Paul Hebert


Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
University of Guelph

Registering and Reading Life Through Deep Barcoding

“All it took is a bit of deep barcoding”

For 250 years biodiversity has been studied, but it is estimated that only 20% of the planet’s species haven been discovered. Even though barcoding has quickly developed, monitoring programs are of essence to revolutionize DNA Barcoding. Paul Hebert states that: “to understand biodiversity we have to move forwards from analog to digital.” The moonshot missions for Planetary Biodiversity are:

  • Register all species (understanding biodiversity)
  • Library of life (analyze genomes)
  • Global Biomonitoring (track biotic change)

The number of species and geographic patening of life contribute to make a global biodiversity survey a huge challenge. Facing the challenge a global arthropod program has been started. However how do you work cost efficiently? For Paul Hebert the answer lies in SEQUEL. Furthermore by 2023 a Biosurvillance program will be carried out in Canada, hoping that by 2035 an international Biosurvillance program will be implemented.

Copy curtesy of Katharina Gihring


Paul Hebert Background

Paul Hebert completed his BSc at Queen’s University, his PhD at the University of Cambridge and his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney. He has held faculty positions at the University of Windsor and at the University of Guelph where he is now a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity.

Over his career, Paul has served as Director of the Great Lakes Institute at Windsor, as Chair of the Department of Zoology at Guelph and as Chair of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews. He is currently Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life Project.

Over his career, he has led applications that have received more than $90M in research support and has published more than 400 papers, most employing molecular approaches to probe issues such as breeding system evolution, phylogeography, genome size evolution and species identification.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Waterloo and Windsor.

Google Scholar Citations


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