Mehrdad Hajibabaei to address Canadian Science Policy Conference today – live feed available

Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei is an invited speaker at the Canadian Science Policy Conference being held in Calgary from Nov. 5-7th. His talk will be entitled “From Technologies to Real-World Tools: A Genomics Perspective”. He is speaking as part of Genome Canada’s GPS event: “The Innovation Continuum: Moving Promising Technologies off the Shelf”. This session is today, Nov. 5th, between 3:00-4:30pm (Mountain Time). A live feed of the entire conference is available here.

CBC Television’s ‘The Nature of Things’ features Wood Buffalo National Park

A recent episode of the long-running CBC documentary series ‘The Nature of Things’, hosted by David Suzuki, featured Wood Buffalo National Park. Wildlife filmmaker, Jeff Turner, traveled to WBNP to capture the unique interaction of wolves and buffalo in the park. He filmed at a number of locations that also serve as sampling sites for the Biomonitoring 2.0 project.

The full episode is available to viewers within Canada here.

Trio of recent papers investigate genomic identification tools

Three recent papers co-authored by Biomonitoring 2.0 team members Terri Porter and Brian Golding give details of their research findings. Links to the original papers are provided below. The Golding lab at McMaster Univeristy, Hamilton Ontario is currently investigating DNA sequence identification and evolution using new bioinformatic approaches as a part of the Bioinformatics sphere of the Biomonitoring 2.0 project.

Porter TM, Golding GB. 2011. Are similarity- or phylogeny-based methods more appropriate for classifying internal transcribed spacer (ITS) metagenomic amplicons? New Phytologist192(3): 775-782.

Lou M, Golding GB. 2012. The effect of sampling from subdivided populations on species identification with DNA barcoding using a Bayesian statistical approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 65: 765-773.

Porter TM, Golding GB. 2012. Factors that affect large subunit ribosomal DNA amplicon sequencing studies of fungal communities: classification method, primer choice, and error. PLoS one 7(4): e35749.

Biomonitoring 2.0 well represented at Evolution 2012 meeting

 Evolution 2012, a joint conference of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the European Society of Evolutionary Biology, and the Society of Systematic Biologists, was held July 6-10 in Ottawa Ontario. Over 2000 attendees from around the world presented over 1300 talks and 600 posters. The Biomonitoring 2.0 team was well represented with five talks and a poster presented in sessions on Genomics, Conservation Biology, Molecular Evolution, and Systematics.


Spall JL, Shokralla S, Baird DJ, Hajibabaei M. Environmental barcoding for ecosystem monitoring.

Gibson JF, Hajibabaei M. Phylogeny-informed PCR-amplification primer design for the assessment of terrestrial arthropod biodiversity using next-generation sequencing.

Hajibabaei M. Is DNA barcoding merely a transition phase in the technological development of biodiversity science?

Haerty W, Golding B. Polymorphism and selection in low complexity protein sequences.

Beiko R. Biomonitoring 2.0 – iEvoBio lightning talk.

Gibson JF, King, IW, Hajibabaei M. Biomonitoring 2.0: A high-throughput genomics approach for comprehensive biological assessment of environmental change.

Paper – The golden age of DNA metasystematics

Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Biomonitoring 2.0 project leader, has published a new paper entitled “The golden age of DNA metasystematics” in the journal Trends in Genetics.

From the Summary: “The convergence of next-generation sequencing and DNA barcoding has sparked a golden age of ‘DNA metasystematics’, allowing researchers to understand the biodiversity of an entire ecosystem solely through DNA information, and transforming the way we view the living world around us.”

The paper can be found at the journal website.