The Moss Bosses


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By Liz Darling (Sears) and Jesse Sills

Hi everyone! Now that the vascular plants of Canada DNA barcoding project is all finished (Read about it here), the team here at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics has moved on to another group of plants: the Bryophytes.  This term broadly encompasses all land plants that do not have any true vascular tissue, which includes the mosses, liverworts and hornworts.  Continue reading “The Moss Bosses”

Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?


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Back in October, BIO sent out teams to three different museums to collect specimens.  Both Connor and Angela have already outlined the details of their trips, so now it’s my turn! Valerie Levesque-Beaudin and I drove up to Montreal (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue specifically) to visit the Lyman Entomological Museum and Research Laboratory on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. Continue reading “Beetles, Bees, and… Beef?”

Visiting Victoria


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At the end of October, Gerry Blagoev and I flew across the country to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) in Victoria, British Columbia. We were on a quest for specimens! Identified specimens, that is. Most of the time our collections team is busy finding specimens out in the field and preparing them for DNA barcoding. Once they have a sequence, we determine what the taxonomy of our specimen is based on its sequence. But how do we get to the point where we can determine the taxonomy? How do we know this taxonomy is right? By going to the experts! Continue reading “Visiting Victoria”

Sucking Up RARE Insects


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Hi everyone,

I’ve been working at BIO for a month now and am starting to get the hang of things around the lab. I’ve also been fortunate enough to spend a large part of this past week outside collecting insects and spiders. Continue reading “Sucking Up RARE Insects”

Creating a DNA Barcode Reference Library of Plants of Canada


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My name is Jesse Sills, and I am a student employee working with BIO this summer. I just graduated with a Bachelor of Science Zoology degree, and I’m excited to be starting my post-undergraduate career working with plants and insects! I started at BIO in September 2014 as a work study student,  Continue reading “Creating a DNA Barcode Reference Library of Plants of Canada”

Barcoding Canada’s Plants at the UBC Herbarium – Beaty Museum


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For the past two weeks, we have had a small team scanning and tissue sampling plants at the University of British Columbia Herbarium in the beautiful Beaty Museum in Vancouver, BC.   As we discussed in an earlier post, BIO is coordinating a project involving researchers across Canada to DNA barcode all of Canada’s 5582 vascular plants for the  International Barcode of Life Project. Continue reading “Barcoding Canada’s Plants at the UBC Herbarium – Beaty Museum”

Barcoding Canada’s Plants at the National Herbarium of Canada


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We currently have two BIO staff – Connor and Maryam – at the National Herbarium of Canada (NHC) sampling specimens of Canadian vascular plants.  As part of the International Barcode of Life Project, BIO is striving to DNA barcode every species of Canadian plant. Continue reading “Barcoding Canada’s Plants at the National Herbarium of Canada”