May, 2014 saw the first ever Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Over 3,500 members of the Society for Freshwater Science, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Phycological Society of America, and Society of Freshwater Scientists gathered for a five-day meeting. Members of the Biomonitoring 2.0 team were present in full force with presentations and posters given by students, postdocs, and collaborators in the project. Team members were also instrumental in organizing collaborative workshops focusing on the use of genomic data in the bioassessment of wetlands. These workshops brought together international researchers to discuss results and future plans. Stay posted for future developments in this network of wetlands scientists.
The Biomonitoring 2.0 team published their latest findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA. The Gibson et al. study continues the teams’ research into timely, cost-effective approaches to identifying the contents of species-rich mixed environmental samples. Using next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), 16S ribosomal, and 18S ribosomal gene regions, the authors were able to accurately detect 91% of the 1,066 individuals morphologically identified from a single Malaise trap from Costa Rica’s Area de Conservación Guanacaste. For the first time bacteria and protozoa were detected in the passively collected mixed arthropod sample, including insect-associated microbes. This latest publication advances the team’s efforts to integrate a metasystematic approach into biodiversity research and monitoring.
To download the Open Access article, please visit:
The Hajibabaei Lab was well represented at the Ontario Ecology Evolution and Ethology Colloquium (OE3C) held May 8-10th, 2014 at the University of Guelph. Students, post docs, and faculty from universities all over the province (as well as a few out of province) were in attendance, presenting research from a diverse range of topics. Joel Gibson, post-doctoral fellow and Biomonitoring 2.0 project manager, captured the audience’s attention with his compelling talk on the merits of DNA metabarcoding approaches. Graduate students Lisa Ledger, Nicole Fahner (also part of Biomonitoring 2.0), and Gina Capretta followed this up with poster presentations on their respective research projects and fielded questions from excited researchers. Of note, Lisa was awarded first place for her poster on environmental metabarcoding for beta diversity assessment of Costa Rican tropical dry forest!
Our lab members had great success in wining major scholarships. Congratulations to our scholarship recipients:
Joel Gibson: NSERC PDF (2013-2015)
Ian King: MITACS PDF (2013-2015)
Gina Capretta: NSERC MSc (2013-14)
Nicole Fahner: NSERC MSc (2013-14)
We also congratulate our USRA summer and 4th-year project student Sarah Salisbury for winning an NSERC scholarship for her MSc.