Seminar Series


The seminars are held at the CBG where faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, staff, and visitors get together to share novel research about biodiversity at all biological levels, from genes to ecosystems. As the CBG is the birthplace of DNA barcoding, the Biodiversity Seminar Series often focuses on this theme, including new discoveries, discussions on its utility, and novel uses in other research areas. We hope that the discussion of ideas from both within and outside the Centre will foster collaborative thought and challenge conventional ways of thinking.

If you are a faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, or visiting researcher and are interested in sharing your research in a 30-45 minute presentation at the Biodiversity Seminar Series please contact one of the coordinators listed below.

We accept submissions for talks on an ongoing basis.

Biodiversity Research Aid for Innovation and Novel Solutions (B.R.A.I.N.S.)

A forum to introduce, socialize, and interact with people working in biodiversity science for thoughtful discussion and learning. The B.R.A.I.N.S. banner has two components:

B.R.A.I.N.S. Thinking

The goal of these sessions is to foster communication and connections with other researchers, and integrate knowledge from different areas of research. Through bringing together people of varying expertise and skills we aim to increase the quality of our work and publications both in numbers and impact.

Thinking is a setting for people to bring their ideas for collaborative projects and to discuss obstacles encountered during their research. A major outcome from these meetings is the establishment of working connections that could evolve into working groups continuing outside of the sessions.

B.R.A.I.N.S. Learning

These sessions encompass learning in various aspects. Learning is a setting for paper and concept discussions, and tutorials such as analytical program usage and writing workshops. Those who would like to have a discussion about a particular topic are invited to present or to organize a knowledgeable presenter to lead a discussion. Possible themes for a session may include:

  • Discussion on novel research both in-house and in the literature (paper/topic discussion group)
  • Writing topics (from grammar to submission of manuscripts and everything in between)
  • Tools, techniques, and methods and how we can apply them to our projects (e.g. tutorial on computer applications)
  • Career discussions and tips for success (undergrad, post graduate, post-doc, grants)


Suggested topics of discussion will be posted before the start of the each BRAINS session. We encourage all attendees to work toward a friendly and open environment. B.R.A.I.N.S. sessions take place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in the Visualization Theatre (1009 BIO) at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. Come and participate because multiple BRAINS are better than one!

Seminar Series Schedule (Spring 2017)

Date Speaker Affiliation Topic
March 2 Karen Cranston Duke University Open Tree of Life: Community-driven synthesis of evolutionary trees
Special Wednesday Session
March 8
Jesús Orozco Zamorano University DNA barcoding as a tool for pest identification in Honduras
Ivany Argueta,
Gabriela Matamoros,
David Alberto Zelaya Sierra
Fundación Hondureña de Ciencias Naturales and Fundación Cuero y Salado;
School of Microbiology, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras;
School of Biology, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras
Honduras Barcode of Life initiative: Current status and future directions
March 30 Katie McGee University of Guelph Tropical land-use change and microbial communities
April 6 Bill Eaton Pace University Determining the efficiency of soil ecosystem recovery in a sustainable forestry project in Costa Rica

Seminar Series Schedule (Fall 2016)

Date Speaker Affiliation Topic
Sept 22 Jayani Nimanthika National Plant Quarantine Service in Sri Lanka DNA Barcoding: Applications in Plant Quarantine
Mary Namaganda Makerere University, Uganda Research activities at the Makerere University Herbarium (Uganda); the value of including DNA barcoding
Sept 29 Laura Sofía Brenes Chaves Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía, Costa Rica The challenge of establishing the DNA Barcoding in the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) of Costa Rica
Sebastian Marquez National University of Comahue, Argentina Extending and enhancing DNA barcoding in Argentina from a technical view
Oct 06 Terri Porter Natural Resources Canada & Centre for Biodiversity Genomics Fungal ‘omics: Using molecular methods to study fungal phylogeny and ecology
Oct 13 Belén Bukowski Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Argentina First genetic assessment of the level of endemism in the avifauna of the Central Sierras in southern South America
Oct 20 Ghulam Sarwar Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan-The Challenge of Biodiversity Conservation
Vanessa Kadosoe National Zoological Collection of Suriname What if we save paradise….
Oct 27 Adrian Luczon Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines DNA barcoding of Philippine endemic taxa
Nov 3 Stefaniya Kamenova Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph High-throughput molecular methods for studying trophic interactions
Special Tuesday Session 
Dec 6
Nitesh Datt National Plant Protection Office, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji Alien invasive species – a real threat to biosecurity and biodiversity
Tu Van Do Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources,  Vietnam Biodiversity of freshwater mussels and crabs in Vietnam
Dec 15 Taye Birhanu Belay Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute Biodiversity and Access and Benefit Sharing in Ethiopia
Ayşe Yildiz Biotechnology Research Centre, Republic of Turkey Turkey’s Agricultural System and Plant Biodiversity

Contact Us

The seminars and B.R.A.I.N.S. sessions usually take place on Thursdays from 12-1pm in the Visualization Theatre (1009 BIO) at the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. We are accepting submissions for Winter 2016. Please contact one of the organizing committee, listed below: