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Activities and Progress
The project began in July 2006, since when the research team has been busy carrying out research in the U.K., North America, Kenya, Brazil and Taiwan. It has been fascinating work and we are extremely grateful to all individuals and institutions who have made this possible. We have begun to disseminate information about the project and some preliminary reflections in the form of information documents and conference papers.
Below we provide a list of individuals interviewed and meetings attended. The interviews were designed to gain understanding of varying perspectives on DNA barcoding and the future of taxonomy:
Meetings: CBOL's Regional Meetings
We have participated so far in CBOL's first International Meeting held in London in 2005, and two of its Regional Meetings held in Nairobi (Kenya November 2006) and Campinas (Brazil March 2007).We recently participated in CBOL's second International Meeting to be held in Taipei in September 2007 .
Claire Waterton presented "Taxonomy at a Crossroads: science, publics and policy in biodiversity " at Campinas and held a focus group which included the following individuals:
SBSSTA 12th Meeting (Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, Convention on Biological Diversity),Paris (UNESCO) July 2nd - 6th 2007
Rebecca Ellis attended the SBSTTA 12th Meeting held in Paris to observe ways in which the Barcoding of Life Initiative engages with the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is important, given that "Taxonomy at a Crossroads" explores the relationships between scientific innovation in taxonomy and public biodiversity policy.
She observed both the plenary sessions (Application of the Ecosystem Approach and Implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation) and selected 'side-event's:
CBOL/BOLI 'Leading Lab Meeting', Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 10th-11th July 2007
Rebecca Ellis and Claire Waterton attended the 'Leading Lab Meeting' organised by CBOL and held in Washington. The aim of the meeting was to enable labs at important museums and biodiversity research institutes to increase their involvement in barcoding by building connections to the active barcoding labs. Through this network, labs that have not participated in barcoding projects will gain access to the protocols used for barcoding specimens and managing barcode data.
Whilst at the meeting, we took the opportunity to facilitate our own 'Structured Discussion' with selected participants. This was the first of our activities which falls within our 'Consortium Building Methodology' (Report available in the near future).
Interviews: Natural History Museum, London
Prof. Chris Humphries is Merit Researcher on Higher Plants at the NHM. He is well known for is work on Biodiversity and World Map. He has also been closely involved in developing the Barcode of Life - The British Flora Project.
Dr Richard Lane is Director of Science at the NHM and his responsibilities include setting the strategy for science and ensuring that research at the Museum is relevant and of high quality. He is a member of Executive Committee for the Consortium for the Barcoding of Life (CBOL).
Dr David Williams is a diatom researcher and Head of Global Biodiversity Group in theDepartment of Botany, The Natural History Museum, London.
Dr Alfried Vogler holds a joint position in Molecular Systematics at Imperial College and the NHM. He specialises in the use of DNA to understand the evolution and relationships between Coleoptera (beetle) families.
KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, University of Manchester
Dr Angelique Corthals used to be Curatorial Associate of the Ambrose Monell Collection for Molecular and Microbial Research (AMCC). She now lectures in Biomedical and Forensic Studies in Egyptology at Manchester University.
Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, London
Dr Mark Chase is plant molecular systematist at Kew Gardens, involved in an international Plant DNA Barcoding Project
Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens
Dr Mark Watson: Flora of Nepal, Umbellifers, Prometheus
Dr Martin Pullan: Taxonomic Databases Working Group
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Dr George Amato is Director of the Center for Conservation Genetics at the AMNH and specialises in the taxonomy of parrots and crocodilians.
Dr Rob Desalle is Curator of Entomology at the AMNH and invovled in research on molecular systematics, molecular evolution, population adn conservation genetics.
Dr Julie Feinstein is a molecular systematist and Collection Manager of the Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC) at the AMNH.
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Dr John Burnsis Curator of Lepidoptera at the NMNH. He specialises in the evolution of Lepidoptera and works collaboratively on a number of Lepidoptera DNA barcoding projects.
Dr Carla Dove is an ornithologist working at the Division of Birds at the NMNH. She plays a key role in DNA barcoding of birds and applies much of her research in the field of aviation safety (bird strikes).
Dr Amy Driskell is a molecular systematist and the Barcode Project Manager at the Laboratory for Analytical Biology at the NMNH.
Dr Robert Fleischer is the Head of the Genetics Programme at the NMNH.
Dr John Kress is a Research Scientist and Curator in the Department of Botany, NMNH. He specialises in the systematics of heliconia and is currently involved in plant DNA barcoding research.
Dr Jesus Maldonado is a Research Geneticist working at the Genetics Laboratory at the NMNH. He works on conservation genetics, systematics, evolution and genetic diversity of a variety of mammals.
Dr Scott Miller is Curator of Lepidoptera at the NMNH and is also Chair of CBOL's Executive Committee.
Dr David Schindel is the Executive Secretary of CBOL, located at the Smithsonian Institution.
Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding
Dr Alex Borisenko is the Collections Manager at the CCDB
Dr Gregory Downs is the Data Submissions Manager and Programmer at the CCDB.
Dr Mehrdad Hajibabaei is a Research Scientist at the CCDB
Dr Robert Hanner is Associate Director of the CCDB and Chair of CBOL's Database Working Group
Dr Hanner is also Coordinator of the Fish Barcode of Life Campaign (FISHBOL).
Professor Paul Hebert is Director of CCDB and holds the position of Canada Research Chair, Tier 1 in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph.
Dr Natalia Ivanova is the Lead DNA Scientist on the Core Sequencing Team at CCDB.
Dr Sujeevan Ratnasingham is the Informatics Lead for the Informatics team at CCDB. He has been responsible for developing the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD) - a database and workbench to enable global access to barcoding research.
Dr Alex Smith is an Investigator at CCDB
Department of Botany and Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
Dr Steve Newmaster is a botanist specialising in bryophytes and lichens, working in the Department of Botany, University of Guelph. With Dr Subramanyam, he has been involved in combining DNA barcoding techniques with ethnobotanical work in indigenous communities.
Dr Ragu Subramanyam is Curator of the Aboriginal Repository of Knowledge, all Herbarium Databases and the Ethnobotany Research Programme and the Biodiversity Institute.
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Meredith Lane: GBIF Public and Scientific Liason
Global Taxonomy Initiative and European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy
Christophe Hauser: GTI and EDIT
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