The BiodiversityLab Virtual Research Environment

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The BiodiversityLab is a Virtual Research Environment designed to provide a collection of applications that allow scholars to perform complete experiments about single individuals or groups of marine species. The VRE allows to:

  • inspect species maps;
  • produce a species distribution map by means of either an expert system (AquaMaps) or a machine learning model (e.g. Neural Networks);
  • analyse species observation trends;
  • inspect species occurrence data;
  • inspect species descriptions and characteristics;
  • perform analysis of climatic changes and of their effects on species distribution;
  • produce GIS maps for geo-spatial datasets;
  • discover Taxa names;
  • cluster occurrence data;
  • estimate similarities among habitats.


The BiodiversityLab Virtual Research Environment Homepage


The main facilities this VRE offers are:

  • Species Products Discovery: to enable users to discover and manage species products (occurrence data and taxa names) from a number of heterogeneous providers in a seamless way. Once discovered, objects can be stored in the workspace for future uses;
  • Data Analytic: to enable users to execute a wide array of data processing tasks;
  • Data Trends Production: to enable users to extract species observation trends;
  • Data Visualisation: to enable users to visualise species data, including distribution maps;
  • Workspace: to enable every user to store and organise the information objects he/she is interested to work with. In addition to that, the user is allowed to collaborate with other users by sharing objects and messages;
  • VRE Management: to enable authorised users (i.e. VRE Managers) to manage other users using or willing to access the VRE. VRE Managers can (i) authorise users in accessing the VRE, (ii) assign or withdraw roles to users, (iii) remove users, and (iv) send a communication to the current users.


The main datasets that are available via the services hosted by this VRE include:

  • Catalogue of Life – offering information on known species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms, namely taxonomic information;
  • GBIF – offering information on species, namely occurrence data;
  • OBIS – offering information on marine species from all of the worlds oceans, both occurrence and taxonomic information;
  • SpeciesLink – offering information on species, namely occurrence data;
  • WoRMS – offering information on marine species, namely taxonomic information;


  • (DONE) gCube 2.17.0 (December '13);
  • (DONE) gCube 2.17.1 (December '13);
  • (DONE) gCube 3.0.0 (March '14);
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