forthcoming upgrade of BRAHMS to v8 (software, DBMS, web enabling) as well as stakeholdership, funding and future support.
January 2013: Software to compare and update BRAHMS databases
Development of software to compare and update BRAHMS databases funded by FAPEAM (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas). Work under taken by Denis Filer and Mike Hopkins at INPA, Manaus 7- 12 January 2013.
December 2012: Universidade Federal de Rondônia
BRAHMS training event 3 - 7 December 20112 at the Universidade Federal de Rondônia in Brazil given by Prof. MSc. Narcísio Costa Bigio e Fabiana Archanjo. The course objective is for students and post graduates providing general support for botanical research in the Brazil state of Rondônia.http://ppbio.inpa.gov.br/noticias/nrro_brahms
November 2012: Documentation on creating XML for API/LAPI
The document Generating XML for API and LAPI describes procedures within BRAHMS to generate the required XML transfer file required by the African Plants Initiative (API) and Latin American Plants Initiative (LAPI) projects. This export feature has been recently updated within BRAHMS V 7.1.
September 2012: BRAHMS - music to a cyber-taxonomist’s ears
July 2012: Online herbarium transactions and image based loans
A new BRAHMS module for online herbarium transactions and image based loans published. For details, refer to online documentation.
July 2012: Tasmanian Vascular Plant Census
A Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania and Index to the Student's Flora of Tasmania (ML Baker & MF de Salas, 2012 edition) published by the Tasmanian Herbarium, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. www.tmag.tas.gov.au, ISBN 978-1-921599-71-2 (PDF). The checklist was developed using BRAHMS.
The Bews Herbarium (NU) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa's fifth largest herbarium and the largest in the province. It was established in 1910 and is estimated to house more than 150,000 flowering plant specimens. The Bews Herbarium is the first herbarium in South Africa to bring its specimen data online as on http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/nu/. The launch on 2 July 2012 has been organised by Drs Benny Bytebier and Christine Potgieter.
April 2012: Phenological Predictability Index (PPI) in BRAHMS
Phenological Predictability Index in BRAHMS: a tool for herbarium-based phenological studies. Carolyn E. B. Proença, Denis L. Filer, Eddie Lenza, Juliana S. Silva, Stephen A. Harris. Ecography Volume 35, Issue 4, pages 289–293, April 2012. Phenological Predictability Index (PPI) is a tool for analysing phenological patterns incorporating herbarium data within BRAHMS. PPI produces a maximum-activity period and associated event predictability index between ∼0 and 1. Simple, monthly random sampling showed the ideal number of unique records (event/month/year) is > 50. PPI correctly predicted the maximum-activity flowering month for seven out of eight species studied in the field, and was positively correlated (R2= 0.610, p = 0.02) with phenophase length, even using suboptimum numbers of unique records. Technical notes available online.
April 2012: National Botanical Research Institute, Namibia
20-27 April 2012. Development of the species list for Namibia. Establishment of networked BRAHMS system within the National Herbarium of Namibia at Windhoek (WIND) to manage herbarium and plot data.
April 2012: Herbário IAN, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Pará, Brazil
Implementation of BRAHMS online at Embrapa Amazônia Oriental. The IAN herbarium houses one of the largest botanical collections for the Eastern Brazil Amazonian region, almost fully digitized and imaged. Data and images are being published online in stages.
April 2012: University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Collaborative work with the Deptarment of Botany, University of Campinas (UNICAMP)and the Instituto de Botânica in São Paulo to develop e-floras for São Paulo state. Visit sponsored by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo).
2012: An Atlas of the World’s Conifers
An atlas of the world’s conifers is being prepared by Aljos Farjon and Denis Filer. The atlas, based on data stored in the BRAHMS conifer database, will indicate the known distribution of all conifer taxa together with an analysis of their biogeography, diversity and conservation status. To be published by Brill (Leiden, The Netherlands) during 2012.
April 2012: South African National Biodiversity Institute
Two BRAHMS training courses are being held at the South African National Biodiversity Institutes at Kirstenbosch Research Centre in Cape Town and at the National Herbarium in Pretoria. The courses will include all aspects of general curation as well as more specialized research topics including the capture and processing of images and publishing data online. These courses are being organised and co-funded by SANBI and will be presented by Denis Filer from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. The Pretoria workshop will have support in Portuguese for participants from Angola and Mozambique. BRAHMS is being implemented by SANBI as herbarium information management system replacing PRECIS.
December 2011: UKOT Online Herbarium launch
14 December 2011: the BRAHMS online herbarium website for all of the UK Overseas Territories will be officially launched at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London, UK. The online herbarium project has been developed by Kew's UKOTs Programme and funded by the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP). The UKOTs online herbarium is part of Kew's commitment to the delivery of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).
