Pre-Conference Workshops

Find out who is attending which Pre-Conference Workshop below:

  1. Introduction to DNA Barcoding
  2. DNA Barcoding Natural History Collections
  3. DNA Metabarcoding

Delegates will have the option of attending one of three pre-conference training events. Please indicate your choice when you register for the conference.


  1. Introduction to DNA Barcoding
  2. DNA barcoding natural history collections
  3. DNA barcoding using high-throughput sequencing platforms


Training will encompass the following themes:


Introduced as a method to accelerate species identification and discovery, DNA barcoding has gained wide adoption by biodiversity scientists and is attracting growing interest from government researchers and enforcement agency officials. Thus this workshop is targeting a broad audience including graduate students, academic scientists, and government employees. The workshop will equip the participants with knowledge that enables scientific discovery through DNA barcoding. The presentations will be grouped in two sections.

The morning session (Barcode Libraries) will provide an overview of the fundamental principles of DNA barcoding and its biological and technical limitations. Presentations in this session will focus on genetic markers requirements and community data standards as well as best practices for specimen preparation and analytical workflows throughout wet lab procedures and bioinformatic analysis.

The afternoon session (When Species Identification Matters) will cover recent advances and future trends in DNA barcoding science and its applications. Presentation in this session will offer guidance on method modifications that are most suited for use of DNA barcoding in identification of species to detect food fraud and combat the illegal trade in endangered species, to track vector-borne diseases, to analyze diets and study host-parasitoid interactions.


Level: Beginner/intermediate


Organizers: Evgeny Zakharov and Michelle van der Bank


COURSE CONTENT: Please download before departing to South Africa.

Natural history collections represent an incredibly rich resource of samples for DNA barcode library building, yet many challenges preclude efficient sampling of these collections including permit requirements, sample selection and DNA quality.  This workshop will focus on the factors influencing the organization, sampling, and sequence recovery of DNA barcodes from preserved specimens, and how new laboratory protocols can increase recovery rates (including the use of new sequencing platforms).

The morning session will provide an overview of current workflows for planning museum sampling trips, sample selection, digitization, data management, and pre-processing of samples for DNA barcode analysis. The afternoon session will focus on molecular protocols adopted specifically for museum specimen DNA barcoding, novel solutions for analyzing specimens with degraded DNA, as well as sequence data validation and publication (level: intermediate/advanced).


Level: Intermediate/advanced


Organizers: Jeremy deWaard and Jayme Sones


 High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) technologies have enabled wide range analysis of biodiversity from microbes to mammals through parallel sequencing of DNA barcode and other markers directly from environmental samples such as soil, water, sediments and passive sampling techniques (e.g. Malaise traps, Pitfall traps). The field of DNA metabarcoding has gained much momentum especially in ecological investigations such as biomonitoring, diet analysis, foodweb reconstruction, detection of endangered or invasive and harmful organisms.


This workshop will provide an overview of DNA metabarcoding workflow from sampling to HTS and data analysis. It will cover various applications in ecological investigations. The emphasis will be given to experimental design (considering available platforms) as well as data analysis and interpretation.


Level: Intermediate/advanced


Organizers: Mehrdad Hajibabaei and Shadi Shokralla