Welcome to the add-my-pet portal

Aims

Add-my-Pet (AmP) aims to collect:
  • referenced data on the energetics of animal species, such that the parameters of the standard Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model, and those of its different variants, can be estimated
  • Matlab code for estimating DEB parameters from this data
  • DEB parameter estimates
  • properties of species that are implied by these parameters
We think of AmP as an on-line open-access fee-free scientific journal, where researchers can publish data and analysis that fit the AmP aims. Curators presently serve as peer reviewers as well as editors who have more freedom to contribute than is typical for a journal. We hope that future developments go into the direction of a standard peer-reviewed journal.

Although this website offers a lot of information, an in-depth analysis cannot do without further computation and visualisation. Free Matlab packages DEBtool and AmPtool (see below) make this task a lot easier. Matlab itself is expensive, but the inexpensive student version will suffice in most cases. Alternatively, all data is available in Matlab structures allStat.mat and allEco.mat, which can be imported in R with some R-to-Matlab package. Free Octave and Scilab very much resemble Matlab.

AmP is an initiative in the context of much wider aims:

  • Find the simplest organisation principles for metabolism upon which all life is based
  • Understand taxon-specific patterns as variations on this common theme.

Click for disclaimer.

Research

AmP is developed and maintained by a passionate community of scientists in the context of an ongoing 40 year research strategy to:
  1. Use general physical-chemical principles to develop an educated quantitative expectation for the eco-physiological behaviour of all species.
  2. Estimate parameters for any specific case and identify patterns of co-varation of parameter values among many animal species to study evolutionary and ecological adaptations.
  3. Use knowlegde of the eco-physiological behaviour of species
    1. in combination with local environmental data to understand geographical ranges of species, e.g. in the context of climate change or bioconservation
    2. to use specimens for monitoring environmental quality parameters, such as temperature and food availability (e.g. in archaeological context)
    3. to use specimens for studying effects of toxicants, which reveal as deviations from natural eco-physiological behaviour
    4. as a basis to analyse population dynamics and ecosystem behaviour
    5. to optimise the production of biomass, or bioproducts and actions of organisms (e.g. in the context of aquaculture, sewage water treatment or setting fishing quota)
Many concrete examples of such studies can be found in the DEB Library. Each entry has 4 pages: "Predictions & Data", "Parameters", "Implied properties" and "Bibliography". Dropdown "Results" in the entry-specific toolbar links these 4 pages. Dropdown "Code" gives access to 3 code files ("mydata", "pars_init" and "predict") and a zip file with these 3 files for each entry, which has been used in combination with DEBtool to produce all information. For the role of the zip file, see the section on archiving. Dropdown "Links" lists some database sites, which give views on nomenclature, classification, general species properties and frequently also pictures. The scientific and common names on top of the entry-pages link to that entry on the Species List and Tree pages (see below), respectively, to navigate to related species. The buttons phylum, class, order and family on the top-right of the "Predictions & Data" pages link to the Species Tree.

Dropdown "COLLECTION" in the general toolbar provides access to the entry pages via several routes

  • Species List page orders entries according to taxonomy; click on entry names to go to "Predictions & Data" pages.
  • Species Tree page orders entries according to phylogeny; walk to the leaves of the tree and click on entry names to go to "Predictions & Data" pages. You can create your own tree with any root with AmPtool.
  • Species Names page orders entries according to scientific and common names; click on these names to go to "Predictions & Data" pages, while hovering shows the other name.
  • Authors page orders entries according to authors; entries in dropdowns for each author are ordered according to submission date. Click on these names to go to "Predictions & Data" pages.
  • Energy Budgets page orders entries according to taxonomy; click on pies to go to "Implied property" pages. The link is to energy budgets of fully-grown individuals; an extra dropdown "Energy Budgets" at this page gives access to 3 other energy budgets. The 4 Energy Budget pies on the "Implied poperty" pages link to 4 "Energy Budget" pages to compare species and to walk to related species via the "Energy Budget" pages.

