Bio2 Team co-hosts major biomonitoring science forum

The Environment Canada Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) Team and the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, co-hosted the 3nd biennial CABIN Science Forum on December 2-3, 2014 in Guelph, Ontario. Previous science forums were held in Vancouver, BC in 2010 and Fredericton, NB in 2012. The 2-day forum (agenda) included themed sessions with short presentations by CABIN partners, followed by discussion periods. The forum also included tours of the facilities of the University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute and Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. One of the main themes was “Biomonitoring 2.0: Genomics and its application in Biomonitoring”. In total, over 70 attendees from industry, government, and academia were in attendance with nearly 100 more participating via web conference.

Plenary speakers from Canada, USA, and China came to present some of their recent genomic biomonitoring research and participate in the discussion, including:

  • Xiaowei Zhang; Nanjing University; “Environmental Genomics Reveal Environmental Threshold of Ammonia for the Protection of Zooplankton in Freshwater Ecosystem”
  • Eric Stein; Southern California Coastal Water Research Project; “Application of eDNA and Metabarcoding to Routine Stream and Wetland Biomonitoring Programs in California”
  • Erik Pilgrim; US EPA; “Expanding Bioassessment into Understudied or Novel Communities through DNA Metabarcoding”
  • Joel Gibson; University of Guelph; “Assessing Boreal Aquatic Ecosystems using DNA Metasystematics and Next-generation Sequencing”
  • Shadi Shokralla; University of Guelph; “Biomonitoring 2.0: a New Implementation of Next-generation Sequencing Technologies for Environmental DNA Research and Ecosystem Assessment”

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The discussion of genomics and biomonitoring gets lively.

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Bio2 team member, Shadi Shokralla, leads forum attendees through a tour of the University of Guelph lab facilities.