Biogeography and Macroecology (BAM) Laboratory


The BAM Laboratory is a broad, multidisciplinary laboratory that unites people of diverse educational backgrounds (biology, computer science, geography), computational facilities, and software protocols to provide unique facilities and capabilities for analyses of global biodiversity. Laboratory members typically both work on their own thesis projects and projects of interest, but also participate in weekly lab meetings, in which group projects are developed. The laboratory is highly collaborative and cooperative in nature, such that expertise is shared among lab members, and most analytical challenges are overcome.

The core facilities of the lab comprise a computing lab with nine networked, high-end workstations that each have LINUX and Windows operating systems, a 32TB shared hard-disk and backup system, built-in projection facilities, scanner, photocopier, high-capacity printer, and 26 square meters of whiteboard space for development and exploration of ideas. Lab members also have excellent access to KU’s broader high-performance computing facilities, such that the Lab has excellent depth in computing power. Although some lab renovations and repairs are currently causing some changes in location of personnel, Peterson’s and Soberon’s offices both connect directly with the lab space, such that lab members are intermixed and intermingled, fostering collaboration and cross-fostering.

BAM Lab Policies and Facilities

The BAM Lab is a shared facility, and must be treated as such. That is, no one ‘owns’ a computer in the lab, but rather the different computers are designed to be interchangeable, so long as files are stored on the shared disk space. Different users must therefore accomodate to one another’s schedules, and one another’s primacy when someone is already seated at a particular computer. What is more, as some BAM Lab analyses can take a long time to process (hours to days or months), users are asked to respect notes in which a user indicates that a particular computer is busy with an analysis--often, the computer can be used, but the analysis should not be interrupted. Files stored on the local hard disk of any of the GIS lab computers are regarded in some sense as ‘temporary,’ so those hard disks should not be used for long-term storage of files. Software should not be installed on Lab computers without the permission of Jorge Soberón or Town Peterson.