Behind the scenes at the AMNH.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the world’s premier natural history museums. I had the privilege of working there for a year as a postdoc, so I got to see a fair bit behind the scenes. Most people don’t get this opportunity, however, which is why it’s […]


Why accurate species identifications are important.

A few people still raise arguments against DNA barcoding — often these are embarrassingly silly. But no one disagrees that the ability to accurately identify species is very important. Case in point…


Who needs DNA barcoding?

If you listen to the (rapidly diminishing) criticisms of DNA barcoding, one you will often hear is that we don’t need it because we have keys, taxonomic experts, etc. This isn’t quite as ridiculous as the claim that barcoding saps resources from taxonomy (seeing as how it has literally moved millions of dollars out […]


Postdoctoral position in molecular identification ("DNA barcoding") of pathogens and disease vectors.

Outstanding applicants are sought for a two-year postdoctoral position at the University of Guelph, focusing on the development of molecular identification methodology (“DNA barcoding”) for a wide range of pathogens, parasites, and disease vectors. This will include both original research and participation in the assembly and coordination of large-scale international collaborations.

Experience is required […]


DNA barcodes special issue.

The journal Molecular Ecology Resources has just published a special issue on DNA barcoding. This is the result of a conference held at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Note the following from the introduction by my friends/colleagues Brian Golding, Bob Hanner, and Paul Hebert: Despite some popular misconceptions, the goal of DNA barcoding is neither […]


Scitable (and a weird piece on DNA barcoding).

I received an email about Scitable, a new online resource by Nature Education. I notice that they have a link to my 2005 paper in Nature Reviews Genetics. Overall, I think the site looks interesting. On a more curious note, I was checking out the material about comparative genomics, and came across this, um, […]


BioBus on Discovery Channel.

My colleague Alex Smith of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Nick Jeffery, currently an undergraduate project student in my lab, were featured on tonight’s Daily Planet. Why? Because they ride around in the BioBus!

See the clip here (their segment starts at 13:05).

Note: the segment before theirs, which begins at 8:55 and […]


Bird strikes and DNA barcodes.

I don’t know if the same people are giving the same arguments against DNA barcoding anymore as I have pretty much stopped following those old discussions out of exhaustion. We can argue about how much influence DNA methods should have on alpha taxonomy (ranging from “none” to “who needs names, just use DNA sequences” […]


Misc media.

Busy preparing for the start of the semester, so to tide you over here are some links of things to check out.

1) In our genes, old fossils take on new rolesby David Brown, Washington Post It turns out that about 8 percent of the human genome is made up of viruses that once […]


Who pays for DNA barcoding?

John Wilkins, who apparently didn’t learn the first time, has repeated his ill-informed claim that “Barcoding syphons off money and resources from real systematics.” I have said it before: DNA barcoding has brought in money from sources that never supported systematics (a prime example being Genome Canada). I co-authored some of these grants. I […]