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The BG-BASE Team

Kerry S. Walter: (co-owner) Kerry is the original author of BG-BASE, developed in 1985 at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. He has been working in biological databases since 1973 and has a PhD in Systematic Botany from The University of Michigan. Before devoting full time to development of BG-BASE he was Director of Botany and Information Systems at the Center for Plant Conservation and later headed the Threatened Plants Unit of the World Conservation Monitor Center in Cambridge, England. He retains a strong passion for plant conservation and research collections. He is currently based at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Michael J. O'Neal: (co-owner) Mike has a degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin but gravitated early on towards database design and data management, taking additional coursework at Northwestern University while working in the plant records office at the Chicago Botanic Garden. He has been developing and supporting BG-BASE with Kerry since 1989, working in that capacity at the Center for Plant Conservation, Missouri Botanical Garden, and The Holden Arboretum. He has a strong commitment to the public garden and non-profit communities and is currently based in Dallas, Texas.

Combined, Kerry and Mike estimate they have worked with nearly 400 institutions in over 50 countries during the course of their careers. The development and support of BG-BASE is their life work and their one and only business interest.

Mahir Akbalik: Mahir joined the BG-BASE (UK) Ltd. office in April 2015. His experience with BG-BASE dates from 2006 when he was working at Nezahat Gokyigit Botanic Garden (NGBB) in Istanbul, Turkey. Later he studied at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and received an Honours degree in Horticulture and Plantsmanship from the University of Glasgow. He has also had an opportunity to experience BG-BASE being used in over 25 institutions on 4 continents. In addition to managing the Edinburgh office, Mahir will be focusing on extending the flexibility and configurability of BG-BASE to meet institution - specific expectations, especially for non - English speakers.

Bob Carten: Bob has been developing computer software since 1983 and has been working with the BG-BASE team since 2000. Since 1998 he has been a senior developer for WinWin Solutions Inc., the owner of Revelation Software. Bob specializes in developing interfaces between OpenInsight (the database platform upon which BG-BASE is built) and other software applications. He has developed interfaces in OpenInsight to SQL databases, web services, distributed databases, email, text messaging, biometric measurement and other components that extend the OpenInsight toolset. He holds degrees in both Physics (Grinnell College) and Engineering (Columbia University).

Don Bakke: Don is President at SRP Computer Solutions, Inc. Founded in 1991, SRP is widely recognized as a world leader in OpenInsight application development. While SRP staff have worked closely with the BG-BASE team for many years, Don focuses on integrating modern software methodologies (including Model-View-Controller and Service Oriented Architecture) and is currently assisting in the development of mobile and web applications with REST APIs for BG-BASE.

Alan Elliott: Alan joins the BG-BASE Team in the Edinburgh office as of the beginning of April 2018. Alan completed his undergraduate and PhD while at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh encompassing both Horticulture and Botany. He brings a wealth of experience using BG-BASE over the past 12 years. We welcome Alan and also thank his predecessor, Stephen Garrett who recently left to pursue a PhD in Denmark, for providing invaluable in-office support.




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