Biodiversity loss, often referred to as biodiversity crisis, is a global environmental problem causing international concern and demanding urgent counteracting measures. Biodiversity is commonly defined in terms of a number of species present in a particular environment, or in total in the world. This makes species not only one of the fundamental biological concepts but also a focus of global conservation efforts. Currently morphology based species delimitation provides the baseline for conservation of most plant and animal groups. Development of molecular systematics and computational algorithms has been gradually bringing more and more genetic based approaches to characterizing species as evolutionary units, as compared to morphology based taxonomical units. The course focuses on high-throughput screening approaches of DNA sequence variation (i.e., DNA barcoding and Metabarcoding) for species identification and discovery that provide rapid assessments of biodiversity, animal diet assessment, reconstruction of paleo communities, among others. The course will consist of a series of lectures and bioinformatics practicals introducing different aspects of DNA metabarcoding. Bioinformatics practicals will introduce data analysis from raw sequences to taxonomic group assignment to enable basic ecological conclusion.
This course is organized with financial support from ForBio. Please see additional information available at: ForBio
After the course the students should have