December 2011: Amazonian REFLORA project, Brazil
The Amazonian REFLORA project is holding its initial planning and training meeting at INPA (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia)in Manaus from the 5-9 December. Almost all of the 20 plus Amazonian herbaria have already been informatized using BRAHMS and several have been photographed using the recommended BRAHMS procedures. The three-year project, funded by the Brazilian national and Amazonas state governments, is to compare, improve and make available data on Amazonian plants. The aim of this meeting is to promote the interchange of information between herbaria, and with herbaria outside Brazil, and especially to improve the level of identification quality through the exchange of identifications of collections held in duplicata in different herbaria. Twelve of the Amazonian herbaria will be represented at the meeting, which will include training in database cleaning, specimen photography and renaming files, use of determination files created by database comparisons, as well as creation of sites directly from BRAHMS. The project’s BOL website is http://brahms.inpa.gov.br/bol/amazonia. Meeting coordinated by Mike Hopkins.
October 2011: East African Herbarium reaches digitisation milestone
As part of an on-going effort to digitise the whole of it's collection, the East African Herbarium (EA) in Nairobi has now completed 100,000 records, 10% of its target. For further details about the EA digitisation project, contact Simon Kang'ethe Ndichu (firstname.lastname@example.org).
October 2011: Second Eastern African Virtual Herbarium Project Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya
Representatives from the East African Herbarium (EA) in Nairobi and the Addis Ababa University Herbarium (ETH) attended a 2 day workshop hosted by EA and RBG Kew. Homepages have now been completed for these two institutes and digitisation programmes proposed. For further details about the Eastern African Virtual Herbarium Project contact Tim Pearce (email@example.com).
September 2011: Milestone at the Kepong Herbarium, Malaysia
Reported by Saw Leng Guan, Director of the Tropical Forest Biodiversity Centre at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, the Kepong herbarium botany team (Saripah and Asnah mentioned in particular) have now catalogued data and many images from over 200,000 specimens. The KEP herbarium database, the largest available on the Malay peninsula, supports curation and a wide range of taxonomic and floristic research projects on the flora of the Malaysia. For further details about KEP herbarium, contact the KEP curator Richard Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org).
September 2011: BRAHMS training at RBG Kew herbarium, UK
20 - 21 September 2011. A 2 day BRAHMS for beginners training event for some Kew herbarium staff and visiting researchers. This will go some way to support the growing number of new users working at the Kew herbarium. A data transfer module from BRAHMS to Kew's proprietary specimen catalogue (HerbCat) was developed last year. Course organized and given by Tim Pearce.
July 2011: BRAHMS course, Bews Herbarium, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
11 - 15 July 2011: Comprehensive introductory training course on BRAHMS at the Bews herbarium (NU), School for Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg with representatives from regional herbaria and conservation organisations. The course will focus on curation and data management as well as on transfer of data from PRECIS to BRAHMS. The course is organised by Drs. Bytebier and Potgieter of the Bews Herbarium and will be given by Denis Filer from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. The course is co-sponsored by the South African Biodiversity Information Facility and the Early Detection and Rapid Response Programme of the South African National Biodiversity Institute.
May 2011: BRAHMS implemented at Oxford Botanic Garden
The new BRAHMS living collections module developed with the Leiden and Oxford botanic gardens has been installed initially at Oxford. Implementation at Leiden will be in June. One of the objectives at Oxford is to cross reference the living collections data and images with specimen vouchers as registered in the FHO/OXF herbarium database and to streamline (perhaps eventually unite) these databases. The living collections module will be published with BRAHMS 6.9 this month.
April 2011: BRAHMS presentation in Ukraine
14 April 2011. A presentation given by Olga Korniyenko at M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany, NAS of Ukraine in Kiev at the first Ukrainian herbarium digitization and management meeting, 11-16 April, 2011 organised by the institute director Prof. Sergei Mosyakin. The meeting had c. 50 participants from around Ukraine, Belorussia, elsewhere from the Russian Federation and the USA. The meeting was funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A BRAHMS ppt in Ukrainian (translated by Olga Korniyenko) is available on request. A summary of BRAHMS in Russian is on http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/BRAHMS/Home/About/.
May 2011: BRAHMS Version 6.9 published
BRAHMS Version 6.9 published 30 May 2011 together with the new living collections module. Review latest upgrade notes.
June 2011: Plant identification and database course, Aveiro, Portugal
27 June - 1 July 2011. Training course to be held at the University of
Aveiro in Portugal. This will include sessions on BRAHMS. For further information and registration by 30 May, visit http://cursobotanica.blogs.ua.sapo.pt/. Course organiser: Paulo Silveira.
