Success at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics is driven by experienced internal leadership and a diverse array of external advisors

Executive Team

The members of the Executive Team bring management expertise in diverse fields. In addition, its five members offer complementary research backgrounds and organizational leadership.

Paul Hebert

Chief Executive Officer
Scientific Director iBOL

Hebert is a Professor of Integrative Biology at Guelph and a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity. Hebert oversees activities at the CBG and coordinates its linkages with the International Barcode of Life Consortium. Hebert first developed DNA barcoding and is the CBG’s founder and Director.

Monique Albert

Chief Operating Officer
Program Director BIOSCAN

Albert brings extensive experience in the biobanking, biotechnology, and health research sectors to the CBG. She has led complex programs at all stages of their development in both the private and public sectors.

Mehrdad Hajibabaei

Chief Scientific Officer
Associate Professor

Hajibabaei is an Associate Professor of Integrative Biology at Guelph and a Research Professor at the CBG. He brings experience in HTS protocols for biodiversity analysis. As founder and CSO of eDNAtec, he collaborates with ocean industries and other stakeholders to advance the ecological monitoring of marine environments. As CSO, Hajibabaei oversees genomics innovation at the CBG.

Graham Taylor

Chief Data Officer

Taylor is a Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph, a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning, a Canada CIFAR AI Chair, and Interim Research Director at the Vector Institute. As CDO, Taylor oversees the transactional data services provided by the CBG’s Informatics Unit and the innovation agenda led by its data science/AI/machine learning teams.

Kevin Kerr

Research Director

Kerr oversees the alignment of research programs as they flow through the CBG’s operating Units and catalyzes research activities. He earned his PhD from U of G and spent nearly a decade serving as the Toronto Zoo’s Curator of Birds and Invertebrates which included management of its various conservation programs.

Management Team

With a full-time staff of 80, research activities at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics are led by five senior scientists who collectively oversee its operating Units, and an expert in media & communications who manages the CBG’s media presence along with coordinating all social and outreach activities.

Sujeevan Ratnasingham

Associate Director – Informatics

Ratnasingham is a bioinformatician with 17 years of experience leading innovative informatics projects in the research and commercial sectors. He is the chief architect of the BOLD (Barcode of Life Data Systems) and mBRAVE (Multiplex Barcode Research and Visualization Environment) data platforms, launched in 2005 and 2017. He designed and developed the BIN (Barcode Index Number) framework, a machine learning system to accelerate the registration of biodiversity.

Evgeny Zakharov

Associate Director – Genomics

Zakharov has 15 years of research experience in molecular systematics, population genetics, and evolutionary biology. He oversees the CBG’s core sequencing facility, the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding (CCDB) which analyzes over 1M samples annually and serves nearly 700 research groups from the academic, government, and private sectors worldwide.

Dirk Steinke

Associate Director – Analytics

Steinke has been involved in DNA barcoding research since 2005, initially focusing on DNA barcoding of fishes and analytical methods. He has a strong background in evolutionary biology, genomics, and DNA analysis as well as science education and research communication.

Jeremy deWaard

Associate Director – Collections

deWaard has been involved with DNA barcoding since its inception in the early 2000s. He completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Guelph, followed by his PhD at the University of British Columbia.

Mikko Pentinsaari

Associate Director – Taxonomy

Pentinsaari has been involved in DNA barcoding since his M.Sc studies at the University of Oulu, Finland. His PhD work at Oulu focused on the utility of DNA barcodes in species discovery and identification of beetles (Coleoptera), as well as amino acid level variation in the DNA barcode region.

Hannah James

Manager – Media + Strategic Communications

James leads the CBG’s media and communications strategy. Her team produces digital content and outreach programs to mobilize knowledge and build capacity for biodiversity science and conservation worldwide.

Discover our Research Areas & Platforms

Combining massive field programs,
high-throughput sample processing,
high-resolution imaging, and cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies with globally unique, actively-curated data platforms