Systema Naturae 2000

- History of the Project -

In the fall of 1989 I started my study in biology at the Leiden University. Very soon an old passion of mine revived during the zoology and botany classes. It seems as all my life I was fascinated by the classification and diversity of life. At the end of 1989 I began compiling a list in a simple text editor on my Atari PC. The starting point must have been Grzimek's Het leven der Dieren. As the list grew more and more, it also became more difficult to maintain. Because of this I compiled only a single classification based on the combination of available literature. I still regret this for the original classifications were lost. I graduated cum laude on bio-informatics in 1993 and immediately started working for a software company, where I lost contact with biology, except for my own project.

In 1994 I started to design a database in Microsoft Access and wrote a conversion program in C. At first I developed a front-end application using Microsoft Access, later I used Microsoft Visual Basic. At first my enthusiasm had no boundaries. I wanted to know everything about everything. I kept records of geographic range, geologic ranges, biotopes, relations between taxa and vernacular names. To prevent myself from going completely insane, I now concentrate "merely" on nomenclature, taxonomy, authorship, synonymy, phylogeny, geologic range and number of taxa. Furthermore, I retain the original classifications and corporate them in the main one. Since the fall of 2000 it is possible to publish Systema Naturae on the internet. As my view on how to classify changed over the years, as well as the current turmoil in taxonomy today, I now stand before a major clean-up operation.

Here are some of the highlights of the past thirteen years regarding the project:

Curriculum vitae

Date Event
14 Sep 2001 My first contact with the University of Amsterdam
16 Aug 2001 My first visit to the "Plantage Bibliotheek"
Oct 1994 My first visit to the internet
31 Aug 1993 Graduated on Bioinformatics
Dec 1989 Start of my Systema Naturae 2000 project
Sep 1989 Start of my study in biology at Leiden University


Date Event
1 Aug 2002 Introduction of Details pages on the website
24 Jan 2002 New website:
18 Sep 2000 Using a multiple document interface in the Systema Naturae 2000 Explorer
17 Sep 2000 First publication of the classification on internet
16 Sep 2000 Creation of the Systema Naturae 2000 Publisher for generating HTML pages
22 Aug 2000 Cable connection to the internet
7 Nov 1998 Conversion to MS Access 97
Jul 1994 Conversion to a Microsoft Access database
Dec 1989 Using text files on an Atari ST computer

Document last updated 03 June 2002 19:37:36