About the International Barcode of Life Conference

The conference brings together global leaders in the field of DNA barcoding to showcase the latest scientific achievements and implications (including agricultural quarantine and invasive species, wildlife forensics, disease vectors, marketplace surveys) as well as consider future strategic direction. The ultimate aim of the meeting is to promote partnerships to enable the international scientific and policy community to better understand, quantify and manage their biodiversity.

About DNA Barcoding

Developed as a specimen identification tool, the use of DNA barcodes has grown rapidly as a solution to real-­‐world problems faced by government agencies, commerce and consumers. The research focus of the conference would address two of the NRF thematic areas: the
biodiversity knowledge deficit; and the implementation of DNA barcoding for biosecurity and surveillance, especially in the fields of food security, marketplace surveillance, species, agricultural pests, human health, water quality, species depletion and economic collapse of industries due to over-­‐ harvesting of natural. It will also address the DST’s Ten-­‐Year Innovation Plan to stimulate the research community to engage in multidisciplinary initiatives.

DNA Barcoding at UJ

The DNA barcoding research community within South Africa has held a series of workshops to expand the understanding of barcoding. The first meeting was held in December 2006 in Cape Town, the second in September 2008 in Pretoria and the third in Johannesburg, in February 2010. South African researchers have already established the momentum to develop into a successful regional node through existing barcoding initiatives. In a few cases the researchers have built impressive collaborative networks across the African continent to meet the challenges of the iBOL initiative (e.g. Fish-­‐BOL and Tree-­‐BOL). The Department of Agriculture of South Africa has since supported projects on scale insects, spiders and pollinators at the Plant Protection Research Institute. The Department of Environmental Affairs (Directorate Biosecurity) is also currently funding a large initiative to barcode all invasive species in South Africa. University-­‐based researchers are also leading several other barcode projects, for example: Collembola at the Centre for Invasion Biology (University of Stellenbosch), seaweeds at the Department of Botany (University of Cape Town), and ants at the Iziko Museum (Cape Town). Furthermore, in 2010, the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, through the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), has secured a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to enable researchers in South Africa to play key roles in the International Barcode of Life project (iBOL). This, together with its leadership and strong regional links to other African nations, South Africa has become a critical partner to the success of iBOL in Africa.

About the Conference organisers

Conference Operating Committee

  • Van Der Bank, Michelle – South Africa
  • Hamer Michelle – South Africa
  • Mokhomatha, Lebohang – South Africa
  • Deacon, Jackey – South Africa
  • Fritzsche, Meg – Canada
  • Orton, Raymond – South Africa
  • Royal, Andrew – South Africa
  • Fourie, Thinus – South Africa
  • Rattray, Ryan – South Africa
  • Shiba, Sanele – South Africa

International Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Adamowicz, Sarah – Canada
  • Alsos, Inger Greve – Norway
  • Costa, Filipe – Portugal
  • De Oliveira, Cláudio – Brazil
  • Ekrem, Torbjørn – Norway
  • Gutiérrez, Manuel Elías – Mexico
  • Hausmann, Axel – Germany
  • Hajibabaei, Mehrdad – Canada
  • Hanner, Robert – Canada
  • Hebert, Paul – Canada
  • Hogg, Ian – New Zealand
  • Hollingsworth, Pete -­‐ Scotland
  • Li, De-­‐Zhu -­‐ China
  • Miller, Scott – USA
  • Mutanen, Marko – Finland
  • Pawlowski, Jan -­‐ Switzerland
  • Ratnasingham, Sujeevan – Canada
  • Rougerie, Rodolphe -­‐ France
  • Szucsich, Nikolaus -­‐ Austria