April 2011: BRAHMS presentation to Naturalis, Netherlands
5 April 2011. A presentation given by Denis Filer to Naturalis (National Museum of Natural History) in Leiden. The presentation described the use of BRAHMS for curation and research across a range of projects including the National Herbarium of the Netherlands (NHN) which operates the largest BRAHMS database to date. Also discussed - the development and re-structuring of BRAHMS over the next one to two years as the system is upgraded to its new platform.
November 2010: Towards an Eastern African Virtual Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
The first Regional workshop for the Eastern African Virtual Herbarium was hosted by the National Herbarium of Ethiopia at Addis Ababa University. Supported by a generous grant to the RBG Kew from the Dulverton Trust, the workshop brought together staff representing the 5 major regional herbaria. 15 participants from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia enjoyed some BRAHMS 'refresher' training before designing institutional web pages and undertaking species conservation assessments on regionally compiled data. A second workshop will be held in early 2011. Contact: Tim Pearce, RBG Kew, email@example.com
November 2010: BRAHMS Version 6.8 published
BRAHMS Version 6.8 published 01 November 2010 together with new 'About BRAHMS' information pages in multiple languages; a resived help file; and an updated 2010 BRAHMS for beginners training guide. New and improved features are listed on the documentation page. Review latest upgrade notes.
October to December 2009: University of Campinas, Brazil
Continued development of BRAHMS to facilitate data capture and subsequent publication of various floras in Brazil. Digitization of UEC herbarium. In collaboration with the Dept. of Botany, University of Campinas. Sponsored by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo).
September 2010: BRAHMS training course, Herbário IAN, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Brazil
13 - 17 September 2010. BRAHMS training course at the Laboratório de Informática, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Belém - PA, Brazil. In partnership with the Amazon Forest Management Project. Instructors: Helena Joseane Raiol Souza e Sebastião Ribeiro Xavier Júnior.
September 2010: South Georgia Online Herbarium launch
15 September 2010: the BRAHMS online herbarium website for South Georgia will be officially launched at RBG Kew as part of the UKOT research programme (UK Overseas Territories). The online herbarium component of this project is funded by the Overseas Territories Environment Programme OTEP and the achievment is part of Kew's Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC).
September 2010: BRAHMS seminar, RBG Kew, UK
9 September 2010: BRAHMS for researchers. Presentation at Herbarium, RBG Kew by Denis Filer with reference to Palm, Mrytaceae and West Tropical Africa datasets.
September 2010: 61st Brazil National Botanical Congress - Image management in BRAHMS
4 - 5 September 2010: Mini-course on image management in BRAHMS. Course presented by Mike Hopkins, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA). 61st National Botanical Congress, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.
[Ementa: Curso prático para mostrar como pode gerenciar imagens botânicas digitais usando o programa BRAHMS, incluindo renomeação de imagens rapidamente em padrão para importação. Ligação com informação já presente em bancos de dados botânicos, e como usar imagens para a entrada de dados com eficiência.]
August 2010: National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Namibia
16 - 20 August 2010: Comprehensive introductory training course on BRAHMS at the National Herbarium of Namibia. The course will cover installation, optimized data entry using RDE, imaging, mapping, diversity analysis, checklisting, loan management, report template design and online publishing. The Namibian database will be linked to other database projects running at NBRI such as that used by the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) project. Course given by Denis Filer from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. Course sponsored by the National Botanical Research Institute, Namibia.
June 2010: Biodiversity Information Facility rapid imaging pilot project, South Africa
The value of the rapid low resolution imaging of specimen labels to Rapid Data Entry files to expedite digitisation of herbarium specimens will be tested in the Compton Herbarium (NBG), South Africa. This pilot project is sponsored by the South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF) and has potential to guide SABIF best-practice policies.
May 2010: National Herbarium Netherlands
17 - 21 May 2010: training and technical meeting in Leiden with focus on Living Collections management. Visit coordinated by Gerda van Uffelen and Luc Willemse. Sponsored by National Herbarium of the Netherlands.
May 2010: BRAHMS Version 6.7 published
BRAHMS Version 6.7 published 10 May 2010 together with updated help file and revised 2010 training guide. New and improved features are listed on the documentation page. Review latest upgrade notes.
April 2010: Brunei National Herbarium (BRUN), Sungai Liang, Brunei
6 - 10 April 2010: BRAHMS training course focusing on curation and publishing online. Course held at Brunei Herbarium coordinated by Joffre Ali Ahmad and Dr. Jacqueline Henrot. Course given by Serena Lee (Herbarium Manager, Singapore Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens). Sponsored by Brunei National Herbarium and Singapore Botanic Gardens.