Dropdown "CONTEXT" presents overview-pages and software for the analysis of the AmP database

  • this page
  • AmP Manual describes all of the more technical aspects of AmP's parameter estimation and the process of generating entries.
  • AmP Tool is a powerful software package that allows you to make all sorts of comparisons between (functions of) parameters among all entries. The significance of this is that many physiological quantities, such as respiration and nitrogen-waste production, can be expressed as functions of parameters, since the set of parameters fully control the ontogeny of energy budgets from the start of development till death by aging.
  • AmP Ecology is a coding system that is used in AmPtool to specify climate, ecozone, habitat, migration/torpor and food for each entry. It can be used in AmPtool to link energetic properties to ecological ones.
  • Phyla page presents all animal phyla and indicates presence in the collection; it also shows the occurence of metabolic acceleration among phyla, which is key to the interrelationships between the various DEB models.
  • Parameters page presents frequency distributions of general parameters to ease comparison with other species; hovering over parameter names explains the functionality of each parameter.
  • Patterns page presents plots of some functions of parameters to expose co-variations in values, just for illustrative purposes.
  • About page presents general info about the collection.

Dropdown "DEB" provides access to pages relating to Dynamic Energy Budget theory, of which AmP is an application, and software

  • DEB Portal provides general info about DEB theory.
  • DEB Wikipedia presents a summary of DEB concepts that concern the standard DEB model.
  • DEB Tool describes a powerful software package, of which AmPtool makes frequent use.
  • DEB Laboratory is a platform for resource exchange, such as comments on DEB theory, notation, course material, software, such as DEBtool and AmPtool.
  • DEB Notation gives notation rules and descriptions of DEB symbols as used in DEB theory.
  • DEB Library presents papers in which DEB theory plays a substantial role. Please report missing items to Starrlight Augustine. You can also mail her to become Zotero member (no fees) and access all pdf's.

Archiving and referencing

A curator will review any submitted entry and has the freedom to edit entries. At the moment of addition the entry gets an identifier for the curator, who did the addition, and a date of acceptance. The 4 source files (mydata, pars_init, predict, run) are zipped into my_pet_yyyymmdd.zip, where yyyymmdd stands for the acceptance date as specified in the mydata-file, and parked in directory entries_zip. Existing entries can change in several ways, such as more data that become available, other ideas about parameter values that fit best, or the species changes name. The author and date of the modification are specified. If an entry is modified, the obsolete zip-file moves to directory entries_archive. The obsolete zip-files can also be downloaded from the code-dropdown. How to refer to a particular entry is indicated on the "Predictions & Data" pages. Refer to the AmP collection as: AmP, online database of DEB parameters, implied properties and referenced underlying data, bio.vu.nl/thb/deb/deblab/add_my_pet. Last accessed: yyyy/mm/dd.

Board of curators (click here for history)


Bas Kooijman
(Managing curator)
VU Univ. A'dam

Dina Lika
University
of Crete

Starrlight Augustine
Akvaplan-niva
AS, Tromsø

Associated curators


Michael Kearney
R-issues, NicheMapR
Melbourne Univ.

Elke Zimmer
Principle scouter
IBACON, Rossdorf

Nina Marn
Communication officer
Zagreb Univ.

Instructions for submission

Adding your pet to the collection starts with editing the templates. Great care should be given to specify were all data come from. All references to the literature should be detailed and collected in the mydata-file, as specified by the templates. All data on rates and times should specify a temperature. If not known, it should be guessed and that should clearly be indicated. If all required files are functional and comply to the requirements and results are obtained, you send the files to one of the curators. If your mydata-file is complete, but you have problems with the rest, you can ask them for help.

Why submit an entry to the collection ?

  • Knowledge base: Contributes to building a large comprehensive data base on species data and DEB model parameters the allows comparison of species, see AmPtool
  • Transparency/quality control: data and references and code used for estimation are freely available for anyone to download and inspect, the files and methods are already documented. A good fit shows that the data is consistent
  • Its possible to refer to the entries in papers and treat the published entry as supporting material, saving detailed technical explanations.
  • Facilitate application of your experimental results to real world problems.
  • Security: If you move, change jobs, break your computer you only need to download your entry and DEBtool and voila.
Please, let us know if you want to contribute.
You can (un)subscribe to the DEB mailing list at deblist@univ-brest.fr and follow AmP on ResearchGate, Facebook and Twitter.