March 2010: Importance of herbaria for plant conservation workshop, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
8 - 12 March 2010. Use of BRAHMS to analyse and map species distribution and diversity, Botanical Garden of Santo Domingo (JBSD). Presented by Jeanine Vélez Gavilán (Herbarium MAPR, Puerto Rico). Sponsored by Red Latinoamericana de Botánica.
March 2010: Plant endemism of the Central Andean valleys, Bolivia
8 - 13 March 2010. BRAHMS training with herbaria in Santa Cruz (USZ) and La Paz (LPB). Sponsored by Darwin Initiative Project Plant endemism of the Central Andean valleys.
February 2010: Threatened Plants Project, Madagascar
8 - 12 February 2010. BRAHMS training course for herbarium/seed management, mapping and diversity analysis. Sponsored by Madagascar Threatened Plants Project, RBG Kew.
February 2010: BRAHMS Version 6.6
BRAHMS Version 6.6 published 5 February 2010 together with revised 2010 training guide. Version 6.6 includes new admin and security features for installation on network drives together with a host of new data editing, analysis, reporting and mapping features.
December 2009: Third Meeting of the Plant Innitiative 'LAPI', Medellín, Colombia
1 - 3 December 2009. Databasing tools and data exchange: BRAHMS 6 overview, at Botanical Garden (JAUM). Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
November 6 2009: Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Current developments with BRAHMS including Client-Server implementation. Presentation at the Herbarium of Rio de Janeiro Botanic Gardens.
October to December 2009: University of Campinas, Brazil
Development of BRAHMS to facilitate data capture and subsequent publication of various floras in Brazil. In collaboration with the Dept. of Botany, University of Campinas. Sponsored by FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo).
Sept 2009: BRAHMS training course, IEPA, Amapá , Brazil
28 Sept - 02 Oct 2009. BRAHMS course for curation and research applications. Held at Herbário HAMAB. Sponsored by IEPA (Instituto de Pesquisas Científicas e Tecnológicas do Estado do Amapá). Instructors: Helena Joseane Raiol Souza e Sebastião Ribeiro Xavier Júnior (Herbário IAN, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental).
August 2009: Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam
17 - 22 August 2009. BRAHMS herbarium curation course. VNM Herbarium, Hochiminh City, Vietnam. Institute of Tropical Biology (Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology). Sponsored by L'Institut de recherché pour le développement (IRD).
July 2009: Conservation of endangered coastal biodiversity hotspots of Central Chile
27 July to 7 August. BRAHMS training held in Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford. Specimen and image management + biodiversity analysis. Funded from Darwin Initiative project 'Conservation of endangered coastal biodiversity hotspots of Central Chile'.
June 2009: BRAHMS upgraded to Version 6.5
25 June. BRAHMS upgrade to Version 6.5. Upgrade notes are provided in help file.
June 2009: Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
1 June - 5 June 2009. Plant E-taxonomy in South Africa. BRAHMS course held at the Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Cape Town. Sponsored by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
May 2009: National Herbarium, Pretoria, South Africa
26 May - 29 May 2009. Plant E-taxonomy in South Africa. BRAHMS course held at the National Herbarium, Pretoria. Sponsored by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).
May 2009: BRAHMS training course, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Brazil
25 - 29 May 2009. Introduction to BRAHMS for herbarium management and research. Held at Laboratório de Informática, Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, Belém - PA, Brazil. Instructors: Helena Joseane Raiol Souza e Sebastião Ribeiro Xavier Júnior. Coordinated by Embrapa Amazônia Oriental (Herbário IAN) and Museu Goeldi (MG).
May 2009: Rescue and Integration of Botanical Data in the Southwestern Amazon
10 - 14 May 2009. BRAHMS training course and review of BOL online network. Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Rescue and Integration of Botanical Data for Conservation in the Southwestern Amazon. Together with New York Botanic Garden. Sponsored by the J.R.S Biodiversity Foundation.
March 2009: Flora of Peninsular Malaysia
16 - 20 March 2009. Advanced BRAHMS training course. Tropical Forest Biodiversity Centre (TFBC), FRIM, Malaysia. Sponsored by the Flora of Peninsular Malaysia project.
March 2009: Biodiversity Informatics Project, Ghana
2 - 6 March 2009. BRAHMS training course. Ghana Biodiversity Informatics Project, Accra, Ghana. Sponsored by the J.R.S Biodiversity Foundation.
February 2009: Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany, Georgia
9 - 13 February 2009. BRAHMS training course with emphasis on seed bank management. Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany, Tbilisi, Georgia. Sponsored by RBG Kew.
November 2008: DNA module for BRAHMS
20 - 21 November 2008. Development of a DNA module for BRAHMS. Discussion workshop funded by EDIT project - European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy. Coordinated by Denis Filer, Held at Plant Sciences, University of Oxford with representatives from Kew and Oxford (UK); Leiden (Netherlands); and Uppsala (Sweden).